Wavelengths: RDOF and Broadband Deployment in the US.

April 12, 2022

RDOF, the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, is a critical piece of federal funding for broadband initiatives. RDOF already allocated round one of funding. Still, as round two gets underway, Wavelengths asked Tyler Cooper, Editor in Chief of BroadbandNow, to provide an eagle-eye view on RDOFs past and present to form some actionable strategies for the future as the FCC prepares new rules for fund payout. Cooper wrote an in-depth article for BroadbandNow on RDOF titled, Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) –Map, Auction and Analysis.

RDOF is an FCC program designed to close the digital divide by investing over $20 billion to construct rural broadband networks as a brief refresher. The total funding, spread out over ten years, will include multiple phases. RDOF is an evolving initiative that’s already changed since its inception.

Since the enaction of RDOF, the pandemic arrived and served as a wakeup call for everyone that broadband access is essential. “We have an entirely new work dynamic,” Cooper said. “For a long time, we had distance learning and telemedicine taking the spotlight. All these things have shifted the perception of broadband. It’s no longer a luxury. It’s truly a prerequisite for modern living in many ways.”

Cooper said that while round one RDOF funds are in play, it is still too early to see quantifiable results. “None of those funds have touched the provider’s hands yet.” One could look at this process as more of a marathon than a sprint. But Cooper was optimistic that phase one would significantly impact rural Americans regarding broadband access. However, some of the funding from other federal initiatives like the Infrastructure and Jobs Act might bring more recognizable changes sooner.

Recent Episodes

View episode

  Unprecedented connectivity thrives in today’s world and the evolution of networks and network reliability has never been more dynamic. With 5G rolling out en masse and the Internet of Things (IoT) expanding its reach, the telecom industry is at the heart of this transformation. However, a critical factor often overlooked is the importance of […]

revolutionizing connectivity
View episode

  Is Fiber revolutionizing connectivity to bring 5G, IoT, and smart cities into the next decade of technological advancements? Understanding the interplay between 5G, IoT, and smart cities cannot be overstated in this rapidly evolving landscape of global connectivity and digital transformation. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) projects by 2025, 5G networks will envelop 40% […]

View episode

The wireless revolution is shaping and reshaping the broadband industry. WIFI 6, 5G, and rapidly approaching 6G technology create exciting new opportunities in Industry 4.0 networks and IoT devices. The expansion of IoT devices, in particular, showcases this technology’s growth, with a predicted 55.7 billion connected devices worldwide by 2025. What will connect those devices, […]