Midland County Residents to Benefit from Rural Digital Opportunity Funding
The Midland County Internet Connectivity Committee (MCIC) announces areas receiving funding from the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF), an initiative of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) designed to inject billions of dollars into the construction and operation of rural broadband networks.
The Rural Digital Opportunity Fund is the FCC’s first step in bridging the digital divide to fund the deployment of broadband networks in rural America efficiently. Through a two-phase reverse auction mechanism, the FCC has directed up to $20.4 billion over ten years to finance up to gigabit speed broadband networks in unserved rural areas, connecting millions of American homes and businesses to digital opportunity.
“The importance of reliable, high-speed internet connectivity in today’s world cannot be understated,” said Tony Stamas, MBA President & CEO. “We are grateful that RDOF funds have been identified to help install the necessary infrastructure in critical areas.”
The RDOF Phase I auction provided $9.2 billion in support targeting over six million homes and businesses in census blocks that are entirely unserved by voice and internet with speeds of at least 25 megabits per second download and 3 megabits per second upload (25/3 Mbps). Nearly all locations funded are expected to receive access to internet speeds of at least 100/20 Mbps. Phase II will cover locations in census blocks that are partially served, as well as locations not funded in Phase I.
Winning bidders, announced in December 2020, are required to complete the work within 6 years with 40% of the work required to be completed by the end of year 3. Providers are also required to offer at least one broadband and voice service at rates that are reasonably comparable to the rate for similar services in urban areas.
RDOF areas in Midland County include Geneva, Jerome, Hope, Mills, Homer, Greendale, Ingersoll and Lee Townships. Winning bidders in Midland County include Mercury Wireless, Inc., CCO Holdings, LLC (Charter Communications) and NexTier Consortium. Click here for the detailed map of areas that received funding.
“RDOF funding will help connect Midland County residents to the internet in the areas where they need it the most,” said Bridgette Gransden, Midland County Administrator/Controller. “It is an essential utility and plays a vital role in daily life including education, business, personal needs and even health care.”