The FCC has authorized RDOF funding for Cincinnati Bell’s Hawaiian Telecom unit, for Frontier winning bids in seven states, for certain winning bids for Lumen’s CenturyLink business and for more than a dozen small companies. About $9.2 billion was tentatively awarded in the auction.
Frontier’s authorizations were for bids made under several different names, including its own name in New York, Florida and Texas; as Citizens Telecommunications in California, Illinois and West Virginia; and as Southern New England Telephone Company in Connecticut.
The CenturyLink/Lumen authorizations were for bids made under the CenturyLink name in Louisiana and Alabama; as CenturyTel in Montana, Arkansas and Washington; as Embarq in Florida and as Qwest in Idaho, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oregon and South Dakota.
The Cincinnati Bell/ Hawaiian Telcom authorizations were for Hawaii.
Among the smaller companies gaining authorization were rural electric cooperatives, rural telcos, fixed wireless providers and others.
Lumen/CenturyLink and Frontier were among the top 10 winning bidders in the RDOF auction, which awarded funding to cover some of the costs of bringing broadband to unserved rural areas. Winning bidders were those who committed to deploying service to an area for the lowest level of support.
Both companies have previously had RDOF funding authorized for other winning bids.
Winning bidders are put on a “ready to authorize” list when the FCC has reviewed and approved their long-form application, at which point the companies have about two weeks to submit bankruptcy opinion letters and letters of credit. After the commission has reviewed and approved those documents, the company is put on an authorized list.
The top 10 winning bidders in the RDOF auction comprise about three-quarters of all winning bids. Major telcos on the top 10 list – including Lumen/CenturyLink, Frontier and Windstream – have had a large amount of their funding authorized, as has cable company Charter and members of the Rural Electric Cooperative Consortium.
Also among the top 10 winning bidders are SpaceX, LTD Broadband and three companies that plan to use gigabit fixed wireless for their deployments. None of those companies have yet appeared on a ready-to-authorize list.
A full list of the newly announced RDOF authorizations can be found at this link.