Fierce Telecom: FCC cues up Rural Digital Opportunity Fund to close digital divide

EXCERPT: “As expected, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced on Thursday its new Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) for faster broadband speeds in order to help close the digital divide in rural areas. RDOF will push out up to $20.4 billion in funding over the next 10 years to build and connect gigabit broadband speeds in unserved rural areas. The RDOF initiative follows on the heels of the FCC’s Connect America Fund (CAF) II program. For telco incumbents such as AT&T, CenturyLink, Windstream and Frontier, RDOF extends their CAF II funding for one additional year through 2021. Unlike CAF II, RDOF will be implemented through a two-phase reverse auction process, which includes the incumbent telcos competing directly with independent broadband providers. ‘We are excited that the FCC has adopted the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund,’ said David Bartlett, CenturyLink vice president of government affairs, in a statement.” FULL STORY: