Broadband Federal Funding

Rural Digital Opportunity Fund

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) established the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) to award up to $20.4 billion to support broadband services for eligible areas across the nation. The FCC will award funding in two phases using a reverse auction process. Phase I is currently underway with a $16 billion budget, and the Phase I Auction 904 will begin on October 29, 2020. Additional information on Auction 904 is provided below. 

The CPUC encourages all eligible carriers to apply for federal funding to help close the digital divide in California. See the California RDOF Eligibility Map for eligible census blocks in California based on the FCC's June 25, 2020 updated eligible areas. 

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 (Apply to Participate July 1 - 15!)

Check out the FCC's Fact Sheet that breaks down RDOF Phase I. 

Additional information and resources: 

Important dates:

  • June 15, 2020 - Auction short-form application tutorial and instructions available 
  • July 1, 2020, 12PM ET (9AM PT) - Short-form application (FCC Form 183) filing window opens - apply at FCC Auction Application System
  • July 15, 2020, 6PM ET (3PM PT) - Short-form application (FCC Form 183) filing window closes 
  • October 14, 2020 - Auction bidding tutorial available online
  • October 26, 2020 - Mock auction begins
  • October 29, 2020 - Auction 904 begins

Maps and Data on Eligible Areas

FCC Updated Eligible Areas Map and Data:  The FCC updated its Auction 904 eligible areas map on June 25, 2020 and provides the census blocks, associated census block groups, and reserve prices. The FCC will release the final eligible areas at least three weeks prior to the auction. 

California RDOF Eligibility Map:  The CPUC's map for entities interested in California RDOF-eligible areas. The map is based on the FCC's June 25, 2020 updated eligible areas data.

Connected California StoryMap:  Explains the unprecedented opportunity RDOF presents for California's unserved areas. FCC Presentation on Auction 904 (Hosted by the CPUC) 

Anti-Collusion Requirements

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. 

Questions? 

The CPUC can help with questions on RDOF and broadband related concerns. The FCC also has an e-mail for Auction 904 questions.

CPUC E-mail:  broadbandfederalfunding@cpuc.ca.gov

FCC E-mail:  auction904@fcc.gov

 


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