In the Federal Communication Commission’s Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) Phase I auction which closed in December 2020, Nextlink Internet was named a provisional winner of $429.2 million in federal support over the next 10 years to bring high-speed Internet service to more than 206,000 locations in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Nextlink has taken steps to prepare for meeting RDOF obligations, including:
- expanding across America’s Heartland under the FCC’s Connect America Fund (CAF) Phase II auction;
- investing in the FCC’s Citizen’s Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) airwaves auction; and
- signing an agreement with American Tower Corp. to access 1,000 additional structures for accelerating deployment into more rural areas.
“Nextlink is working to give rural Americans greater access to the digital economy,” said Bill Baker, CEO of Nextlink Internet. “Since participating in the CAF II auction process and accessing the first of our federal funding approximately 18 months ago, we have expanded operations across the Midwest.
“We’ve become a fully IP-based, carrier-class network from core to edge with extensive fiber and wireless infrastructure, serving 70,000 customers, with more than 600 team members intensely focused on rural broadband development,” Baker said.
In support of Nextlink’s ongoing growth and expansion and its participation in the CAF II and RDOF programs, the company announced a new $250 million credit agreement led by the BMO Harris Bank.
“BMO is excited to partner with Nextlink and support them as they execute on their RDOF and CAF II awards, providing high-speed broadband to underserved areas across the United States,” said Greg McCollum, Director - Fort Worth Commercial Banking, BMO Financial Group.
More information on the RDOF auction can be found here: www.fcc.gov/auction/904, including complete auction results and a map of winning bids.