FCC Opens Application Window for Billions in Rural Broadband Subsidies

RDOF short-form application window closes July 15

The FCC Wednesday (July 1) opened the short-form application window for phase one of its Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) reverse auction (Auction 904).

All potential bidders must complete and submit such an application.

Carriers will be bidding on how economically they can deliver service that meets FCC speed and build-out metrics. The money is for fixed voice and broadband service to unserved, high-cost, areas at speeds of at least 25/3 Mbps. 

RDOF is the re-imagined Connect America Fund II subsidy.


Related: FCC Names New Rural Auctions Chief of Staff 

RDOF, phase one, is the $16 billion over 10 years the FCC is spending to close the rural digital divide to get broadband to unserved areas. Phase two has another $4 billion to go to underserved areas. 

The application window closes July 15 at 6 p.m. 

On July 25, the FCC released an updated list of the census blocks it has determined lack the requisite service and thus are eligible for the “unserved” subsidies. 

The FCC said that 5,392,530 unserved locations have been “deemed eligible” for carriers to bid on in the auction beginning Oct. 29.