The Presidential election losers wanted to overturn the victory, with results we all know. Now. the telcos have persuaded key Congressman Jim Clyburn and 25 Senators to ask the FCC to overturn some of the results of the recent RDOF auction. The draft letter, circulated by Gary Bolton of Adtran and the FBA, says

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 letter was organized by Seth Ismail in Rep Clyburn’s office, with strong support from Gary Bolton of the Fiber Broadband Association. Gary has left Adtran to work full time at FBA. Getting this kind of support in DC is a tribute to his ability.

The auction bids came in at $billions below the estimates, a major achievement. Some of the bidders are small and taking on major commitments. It will be right for the FCC to closely monitor all to make sure they deliver as promised. Rosenworcel should ask all of the bidders for specific plans for the first six months and two years. The original targets of six years are much too long in the pandemic.

I strongly agree “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” for all FCC & RUS subsidies, especially Universal service

 

Dear FBA Members,

In December, the FCC announced it awarded over $9B in the RDOF auction with 85% of the winning bids in the Gigabit tier. After closer review of the winning bidders, many have raised concerns regarding the proposed technology and the ability of the potential network designs to deliver the promised performance. I wanted to make you aware of a letter Members of Congress are sending to the FCC urging the agency to closely scrutinize the long form submissions of winning bidders to ensure compliance with the program’s requirements.

The following (below) is a draft of the Congressional letter and a list of the Members of Congress that have agreed to sign. If your Congressman or Senator is not on this list, I urge you to reach out to their office and request that they sign as soon as possible.

Please let your Congressional offices know that this letter to the FCC is being circulated by Representatives Clyburn and Walberg and Senators Klobuchar and Thune regarding the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF). If they wish to sign on, they should contact Seth Ismail in Rep Clyburn’s office at [email protected]

We would like for the FCC to hear from all members of Congress that rural America deserves network designs that can deliver high performance broadband service, as promised.

Thanks,

Gary Bolton

President & CEO

Fiber Broadband Association

The Honorable Ajit Pai

Federal Communications Commission 45 L Street, N.E.

Washington, DC 20554

Dear Chairman Pai:

January [X], 2021

We write today regarding the recent announcement that Phase 1 of the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) auction is complete, with more than $9.2 billion slated to be awarded to reach more than 5.2 million unserved locations across rural America. We all hope this program will be a great success—and it is in that spirit that we write to encourage you to take every reasonable measure possible to ensure this turns out to be the case.

For far too long, too many Americans have lacked access to the affordable, high-speed broadband services they need to participate in today’s online world. We appreciate the steps the FCC has taken to provide connectivity to more homes and businesses. The initial estimates of the locations that RDOF Phase 1 could connect are encouraging, and we are eager to see this program succeed so that more individuals and businesses receive the broadband services promised.

The hard work of carrying out this program will now begin in earnest. Transparency and accountability must be part and parcel of the administration of any program, and we urge you to thoroughly vet the winning bidders to ensure that they are capable of deploying and delivering the services they committed to providing. We therefore believe it is essential that the FCC apply the scrutiny needed to ensure the funding will be used wisely and effectively, consistent with the goals of the Universal Service Fund (USF) High Cost Program. Without proper due diligence today, we fear that we will not know whether funds were improperly spent for years to come.

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.

Thank you for your attention to this matter, and we look forward to continuing to work with you to develop and implement programs to close the digital divide.

cc: The Honorable Brendan Carr

The Honorable Jessica Rosenworcel The Honorable Geoffrey Starks

The Honorable Nathan Simington

Here’s the list of signers so far:

Senate Democrats

1. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)

2. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) (signs Bernard Sanders)

3. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)

4. Tina Smith (D-MN)

5. Patrick Leahy (D-VT)

6. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)

7. Richard J. Durbin (D-IL)

8. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)

9. Brian Schatz (D-HI)

10. Michael Bennet (D-CO)

11. Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD)

12. Ron Wyden (D-OR)

Senate Republicans

1. John Thune (R-SD)

2. Chuck Grassley (R-IA)

3. James Risch (R-ID)

4. Roger Marshall (R-KS) (signs Roger Marshall, M.D.)

5. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)

6. John Boozman (R-AR)

7. Mike Crapo (R-ID)

8. Jerry Moran (R-KS)

9. John Barrasso (R-WY)

10. Kevin Cramer (R-ND)

11. Tom Cotton (R-AR)

12. Joni Ernst (R-IA)

13. Steve Daines (R-MT)

House Democrats

1. Jim Clyburn (D-SC)

2. Angie Craig (D-MN)

3. Terri Sewell (D-AL)

4. Peter Welch (D-VT)

5. David Trone (D-MD)

6. Cheri Bustos (D-IL)

7. Ron Kind (D-WI)

8. Ed Case (D-HW)

9. Cindy Axne (D-IA)

10. Steven Horsford (D-NV)

11. Sanford Bishop (D-GA)

12. Mark Pocan (D-WI)

13. Jimmy Panetta (D-CA)

14. Dina Titus (D-NV)

15. Ro Khanna (D-CA)

16. Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ)

17. Jared Huffman (D-CA)

18. Richard Neal (D-MA)

House Republicans

1. Tim Walberg (R-MI)

2. Randy Feenstra (R-IA)

3. Ben Cline (R-VA)

4. Rob Wittman (R-VA)

5. Andy Barr (R-KY)

6. Robert Aderholt (R-AL)

7. Austin Scott (R-GA)

8. Diana Harshbarger (R-TN)

9. Bob Good (R-VA)

10. Troy Balderson (R-OH)

11. David Rouzer (R-NC)

12. Ralph Norman (R-SC)

13. David Rouzer (R-NC)

14. Ashley Hinson (R-IA)

15. Rick Allen (R-GA)

16. Drew Ferguson (R-GA)

17. Tom Tiffany (R-WI)

18. Greg Murphy, M.D. (R-NC)

19. David McKinley, P.E. (R-WV)

20. John Moolenaar (R-MI)

21. Jack Bergman (R-MI)

22. Rodney Davis (R-IL)

23. Glenn Grothman (R-WI)

24. Kelly Armstrong (R-ND)

25. Virginia Foxx (R-NC)

26. Tony Gonzales (R-TX)

27. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA)

28. Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S.

29. Matthew Rosendale, Sr. (R-MT)

30. Billy Long (R-MO)

31. Ted Budd (R-NC)

32. Brad R. Wenstrup, D.P.M. (R-OH)

33. Tom Rice (R-SC)

34. Dan Newhouse (R-WA)

35. Greg Pence (R-IN)

36. Andrew Clyde (R-GA)

37. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA)

38. Buddy Carter (R-GA)

39. Tom Cole (R-OK)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to top