The next phase of federal broadband funding through Connect American Fund Phase 2 is an auction…
Moving forward, CAF-II will use competitive bidding to efficiently support deployment of networks providing both voice and broadband service, thereby expanding broadband availability to millions more unserved Americans.
The eligible areas are sparse but include some portions of Minnesota (as seen on the map to the right).
Here’s more info on application…
Short-Form Application — Entities seeking to participate in the auction must establish baseline financial and technical capabilities in order to be found eligible to bid. There are two pathways for establishing eligibility:
Demonstrate two years of experience providing a voice, broadband, and/or electric distribution or transmission service and submit one-year of audited financials, or
Submit three years of audited financials with the short-form application and a letter of interest from an eligible bank willing to issue a letter of credit for a specified amount
Entities may wait until after they are announced as winning bidders to obtain eligible telecommunication carrier designations from the relevant states or the Commission, if applicable.
Long-Form Application — Winning bidders must:
- Provide in their long-form applications additional information about qualifications, funding, and the network that they intend to use to meet their obligations
- Within a specified number of days, submit a letter from an eligible bank committing to issue a letter of credit; upon notification that the entity is ready to be authorized, must obtain a letter of credit from an eligible bank that remains open and covers disbursements until build-out is complete and verified
- Within 180 days of being announced as winning bidders, certify they are eligible telecommunications carriers in any areas for which they seek support and submit relevant documentation
Once a winning bidder’s long form application is approved, it will be authorized to begin receiving support. Any entity that files a short-form application to participate will be subject to a forfeiture in the event of a default before it is authorized to begin receiving support. Defaults include, but are not limited to, failing to meet submission deadlines, defaulting on a bid, or otherwise being disqualified for any reason.