The FCC today issued its sixth list of companies that have been authorized to receive funding won in the Connect America Fund CAF II auction of rural broadband support completed last year. The latest batch of authorizations is valued at $61.8 million, bringing total funding authorized to nearly $1.2 billion over 10 years. This represents the vast majority of the $1.488 billion awarded in the auction.
CAF II Auction Authorizations
The biggest winner on the list released today was Sunset Digital Communications, a competitive fiber provider that will receive nearly $30 million to bring service at speeds of 1 Gbps downstream and 500 Mbps upstream to over 9,000 locations in parts of Tennessee and Virginia. Other types of companies on today’s list include incumbent rural broadband providers that bid to provide service outside their home turf, as well as fixed wireless providers, electric cooperatives, cable companies and Frontier California. Each of these other winners will receive less than $6 million.
The CAF II auction awarded funding to companies that committed to providing high-speed broadband service to certain high-cost rural areas that do not have such service available to them today. Winners were the companies that offered to deploy and deliver service at the lowest level of support, with a weighting system favoring bids to provide service at higher speeds or with lower latency.
As the FCC explains in a public notice, winners are authorized to receive their funding after the FCC has reviewed and approved their long-form application and after the company has submitted an appropriate letter of credit and bankruptcy code opinion letter.
A complete list of companies receiving authorization in today’s public notice can be found in this press release.