FCC Announces 386 Qualified Bidders for Potential $16B Rural Broadband Fund Auction

The Federal Communications Commission has unveiled the list of 386 companies that are qualified to bid for up to $16B in support over a 10-year period to deliver broadband services to unserved areas as part of the Phase 1 auction for the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund.

Starting Oct. 29, qualified vendors can compete for funds to deploy broadband networks delivering speeds up to 1 Gbps and lower latency, FCC said Tuesday.

“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.

The latest announcement came days after FCC issued the list of areas eligible to compete in the initial phase of auction for the fund.

Ars Technica reported some of the qualified bidders in the list are Altice USA, Cincinnati Bell, Cox Communications, Frontier Communications, Hughes Network Systems, US Cellular (NYSE: USM), Viasat (Nasdaq: VSAT), Verizon (NYSE: VZ), Windstream and CenturyLink, which now operates as Lumen Technologies (NYSE: LUMN).

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