The FCC said today that it is ready to authorize over $640 million in Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) winning bids. The list includes about 30 primarily small companies, including several electric cooperatives, as well as some Frontier and Windstream winning bids.
Also today, the commission released a list of winning bids that it has determined to be in default. The majority of the list is comprised of various Charter bidding entities, including Bright House Networks, Charter Fiberlink, and Time Warner Cable Information Services. It’s important to note, though, that the defaulted bids are only a small portion of Charter’s total winning bids and that the FCC said in January that it was ready to release funding to Charter for winning bids in over 20 states.
According to an FCC public notice, companies on the defaulted bid list released today have notified the commission that they do not intend to pursue these bids.
Charter, Windstream and Frontier were three of the largest winning bidders in the RDOF auction, which awarded funding to cover some of the costs of deploying broadband to unserved areas. Funding went to the company that committed to deploying service for an area at the lowest level of support.
The top 10 winning bidders account for about three-quarters of the $9.2 billion tentatively awarded in the auction. Charter, Windstream and Frontier are in the minority of top winning bidders that have been put on an FCC ready-to-authorize list. Most of the others are still waiting to hear from the FCC.
The Windstream winning bids on the ready-to-authorize list released today are in Florida and New York. The Frontier winning bids on the ready-to-authorize list are in Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas.
When companies are put on an FCC RDOF ready-to-authorize list, they have about two weeks to submit letters of credit and bankruptcy opinion letters, which the FCC then reviews prior to releasing funding to the companies.
Today’s RDOF ready-to-authorize list is at this link.
The list of defaulted bids is at this link.