On Tuesday, July 6, 2021, the Wireline Competition Bureau (“the Bureau”) released a Public Notice in the Connect America Fund Phase II Auction (“Auction 903”) and Rural Broadband Experiments (“RBE”) proceedings seeking comment on extending the waiver of the programs’ letter of credit rules. As a reminder, last summer the FCC waived the letter of credit rules for Auction 903 and RBE support recipients, instead requiring these providers to comply with the less financially burdensome Rural Digital Opportunity Fund letter of credit rules. The waiver expires at the end of 2021. The Bureau contemplates extending the waiver beyond December 31, 2021 and seeks comment on the following: the ongoing nature of the pandemic and its impact on the operations of telecommunications service providers, the loosening of lockdown measures and its impact on the restrictive lending requirements imposed on providers, the potential impact of extending the waiver on Auction 903 and RBE program requirements, automatically excluding participants who violate the terms of their respective programs from receiving a waiver, and other related measures that could be implemented to ease the financial burden on support recipients.
Comments are due on or before August 6, 2021.
Reply comments are due on or before August 23, 2021.
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