On April 20, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced it will host an informational webinar on the FCC’s upcoming Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Auction (Auction 904). Through this auction, the FCC will direct up to $20.4 billion over ten years to finance broadband networks in unserved rural areas, connecting millions of American homes and businesses to digital opportunities at up to one gigabit speed. Auction 904 is currently scheduled to begin in October 2020.
The webinar will be held on Wednesday, May 20, 2020, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. EDT and is free to the public. No registration is required prior to the webinar; participants can join by clicking this link.
The webinar will focus on the issues related to the auction that affect state and local governments. The webinar will also provide an overview of the adopted policy framework for Auction 904, the proposed procedures for applications and bidding in the auction and tips for service providers that are interested in applying to participate in the auction.
The Rural Opportunity Fund was established by the FCC in August 2019 to replace the Connect America Fund. In response, NACo submitted comments on the Rural Opportunity Fund in January 2020, which can be found here.
Counites play a key role in expanding broadband and building essential infrastructure to increase connectivity and bridge the digital divide.