The FCC recently finalized plans to distribute up to $1.98 billion in CAF Phase II subsidies to competitive broadband providers to fund the deployment of broadband and voice services to certain unserved areas in approximately twenty states. This auction represents the first time that the FCC will be directing broadband deployment support to entities other than incumbent telephone companies. Instead, under this proceeding any competitive provider, including cable operators, wireless ISPs (WISPs), competitive LECs, and electric utilities may participate in this auction.
Additionally, after some months of delay, the FCC adopted the framework to distribute $4.53 billion in Mobility Fund subsidies for the deployment of rural mobile broadband over the next decade. The FCC plans to redirect certain legacy High Cost subsidies currently received by competitive providers to Mobility Fund Phase II, and disburse support through a multi-round reverse auction where mobile broadband providers commit to specific compliance and deployment requirements. The process to determine areas eligible for Mobility Fund Phase II support will begin in the near future, which will significantly shape the deployment of mobile broadband services across rural America.
In this webinar DWT attorneys provide insight and guidance to potential CAF Phase II auction and Mobility Fund participants, with a focus on eligibility requirements, eligible areas, auction mechanics, bidding procedures, bid weighting, public interest obligations and post-auction obligations.