WCB Provides Guidance on RDOF and CAF Phase II Defaults

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The Federal Communications Commission’s Wireline Competition Bureau (WCB) has declined a request for blanket amnesty from RDOF and CAF Phase II default penalties.  The RDOF and CAF Phase II programs impose default penalties on awardees who do not meet deployment obligations.  In February 2024, a group of sixty-nine service providers requested that such penalties be greatly reduced or eliminated, reasoning that it would allow carriers to relinquish their RDOF and CAF Phase II funding and utilize the newly established BEAD Program funding. After seeking comment, WCB declined to give broad amnesty for the non-compliance penalties, finding that evidence of compliance among most program recipients and the existence of individualized penalty-waiver processes demonstrated there was no need for such amnesty.

In the Public Notice, WCB detailed several examples of individualized waivers, and urged carriers considering default to contact WCB and any relevant state or territorial broadband authority or Tribal government as soon as possible to discuss their situation.

 

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