USTelecom, NTCA Remind the FCC of its RDOF Eligibility Policies

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In a recent meeting with, and follow-up letter to the FCC, USTelecom – The Broadband Association and NTCA –The Rural Broadband Association, addressed the 197 letters that the Commission sent to a variety of RDOF auction winners.

Those FCC letters, said the digital associations, “appear to offer winning bidders an opportunity to no longer pursue support associated with certain census blocks without being subject to potential default penalties.”

The associations’ letter further pointed out that while some of the 197 providers might use the waiver opportunity contained in the FCC letter, those who do not should be guided by the Commission’s existing rules. These rules “can sufficiently address any deficiencies caused by subsequent improvements to currently imprecise broadband availability rules.”

First, it went on, “the RDOF Order had a very deliberate and well-articulated process whereby the Commission determined which census blocks would be eligible for auction. Second, because the auction was based on imprecise location data, the Commission established a very clear post-auction process to address the fact that the number of actual locations that providers must ultimately serve will differ from the number identified by the Commission before the auction.”

The letter concluded that, “In addition to any potential waivers that providers may now seek, the existing rules can sufficiently address the issues identified” in the 197 letters sent to auction winners from the FCC.

USTelecom and NTCA continue to provide valuable advice and support to their memberships in these increasingly complex times.