Regular readers will know about the federal money coming through RDOF. IN short, the FCC held an auction and awarded possible contracts to the winners. What the winners actually got was a chance to complete a long form proposal. LTD is one of the biggest winners of the opportunity; their possible areas cover much of Minnesota and there has been controversy about their ability to deploy the broadband they are understand to do (fiber) and communities have been left in a limbo for more than a year now waiting to hear what happens. Telecompetitor recently posts about a webinar where LTD spoke more about their opportunities…
At stake is $1.3 billion in funding that LTD Broadband was tentatively awarded to bring fiber broadband, primarily at gigabit speeds, to parts of 15 states. The FCC has not yet approved LTD Broadband’s long-form RDOF application, a requirement before funding can be released to the company, but that’s not unusual in the case of the largest winners.
The 10 largest winners in the auction account for three quarters of the $9.2 billion tentatively awarded and most of those winners also have not yet had their long-form applications approved.
The RDOF auction tentatively awarded funding to bring broadband to unserved rural areas, with funding for an area going to the company that committed to deploying service for the lowest level of support. A weighting system favored bids to provide higher-speed, lower-latency service.
LTD Broadband’s win calls for low-latency service at speeds of 1 Gbps downstream and 500 Mbps upstream throughout a large part of the areas won.
LTD seems confident in their long form proposal…
RDOF plans call for the company to “keep growing at a massive rate” and to create regional hubs for handling construction, including one in Colorado, one in Texas and one in Illinois.
Asked whether LTD Broadband has a contingency plan in case its RDOF long-form application is not approved, Hauer said that’s not on the radar.
“The FCC has been very collaborative with us and other awardees,” he said. “They want RDOF to be successful. They want the companies participating in it to succeed and complete the obligation.”