Auction 904: The Rural Digital Opportunity Fund

The Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) is a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) initiative designed to inject billions of taxpayer’s money into the construction and operation of rural broadband networks across America. RDOF is a key part of the FCC’s efforts to close the digital divide and ensure that all Americans have access to high-speed broadband. The intent of the program is to greatly improve the quality of life for communities in rural areas, while also creating a more connected nation as we move into the future. We will continue to provide updates on this significant initiative as more information becomes available.

RDOF-Funds

The RDOF is providing a total of $20.4 Billion (USD) in funding over a ten-year period to help support broadband networks in rural communities across the United States. The RDOF funding was granted from a traditional high-cost Universal Service Funding (USF) vehicle and not dependent on legislative appropriations. This means that the FCC was able to begin disbursing these funds without waiting for Congress to appropriate the RDOF funds.

Distributed in a reverse auction fashion, the RDOF funds are awarded to Internet Service Providers who offer the best combination of price and performance in terms of speed and latency. Winning bidders have to be designated as Eligible Telecommunications Carriers (ETC); a designation that is obtained through state regulatory commissions. This reverse auction process is designed to incentivize broadband providers to build out their networks in rural areas and expand coverage to underserved communities across the United States.

RDOF Award Winners Deployment Obligations

RDOF participants are required to provide stand-alone voice service and broadband internet service at speeds consistent with their winning bids (which must be at least 25 Mbps downstream and 3 Mbps upstream (25/3 Mbps) at rates reasonably comparable to those available in urban areas to all locations within an awarded area over eight years of the 10-year period. Initial interim deployment milestones are based on those adopted for the Connect America Fund (CAF) Phase II Auction program. The eligible telecommunications carriers must complete:

  • 40 percent of required deployment by the end of Year 3
  • 60 percent of required deployment by the end of Year 4
  • 80 percent of required deployment by the end of Year 5
  • 100 percent of required deployment by the end of Year 6

Penalties will be assessed for failure to meet these milestones, with a forfeiture of 25 percent of the remaining balance of phase I support for each year or portion thereof that a carrier fails to meet its interim milestone. In addition, carriers that fail to meet their interim milestones will be required to provide service to an additional 10 percent of locations in their winning bid areas in order to complete their required deployment.

This program has accelerated the development of high speed internet networks all across America. The assistance from the U.S. Government along with the hard work and dedication from the Internet Service Providers, the United States is getting closer to becoming the first fully connected country. The initiative to be fully connected is closely followed by a fully 5G capable country.  More on that in a future story…


Major RDOF Phase 1 Auction Winners to receive Funding

The following 10 Internet Service Providers were the largest recipients of RDOF Phase I funding:

CompanyBidding entityAmountLocationsStatesTechnology
LTD BroadbandLTD Broadband LLC$1,320,920,718.60528,08815fiber, fixed wireless
CharterCCO Holdings, LLC (Charter Communications)$1,222,613,870.101,057,69524fiber, cable
Rural Electric Cooperative ConsortiumRural Electric Cooperative Consortium$1,104,395,953.00618,47622fiber
SpaceXSpace Exploration Technologies Corp.$885,509,638.40642,92535low-Earth orbit broadband
WindstreamWindstream Services LLC, Debtor-In-Possession$522,888,779.80192,56718asymmetric xDSL, fiber, fixed wireless
NextlinkAMG Technology Investment Group LLC$429,228,072.90206,13612fiber, fixed wireless
FrontierFrontier Communications Corporation, DIP$370,900,832.80127,1888fiber, fixed wireless
Resound NetworksResound Networks, LLC$310,681,608.90219,2397fiber, fixed wireless
StarryConnect Everyone LLC$268,851,315.90108,5069fiber, fixed wireless
CenturyLinkCenturyLink, Inc.$262,367,614.2077,25720asymmetric xDSL, fiber

RDOF Electric Coop Consortium Phase 1 Winners

In order to get a slight edge and receive more funding,  several groups banned together to create five electric cooperative consortiums during Phase I of the RDOF. The FCC requirement was for each consortium to divide winnings equally. amongst members by December 22nd, 2020.

ConsortiumTotal CoopsAmountStates
Co-op Connections Consortium13$61,485,589.508
NRTC Phase I RDOF Consortium51$156,714,678.2014
RDOF USA Consortium21$112,044,022.705
Prospero Broadband Consortium9$100,366,008.803
Rural Electric Cooperative Consortium95$1,104,395,953.0022


All RDOF Phase 1 Auction Winners

Below is a comprehensive list of all network providers and consortiums that were awarded Phase I RDOF funds, the amount they won, and the number of locations they have agreed to build network.

CompanyAmountLocationsStates
Etheric Communications LLC$248,634,963.1064,4631
California Internet, L.P. dba GeoLinks$234,889,665.70128,2973
Consortium of AEG and Heron Broadband I$194,378,552.0049,5992
NRTC Phase I RDOF Consortium$156,714,678.20125,33514
Segnem Egere Consortium$152,854,440.7057,3873
NexTier Consortium$126,287,693.3080,60914
RDOF USA Consortium$112,044,022.7063,8305
Prospero Broadband Consortium$100,366,008.8061,7993
Point Broadband Fiber Holding, LLC$78,414,413.1034,4725
Mercury Wireless, Inc.$68,310,842.00167,6846
Co-op Connections Consortium$61,485,589.5026,9098
Consolidated Communications, Inc.$58,873,337.5027,0217
Frontier Communications Northwest, LLC$57,202,650.8021,3364
Talkie Communications, Inc.$57,065,010.2039,0982
Citynet West Virginia, LLC$53,516,858.3013,4601
Consortium 2020$48,918,960.9068,0922
Computer 5, Inc. d/b/a LocalTel Communications$48,818,171.3012,5301
Wilkes Telephone Membership Corporation$46,055,343.4039,8702
Bay Springs Telephone Company, Inc.$41,871,850.1022,0113
Continental Divide Electric Cooperative$38,004,786.208,4851
Cal.net, Inc.$29,169,982.6044,1531
Commnet Wireless, LLC$28,436,936.1019,02810
GigaBeam Networks, LLC$28,067,881.209,0722
Cincinnati Bell Inc.$26,887,580.4011,1314
Aptitude Internet LLC$24,655,295.2013,5351
Armstrong Telephone Company – Northern Division$22,009,640.5010,4953
Grain Communications Opportunity Fund II, L.P.$19,172,673.605,8873
Arrowhead Electric Cooperative, Inc.$18,462,273.104,8791
RHMD, LLC$18,303,843.206,9431
Paul Bunyan Rural Telephone Cooperative$16,307,892.105,0881
Direct Communications Rockland, Inc.$15,745,252.702,1201
Connecting Rural America$14,180,599.005,0764
Blackfoot Telephone Cooperative, Inc.$12,703,077.602,6871
Halstad Telephone Company$12,141,118.401,8202
South Arkansas Telephone Company$11,387,245.505,0931
Pine Belt Communications, Inc.$11,126,003.104,2201
Centre WISP Venture Company, LLC$11,086,348.406,6071
Micrologic Inc.$10,036,047.702,0761
Emery Telephone dba Emery Telcom$9,822,853.001,6021
Digital Connections Inc. dba PRODIGI$8,583,001.404,7711
Rural American Broadband Consortium$8,471,858.103,6716
Chariton Valley Communications Corporation$8,070,272.005,0021
Northern Arapaho Tribal Industries$7,799,035.002,4081
Hamilton County Telephone Co-op$7,796,825.302,3511
St. John Telco$7,116,876.001,0571
Cox Communications, Inc.$6,636,520.508,2129
Reedsburg Utility Commission$6,439,594.104,4881
Savage Communications$6,090,479.104,5411
Hawaii Dialogix Telecom LLC$6,009,953.001,3953
Tennessee Cooperative Group Consortium$5,981,516.907,6253
Peoples Telecom, LLC$5,668,121.402,4311
Cherry Capital Connection, LLC$5,620,840.402,7911
Pioneer Wireless, Inc$5,543,142.001,6381
Atlantic Broadband Finance, LLC$5,407,684.703,8761
Hotwire Communications, Ltd$5,150,040.003,2331
Shenandoah Cable Television, LLC$5,059,616.508,6422
Wisper-CABO 904 Consortium$4,974,442.303,45313
Midcontinent Communications$4,960,473.006,5063
Visionary Communications, Inc.$4,450,264.404,1842
DoCoMo Pacific, Inc.$3,706,235.005301
Daviess-Martin County Rural Telephone Corporation$3,565,039.401,3711
Rivers High Group$3,540,398.101,3151
Great Plains Consortium$3,427,873.301,8793
Cellular Services LLC.$3,294,968.602,1421
City of Farmington$3,179,884.501,1061
4-Corners Consortium$2,598,030.006351
Pine Cellular Phones, Inc.$2,303,742.102,4591
Mediacom Communications Corporation$2,254,655.009,7524
Hankins Information Technology$2,171,844.503,7271
BEK Communications Cooperative$2,157,719.003371
TruVista Communications, Inc.$2,059,050.802,7781
Minnesota Connections c/o Consolidated Tel Company$2,040,278.709791
Horizon Communications, Inc.$2,033,292.006091
Custer Telephone Cooperative, Inc.$1,954,488.003131
American Heartland$1,821,520.001,5491
FiberLight, LLC$1,772,705.804,6653
Bandera Electric Cooperative, Inc.$1,689,601.505341
LICT Corporation$1,675,826.806353
NBVDS Investment, L.L.C.$1,655,443.402,3871
