The FCC said Tuesday that 386 applicants are qualified to bid in the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Phase I auction. That figure represents a more than 75 percent increase in the number of bidders in 2018’s Connect America Fund Phase II auction, according to the Commission.
The number also includes bidding groups that include multiple service providers. Qualified bidders will compete to receive up to $16 billion over 10 years to provide broadband to wholly unserved areas, with priority given to bids for higher speeds (up to 1 Gbps) and lower latency.
“With today’s announcement, we are taking one of the last steps before ringing the opening bell for the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, our biggest and boldest step yet to bridge the digital divide for over 10 million unserved consumers across rural America,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. He credited the “unprecedented” bidding interest in large part to key decisions by the agency, including providing substantial funding and promoting technological neutrality toward potential bidders.
Last week the Commission released the state-by-state list of areas eligible for bidding in the Phase I auction. Once Auction 904 ends, the Commission will release the results, including identifying which bidders won support and which areas were awarded.
The post FCC: More Than 380 Applicants Qualified to Bid in Rural Broadband Auction appeared first on Inside Towers.