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[News] More RDOF Defaults Could Be Coming as Stakeholders Seek to Free Up Areas for BEAD

Photo of a reel of conduit ready for installation.
Photo: Gigi Sohn testifies

The following article was published by Telecompetitor:

As states get closer to accepting applications for $42.5 billion in BEAD rural broadband funding, more defaults in the previous RDOF rural broadband funding program could be coming.

The potential defaults involve network operators that had winning bids in the RDOF program in 2020 but who have not yet undertaken the deployments for which they won funding. The FCC, which administered the RDOF program, did not authorize funding for some winning bidders until 18 months or so after the auction was completed, by which time deployment costs had risen substantially as a result of the COVID pandemic.

Some RDOF winners now say they cannot do the deployments for which they won funding unless the FCC makes additional funding available to them. The FCC appears unlikely to do that, but the commission has said it would consider relaxing default penalties for RDOF winners that cannot afford to build.

The full article is available here.



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