WASHINGTON – Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) joined his colleagues in sending a bipartisan, bicameral letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding the implementation of Phase 1 of the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) auction, which will award more than $9.2 billion to reach more than 5.2 million unserved locations across rural America. The members urged the FCC to thoroughly vet the winning bidders to ensure that they are capable of deploying and delivering the services they committed to providing and the funding will be used wisely and effectively.
“As responsible stewards of USF funds, we ask that the FCC redouble its efforts to review the long-form applications that will now be submitted. We urge the FCC to validate that each provider in fact has the technical, financial, managerial, operational skills, capabilities, and resources to deliver the services that they have pledged for every American they plan to serve regardless of the technology they use. We also strongly encourage the FCC to make as public as possible the status of its review and consider opportunities for public input on the applications. Such transparency and accountability will be essential to ensure the success of this program and to minimize any opportunities for fraud or abuse,” the members wrote.
Grassley recently highlighted the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund and the important role it will play in Iowa’s broadband expansion. Specifically, the FCC awarded 11 bidders more than $144 million to connect 53,819 assigned locations in Iowa.
Full text of the letter can be found HERE.