Telecom Alert:2.5 GHz Band Auction Winners; $38K Tower Construction Penalty; Tribal Broadband Grants; RDOF Funding; KH Named to Top 100 List [Vol. XIX, Issue 36]
2.5 GHZ Band Auction Winners
The FCC released a Public Notice last week announcing the winning bidders in the 2.5 GHz band auction (“Auction 108”) (Vol. XIX, Issue 31). There were 63 winning bidders, 77 percent of which qualified as small businesses or as entities serving rural communities. In total, 98 percent of the total inventory of licenses were sold, with gross proceeds exceeding $427 million.
$38K Tower Construction Consent Decree
Last week, the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau entered into a Consent Decree with James Valley Cooperative Telephone Co. (“James Valley”) for violating the Commission’s environmental rules related to constructing communications towers. Specifically, James Valley began constructing new communications towers in South Dakota before completing an environmental review and tribal notification process. It also failed to submit an antenna structure registration for one of the towers prior to commencing construction. As a result of its actions, James Valley must implement a compliance plan and pay a $38,000 penalty.
Over $100 Million in Tribal Broadband Grants
Last week, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (“NTIA”) announced nearly $106 million in broadband grants to five entities through the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program (the “Program”). The grants, which are the last of the more than $500 million package that Vice President Kamala Harris pledged to deliver before the end of August, will fund high-speed internet infrastructure deployment projects. To date, NTIA has made 69 awards totaling more than $726 million in funding through the Program.
FCC Ready to Authorize More RDOF Funding
Last week, the issued a Public Notice announcing that it is ready to authorize nearly $800 million in support through the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (“RDOF”). The funding will go to six providers to fund new broadband deployments to over 350,000 locations in 19 states. The top three states receiving funding include Illinois with $212 million, Arizona with $140 million, and Iowa with $113 million. To date, the program has provided more than $6 billion to 47 states.
Casey Lide, Thomas Magee, Tracy Marshall, Kathleen Slattery Thompson, Sean Stokes, and Wesley Wright also contributed to this article.