RDOF / Broadband Federal Funding
Rural Digital Opportunity Fund
RDOF Winning Bids
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) established the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) to award up to $20.4 billion for support of broadband infrastructure deployment and network operations over a 10-year period. Funds are awarded for eligible areas around the country that lack broadband service of at least 25 Mbps down and 3 Mbps up (25/3). The FCC is using a reverse auction process for two phases of funding. Phase I (Auction 904) opened on 10/29/20 and closed on 11/25/20.
The California RDOF Map shows the winning bidders, with their areas, funding levels, and bandwidth tiers across the state. Nationwide, while the FCC planned to issue $16 billion in this first Phase, in fact it announced auction results totaling $9.2 billion nationally on 12/07/20. In California, the state's assigned total reserve price was $2.049 billion for 370,986 locations and bidders won $695 million (34% of statewide reserve price) for 364,878 locations.
RDOF Next Steps
The winning bids announced by FCC are results of Auction 904 and require further authorization before the disbursement of funds. The FCC requires winning bidders to meet all conditions and review criteria of the Long Form (Form 683) filing and certification process. Winning bidders are required to disclose detailed financial, operational, ownership, and technical information for review by FCC staff in the two-phase long-form cycle.
The balance of Phase I funds, together with the budgeted Phase II fund ($11.2 billion total) will be issued by RDOF Phase II.
CPUC and Comments to the FCC
Beginning in June of 2020, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) worked to encourage all eligible carriers and providers to apply for RDOF funding to help close the digital divide in California. The Commission's comment and Ex Parte filings are filed in the FCC's RDOF docket.
CPUC: Recent Updates and Information
The CPUC's RDOF Kicker program provides financial incentive for RDOF bidders to bid on California areas in Phase I. The rules of the Commission's Kicker program are part of the CPUC's Rulemaking 20-08-021. Specific Kicker regulations are being finalized in a Proposed Decision entitled Establishing Process For The California Advanced Services Fund To Leverage The Federal Rural Digital Opportunity Fund.
RDOF Phase I: Maps and Data
California RDOF Map: The California RDOF Map was last updated following release by the FCC of RDOF Phase I (AU 904) winning bidder data, on 12/07/2020. Two new layers on the map show winning bidders in California by either Winning Bidder Name, or by RDOF Tier & Latency (T&L) Level. This resource provides winning bidder, reserve price and build out cost estimates for all RDOF eligible and awarded locations in the State. Reserve price information is available without login, and build-out cost information is available with login. Click here for instructions on how to create a login.
FCC Final Eligible Areas Map and Data: The FCC issued its final Auction 904 eligible areas map on October 8, 2020, providing the census blocks, associated census block groups, and reserve prices. This information is replicated on the California RDOF Map.
FCC Updated Eligible Areas Map and Data: The FCC published second Auction 904 eligible areas map on June 25, 2020, with the census blocks, associated census block groups, and reserve prices. These eligible areas were superseded by the Final Eligible Areas Map of October 8. 2020.
Connected California StoryMap: Explains the unprecedented opportunity RDOF presents for California's unserved areas.
FCC: Important Dates and Information
January 29, 2021 Long Form Applications Process Closes, Quiet Period Ends- The mandated quiet period for Auction 904 will end on this date, which is also the Long Form application filing deadline for the certification process of announced Phase I winners.
January 14, 2021 Long Form Application Process Opens- Winning bidders, and their registered affiliates, must file Form 683 in the filing window that opens on this date
December 22, 2020 FCC Form 683 Divide Winning Bids Deadline- Winning bidders had the option of assigning winning bids to affiliated entities by this date
December 07, 2020 FCC Releases RDOF Phase I Results- Extensive data and mapping resources are available from FCC:
- Auction 904 Winning Bidders
- Public Reporting System, RDOF Dashboard
- RDOF Results
- RDOF Winning Bidder Map
FCC Presentation on Auction 904 - Hosted by CPUC
The CPUC hosted an FCC presentation on RDOF Phase I Auction 904 with a question and answer session on June 10, 2020. The presentation covered how Internet service providers can apply for funding through Auction 904. Click to watch the presentation and access the presentation slides.
RDOF Phase I: Auction 904
Check out the FCC's Fact Sheet that breaks down RDOF Phase I.
Additional information and resources:
- Auction 904 Procedures and Requirements
- Technical Guide on Bidding Procedures
- Quick Reference Guide on Relevant Applications
- Auction 904: Rural Digital Opportunity Fund
- FCC RDOF Docket: Docket 19-126, FCC Electronic Comment Filing System
The FCC prohibits certain communications by auction applicants:
146. To help protect competition in the auction, the Commission's rules prohibit an applicant from communicating certain auction-related information to another applicant from the auction short-form application filing deadline until the post-auction deadline for winning bidders to file long-form applications for support. More specifically, section 1.21002 of the Commission's rules prohibits an applicant in Auction 904 from cooperating or collaborating with any other applicant with respect to its own, or one another's, or any other competing applicant's bids or bidding strategies, and from communicating with any other applicant in any manner the substance of its own, or one another's, or any other competing applicant's bids or bidding strategies during the prohibition period. The rule's exception for communications between applicants that are members of a joint bidding arrangement shall not apply in Auction 904.
See Auction 904 Procedures and Requirements, Section G "Prohibited Communications and Compliance with Antitrust Laws" for all FCC rules.