FCC Releases List of RDOF-Eligible Locations

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said the FCC was releasing the list Thursday (June 25) of locations eligible for the first $16 billion in Rural Digital Opportunities Fund (RDOF) money.

That cat came out of the bag on an Internet Innovation Alliance webinar. 

Only minutes later, the list was issued. The FCC said that 5,392,530 unserved locations have been "deemed eligible" for carriers to bid on serving with the $16 billion being auctioned beginning Oct. 29

The FCC released a preliminary list back in March and gave commenters a chance to challenge/weigh in on the list until April 1. 

Legislators will be eager to check the list to see where money will be going in their states and districts.  

Related: FCC Names New Rural Auctions Chief of Staff 

The FCC is scheduled to auction access to that $16 billion (phase one) of the $20.4 billion in RDOF funding starting in October. The money will be awarded over 10 years to providers to offer fixed voice and broadband to unserved, high-cost, areas, at speeds of at least 25/3 Mbps.     

Related: WISPA Praises Bill Speeding RDOF Auction 

Pai said on the webinar that by the end of the day the FCC would be releasing that list of proposed locations that the FCC has been working to verify--or not. 

Those are locations the FCC has determined lack high-speed broadband at the required speeds. The second tranche of money--about $4 billion--will go to underserved areas. 

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.