WTA Expresses Serious Concerns to FCC about RDOF Auction

In an April 20 letter sent to the FCC, WTA wrote that its members “are very skeptical of the ability of several RDOF auction ‘winners’ to fulfill their promises to construct and operate new stand-alone Gigabit-speed fiber optic broadband networks with RDOF support that is only 20-to-30 percent of the reserve prices for their areas.” WTA is skeptical that the FCC’s cost model is so off-base that it estimates the cost of deploying a network so far above what bidders accept in subsidy. WTA also have concerns about winning bidders attempting to build Gigabit services over fixed wireless or satellite networks. Finally, WTA is concerned that some winning bidders “may be planning or intending to return to the Commission down the road to seek waivers or other revisions or relief from the service obligations and support amounts that they bid to accept. Such retroactive changes to the RDOF I auction rules and terms would destroy the integrity and legitimacy not only of the RDOF I auction but also of future reverse auctions by condoning game-playing and deceptive and insincere bidding.”