Rural Digital Opportunity Fund

The Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) is a federal Communications Commission (FCC) voice and broadband subsidy program funded by federal Universal Service Fund (USF) charges on telephone services.

The Department of Public Service (PSD) has prepared an interactive map that depicts the RDOF territories in Vermont.  The PSD has also prepared a printable PDF map of the RDOF territories in Vermont, and an Excel spreadsheet listing the number of locations in the award territories broken out by town. 

On August 2, 2019, the FCC adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) proposing to establish the $20.4 billion Rural Digital Opportunity Fund to bring high-speed fixed broadband service to rural homes and small businesses lacking broadband service.  On January 30, 2020, the FCC adopted the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Report and Order, which establishes the framework for the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, building on the success of the CAF Phase II auction by using reverse auctions in two phases.  On December 7, 2020, the FCC announced the winning bidders in 49 States and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.  The FCC prepared an interactive map that depicts the winners of the auction nationwide.

In Vermont, the auction awarded funds to five companies to deploy voice and broadband service to a specific territory, defined as a collection of census block groups. The table below depicts the winners of the auction in Vermont. The first column lists the winning bidders in Vermont. The second column lists the number of locations in the winning bidder's territory as estimated by the FCC modeling, based on census household records.  The third column lists the number of business and residential buildings in the winning bidder's territory, as found in the Vermont E-911 database. 

Company

Number of RDOF locations

Number of E911 Residential and Commercial Buildings

Charter Fiberlink

85

77

ECFiber

2,320

2,187

Kingdom Fiber

4,555

4,486

SpaceX/Starlink

2,247

2,031

Consolidated
Communications

10,123

9,708

Grand Total

19,330*

18,489*

*The number of locations is less than the number of buildings due to the different sources of data: federal census household counts for the number of RDOF locations vs. Vermont E911 database for the number of buildings.
The FCC requires that bidders seek status as an Eligible Telecommunications Carrier (ETC) from the Vermont Public Utility Commission (PUC) to enable them to receive the funds to support the services required by the RDOF.  Consolidated Communications is already designated as an ETC; the case numbers as found in ePUC (the PUC's online case and document management system) for the other four carriers seeking ETC status are listed below: