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Wireline Competition Bureau Announces Additional Provisionally Selected Bidders For Rural Broadband

http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2015/db0304/DA-15-288A1.pdf

http://www.fcc.gov/document/wcb-announces-additional-provisionally-selected-rbe-bidders 

DA 15-288

Released:  March 4, 2014

 

Wireline Competition Bureau Announces Additional Provisionally Selected Bidders for Rural Broadband Experiments and Sets Deadlines for Submission of Additional Information

WC Docket No. 10-90

WC Docket No. 14-259

 

            On December 18, 2014, the Federal Communications Commission (Commission) established a process to enable the provisional selection of additional bidders for rural broadband experiments support in the event any of the initial provisionally selected bidders defaulted before the Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) finalized the list of census blocks that will be offered to the price cap carriers for Phase II of the Connect America Fund.[1]  Specifically, rural broadband experiments bidders interested in being considered for any newly available support were required to file certain financial and technical information by Tuesday, January 6, 2015.[2] 

Today, the Bureau announces additional bidders have been provisionally selected for rural broadband experiments funding in category one, subject to the post-selection review process.[3]  The Attachment provides summary information concerning these new provisionally selected bidders, including the number of project bids, the states in which these proposed projects are located, the total amount of support requested for these projects, and the total number of census blocks covered by these projects.  The Bureau plans to issue a Public Notice in the near future identifying all of the specific census blocks that have been provisionally selected for rural broadband experiment funding that will be removed from the offer of model-based support to price cap carriers.[4]    

            With the release of this Public Notice, we establish additional deadlines for the post-selection review process for these new provisionally selected bidders.  These bidders already have filed their technical and financial information on January 6, 2015.[5]  Therefore, within 60 days of this Public Notice, the bidders identified in the Attachment  are required to submit a letter from an acceptable bank committing to provide the bidder with a letter of credit (LOC) in the amount of the support the bidder will receive for each of its projects. [6]  These letters must be uploaded to the FCC Form 5620 by Monday, May 4, 2015 at 11:59p.m. EST.[7]  Failure to submit the requested materials by this deadline will constitute a default, and the bidder will no longer be considered for rural broadband experiments support.  Within 90 days of this Public Notice, by Tuesday, June 2, 2015, at 11:59p.m. EST, the bidders identified in the Attachment are required to upload to the FCC Form 5620 appropriate documentation of their designation as an eligible telecommunications carrier (ETC) in all areas for which they will receive support.[8]

For additional information on this proceeding, contact Ian Forbes (Ian.Forbes@fcc.gov) of the Wireline Competition Bureau, Telecommunications Access Policy Division, (202) 418-7400.

– FCC –

 

 


[1] See Connect America Fund; ETC Annual Reports and Certifications; Petition of USTelecom for Forbearance Pursuant to 47 U.S.C. § 160(c) from Obsolete ILEC Regulatory Obligations that Inhibit Deployment of Next-Generation Networks, WC Docket Nos. 10-90, 14-58, 14-192, Report and Order, 29 FCC Rcd 15644, 15674-75, para. 83 (2014).

[2] See Wireline Competition Bureau Announces Deadline for Bidders Interested in Remaining Under Consideration for Rural Broadband Experiments Support to File Additional Information, WC Docket Nos. 10-90, 14-259, Public Notice, 29 FCC Rcd 15132 (Wireline Comp. Bur. 2014).

[3] See Connect America Fund; Rural Broadband Experiments, WC Docket Nos. 10-90, 14-259, Order, DA 15-139 (Wireline Comp. Bur. rel. Jan 30, 2015).

[4] A number of the census blocks that provisionally selected bidders seek to serve are the subject of a pending challenge in the Phase II challenge process.  See Wireline Competition Bureau Announces Application Process for Entities Interested in Participating in the Rural Broadband Experiments, WC Docket No. 10-90, Public Notice, 29 FCC Rcd 10016, 10035-36, paras. 64-66 (Wireline Comp. Bur. 2014).  The Bureau is currently reviewing the challenges and responses received in the Phase II challenge process.  In the event that census blocks are deemed served and therefore ineligible for rural broadband experiment funding, support for any project selected for funding that includes such census blocks will be adjusted proportionally.  See Connect America Fund; ETC Annual Reports and Certifications, WC Docket Nos. 10-90, 14-58, Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 29 FCC Rcd 8769, 8786-87, para. 51 (2014) (Rural Broadband Experiments Order).

[5] Rural Broadband Experiments Order, 29 FCC Rcd at 8787, para. 52. 

[6] The Bureau previously has released information regarding the LOCs that new provisionally selected bidders may find helpful in obtaining their commitment letters.  See Wireline Competition Bureau Reminds Provisionally Selected Rural Broadband Experiments Bidders of Letter of Credit Requirements, WC Docket Nos. 10-90, 14-259, Public Notice, DA 15-99 (Wireline Comp. Bur. rel. Jan. 23, 2015).

[7] The Bureau previously has released instructions for provisionally selected bidders regarding how to complete FCC Form 5620.  See Wireline Competition Bureau Announces Entities Provisionally Selected for Rural Broadband Experiments; Sets Deadlines for Submission of Additional Information, WC Docket No. 10-90, 29 FCC Rcd 14684, 14690-94 (Wireline Comp. Bur. 2014).

[8] The Commission expects provisionally selected bidders to submit their ETC applications to the relevant jurisdiction as soon as possible and has indicated that it will presume an entity is acting in good faith to complete the requirements necessary for it to be authorized for funding if the entity files its ETC application within 15 days of release of the public notice. Rural Broadband Experiments Order, 29 FCC Rcd at 8778, para. 22 n.52.  We recognize that several of the bidders listed on Attachment A previously were provisionally selected for other projects and may wish to amend an existing ETC petition to include the newly identified projects.

ATTACHMENT

Additional Provisionally Selected Bidders

 

Bidder Name

State(s)

Selected Bids

Support Requested for Selected Bids

Census Blocks Covered by Selected Bids

Selected Bid Project IDs

BARC Electric Cooperative

VA

1

$239,918.00

64

1

City of Chanute, Kansas

KS

1

$508,467.00

37

1

Daktel Communications LLC

ND

1

$163,460.79

109

1

Douglas Services, Inc.

OR

1

$2,375,000.00

325

1

EPB

TN

1

$710,147.00

128

1

Federated Telephone Cooperative

MN

1

$1,455,961.71

95

2

Lake Region Technology & Communications, LLC

OK

2

$591,987.00

68

1, 2

Midwest Energy Cooperative d/b/a Midwest Connections

MI

1

$211,532.00

31

1

Northeast Rural Services, Inc.*

OK

6

$7,415,062.00

588

2, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11

Paul Bunyan Rural Telephone Cooperative

MN

2

$1,962,000.00

134

1, 3

Skybeam, LLC*

IA, MN, TX

4

$11,012,274.00

1,771

1, 5, 6, 9

West Central Telephone Association

MN

1

$274,727.00

15

1

 

Totals

22

$26,920,536.50

3,365

 

* Denotes previous provisionally selected bidder that is now being provisionally selected for additional projects.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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