The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced its new Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) for faster broadband speeds in order to help close the digital divide in rural areas.  Through a two-phase reverse auction mechanism, the FCC will direct up to $20.4 billion over ten years to finance up to gigabit speed broadband networks in unserved rural areas, connecting millions more American homes and businesses to digital opportunity.  

Last month, the FCC released a breakdown of how many homes and businesses are estimated to get connected in each state, with California, Texas, and Michigan expected to benefit most.  The vote to set rules surrounding the program proceeded over objections from four House Democrats from California  - Anna Eshoo (D-Palo Alto), Jerry McNerney (D-Stockton), Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento), and Tony Cardenas (D-San Fernando), who wrote to FCC Chair Ajit Pai on Wednesday seeking postponement “to ensure that federal and state mechanisms for investing in broadband are better coordinated.”  That letter echoes the concerns of California state regulator.