The FCC proposed procedures for the first phase of the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund auction, which will make up to $16 billion available for the deployment of fixed broadband networks. Bidding is expected to begin in October.
The fund is targeting funding towards some of the least-served parts of the country. The Phase I auction could bring high-speed broadband to as many six million unserved homes and businesses this year, according to the agency.
The Commission seeks public input on proposed procedures for potential bidders to become qualified to participate in the auction. It also seeks comments on proposed procedures for bid submission and processing. The Public Notice also wants public input on the appropriate minimum size of an area to be eligible for funding and proposes pre- and post-auction operational, technical, and financial information applicants and winning bidders would be required to submit.
Yesterday, the FCC made available a guide that provides technical and mathematical details regarding the proposed bidding procedures. The guide provides examples and serves as a supplement to the bidding and bid processing procedures for the descending clock auction. The Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Auction Technical Guide is available in the Education section of the Commission’s Auction 904 website.