The Federal Communications Commission’s Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) provides $20.4 billion of support, over 10 years, to subsidize the construction of broadband infrastructure in rural communities. The first phase, scheduled to begin October 22, 2020 is expected to award $16 billion over 10 years and support nearly 6 million homes and businesses across the rural U.S in census blocks that are entirely unserved by fixed voice and broadband with download speeds of at least 25 Mbps. The second phase is expected to push out $4.4 billion (also over 10 years) and will cover locations not funded in phase I, as well as partially-served census blocks. Funds will be awarded through a reverse-auction.
According to the state Broadband Infrastructure Office (NC BIO), North Carolina is eligible to receive $390 million to expand access to 168,000 homes across the state. NC BIO hosted a webinar in April with more information about RDOF.