Rural Broadband

As the RDOF program gets underway, there’s a lot of clean up taking place with the rural broadband funding program. As the largest winning bidder by number of locations to be funded, cable MSO Charter is participating in this clean up, notifying the FCC of census blocks it intends to remove from its RDOF plans.

The FCC notified 197 winning bidders about concerns with their RDOF applications, suggesting there were numerous census blocks in those bids that shouldn’t qualify for the RDOF program. Reasons include census blocks that appear to already be served by 25/3 Mbps broadband service or include empty lots and even airports in some cases.

These census blocks were subject to default and the FCC gave these winning bidders the opportunity to withdraw their funding requests for them.

Charter saw the light and in its most recent filing, notified the FCC that it is withdrawing a request for ETC designation in numerous census blocks throughout the states of Alabama, New Hampshire, and Tennessee. Obtaining ETC designation for winning census blocks is a requirement for receiving RDOF funds.

Charter notified the FCC that these identified census blocks include ones designated by the FCC in its July 26th letters, as well as additional census blocks the company has decided to forgo. Charter is no longer seeking RDOF support for these census blocks in the three states.

Charter isn’t rescinding requests for funding for these entire states, only certain census blocks within them.

According to a report, Alabama was ranked 9th in the total funding won in the first phase of RDOF, with $330 million in funding, or $67.47 in funding per resident. Tennessee was ranked 32nd and New Hampshire came in at 35th with $18.58 per resident in RDOF funding.

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