NRECA urges broadband funding review

NRECA is urging the Biden administration to review the winners of $9.2 billion in federal funds for rural broadband to ensure they can truly meet their bid obligations.

“We stand up for the 42 million people we serve,” NRECA CEO Jim Matheson said. “When it comes to the unserved, it’s disproportionally rural communities. Broadband may be provided by electric cooperatives or someone else, but we must make sure the technology and the level of service are accurately reflected in the bids.”

Matheson on Feb. 1 sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission accompanied by a white paper from NRECA and NRTC describing concerns about certain winning bids in the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Phase I and offering remedies if an FCC review finds winners unable to meet their commitments.

“Our focus is on making sure that every unserved American has access to reliable and robust broadband that will meet not just their needs today but also into the future,” Matheson wrote. “NRECA and our member cooperatives stand ready to work with the FCC and other stakeholders to make sure RDOF Phase I is a success and to move forward with planning for phase II.”