Central Arkansas Telephone Cooperative, Inc.$1,629,930.501,0041
ACT$1,622,136.009251
Siuslaw Broadband, LLC dba Hyak Technologies$1,611,684.905541
HomeTown Broadband, Inc.$1,424,229.001,2951
Hughes Network Systems, LLC$1,273,784.003,6781
Union Telephone Company$1,264,770.001571
Roseau Electric Cooperative, Inc.$1,228,494.002661
Safelink Internet LLC$1,197,661.502,7281
Pembroke Telephone Company, Inc.$1,053,063.006011
Fond du Lac Communications Inc.$1,046,123.007281
Wikstrom Telephone Company$983,637.002281
SLIC Network Solutions, Inc.$978,722.003,6601
Altice USA, Inc.$849,880.005,2206
DTC Cable, Inc.$834,597.004811
Nova Cablevision, Inc.$785,400.001551
Farmers Mutual Telephone Company$759,822.003321
Scott County Telephone Cooperative, Inc.$755,841.602,4062
Horry Telephone Cooperative, Inc.$729,554.502,2671
Terral Telephone Company$716,381.202,2991
Worldwide Technologies, Inc.$700,874.204961
Somerset Telephone Co., Inc.$669,564.001,2081
AB Indiana LLC$668,304.102611
Albion Telephone Company, Inc.$599,795.701411
Palmetto Telephone Communications, LLC$570,024.002641
Federated Telephone Cooperative$537,399.002481
Daktel Communications, LLC$531,894.00661
Redzone Wireless, LLC$507,752.007551
MEI Telecom, Inc.$479,789.101751
Zito West Holding, LLC$457,596.002791
Baraga Telephone Company$444,490.801641
Lakeland Communications Group, LLC$408,952.005501
Heart of the Catskills Comm. Inc., dba MTC Cable$398,574.001881
LigTel Communications, Inc.$385,924.004161
Citizens Vermont Acquisition Corporation$373,680.003161
Allen’s T.V. Cable Service, Inc.$371,348.106201
Plains Internet, LLC$345,624.002503
Reservation Telephone Cooperative$337,080.00731
Miles Communications LLC$316,641.001061
Mountain View Telephone Company$298,572.00431
RC Technologies$263,796.001181
QCOL, Inc.$235,146.00881
Socket Telecom, LLC$232,768.803931
St Paul Cooperative Telephone Association$190,908.00391
Easton Utilities Commission$189,047.609091
Newport Utilities$159,492.00591
Mountain West Technologies Corporation$141,801.206901
One Ring Networks, Inc.$137,715.002,0613
Hamilton Long Distance Company$128,560.301671
Bruce Telephone Company, Inc.$113,745.00321
Winnebago Cooperative Telecom Association$104,637.802482
WC Fiber, LLC$98,189.509451
Net Ops Communications, LLC$69,676.401,5861
Enduring Internet$65,690.003922
Gardonville Cooperative Telephone Association$63,903.00241
Northeast Missouri Rural Telephone Company$60,126.0071
Skywave Wireless, Inc.$57,660.00121
MARQUETTE-ADAMS TELEPHONE COOPERATIVE, INC.$55,378.00661
yondoo Broadband LLC$54,833.801101
Pioneer Long Distance, Inc.$50,994.001,3461
All West Communications, Inc.$46,648.002181
XIT Telecommunication & Technology$43,254.504641
Corn Belt Telephone$42,237.00381
WTC Communications, Inc.$40,845.201741
Consortium 904$40,470.001201
MCC Network Services, LLC$36,204.00721
Pinpoint Bidding Coalition$31,254.00321
Wood County Telephone Company d/b/a Solarus$28,848.00151
NMSURF, Inc.$26,964.002121
KanOkla Telephone Association$26,538.00902
Yucca Telecommunications Systems, Inc.$26,221.00191
IdeaTek Telcom, LLC$23,590.60891
Home Communications, Inc.$15,540.00541
Barry Technology Services, LLC$14,502.00261
LR Communications, Inc.$13,974.00241
Farmers Mutual Cooperative Telephone Company$12,447.00251
PVT NetWorks, Inc.$12,039.00381
Baldwin Telecom, Inc.$11,370.00151
H&B Communication’s, Inc.$11,301.60471
NTS Communications, LLC$8,923.00131
W. T. Services, Inc.$8,785.701771
Computer Techniques, Inc. dba CTI Fiber$8,509.00121
Sandhill Telephone Cooperative, Inc.$6,396.0011
Taylor Telephone Coop., Inc. dba Taylor Telecom$5,466.0021
Comcell Inc.$4,644.0081
Peoples Communication, LLC.$4,140.0041
Plateau Telecommunications, Inc.$3,150.0021
Coleman County Telephone Cooperative, Inc.$3,142.80111
Bloosurf, LLC$1,860.50172
Wildstar$1,790.00211
Unified Communications Inc.$1,604.00171
Carolina West Wireless, Inc.$460.00281