FCC has now distributed over $1 billion in rural broadband funding

Robin Layton

Nov 19, 2021 — 2 min read

FCC announces 4th round of broadband funding.

Farm in a rural area

Over 50 broadband providers will be able to expand broadband service in 26 states thanks to the latest $700M funding auction by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). 

“This latest announcement highlights the agency’s commitment to supporting even more opportunities to connect hundreds of thousands of Americans to high-speed, reliable broadband service while doing our due diligence to ensure the applicants can deliver to these unserved communities as promised,” said FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel. “This program can do great things to help expand broadband in our country.”

The states to receive the latest funding are Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.  

“The bulk of today’s funding will go to nonprofit rural electric cooperatives to deploy broadband throughout their service areas,” according to the FCC’s press release.  

The monies come from the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, which was created to bring high-speed fixed broadband service to rural homes and small businesses.

Some bid winners defaulted in the previous rounds, so the FCC took measures to ensure that doesn’t happen again.

According to the release, those steps include denying waivers for winning bidders that have not made the effort to secure state approvals, publishing area lists where providers have defaulted so that those areas are now available again for broadband funding, as well as reviewing the financial and technical sides of all the winning bidders. 

Who has received the most funding from RDOF?

Windstream is the big winner of the RDOF, as the FCC has just awarded the company a total of $523 million.  

Windstream has pledged to deploy broadband service to all of the listed states except for Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Michigan, South Carolina and Texas. 

The FCC has now awarded over $1 billion worth of funding through the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF).

Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel commented on this latest round of funding,

“This is good news for consumers waiting far too long for broadband in parts of the country that have yet to be served…Thanks to the hard work of our dedicated FCC staff who are carefully reviewing applications and working to clean up the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, this program will build new broadband infrastructure in areas that truly need it.”

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Robin Layton

Written by:

Robin Layton

Editor, Broadband Content

Robin Layton is an editor for the broadband marketplace Allconnect. She built her internet industry expertise writing and editing for four years on the site, as well as on Allconnect’s sister site MYMOVE.com. … Read more

Joe Supan

Edited by:

Joe Supan

Principal Writer, Broadband Content

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