REMINDER: The deadline to challenge the initial list of eligible census blocks for the RDOF Phase I auction is Friday, April 10.

If your company wants to challenge an area that it covers and that should not be listed as eligible for the RDOF Phase I auction you will need to update the company’s Form 477 data first and then file comments demonstrating that the Form 477 has been updated to show the area is covered. Please contact us for additional information if you want to file a challenge on this basis.

Parties may also submit challenges to show certain areas should not be eligible because they are subject to other formal commitments to offer broadband at 25/3 Mbps, and rate-of-return carriers may submit challenges to show that certain areas should be eligible because they do not expect to extend broadband to satisfy their USF deployment obligations. Please contact us if you would like more information for these challenges.

___________________________________________________

FCC Releases Preliminary List and Map of Eligible Areas
for RDOF Phase I
FCC Conducts Limited Challenge Process With April 10, 2020 Deadline

___________________________________________________

Today the Wireline Competition Bureau (“Bureau”) of the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) released the preliminary list of census blocks and a map of areas that have been deemed initially eligible for the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (“RDOF”) Phase I auction (Auction 904).  The list of census blocks, associated census block groups and census tracts can be accessed at this FCC link: https://www.fcc.gov/auction/904. The map can be accessed at this FCC link:  https://www.fcc.gov/reports-research/maps/auction-904-preliminary-eligible-areas/.

The Bureau is conducting a limited challenge process that will provide parties with an opportunity to identify census blocks that fall into one of three categories by April 10, 2020:

  1. Current Form 477 filers should identify as ineligible any census blocks that have become served with voice and 25/3 Mbps or better broadband services since June 30, 2019;
  2. Parties may identify as ineligible any census blocks that have been awarded funding (already paid or a formal commitment) by a federal or state broadband subsidy for 25/3 Mbps or better service; and
  3. rate-of-return carriers may identify as potentially eligible any census blocks within their service areas as ones where they do not expect to extend broadband to satisfy their USF deployment obligations.

 

The Bureau will release the final list of eligible blocks prior to the short-form application deadline, after taking into consideration comments received in the above three categories.

We encourage you to review the initially eligible areas to determine if your company needs to submit a challenge, as well as to assess potential areas of interest for participating in the RDOF Phase I auction.  If you would like to learn more about participating in the RDOF auction, please contact Robin Tuttle, rtuttle@hermanwhiteaker.com, Clare Andonov, cliedquist@hermanwhiteaker.com, or Dee Herman, dee@hermanwhiteaker.com.