FCC Proposes $21.7M in Additional Fines for LTD Broadband

FCC Proposes $21.7M in Additional Fines for LTD Broadband

FCC has imposed a penalty on LTD Broadband for not fulfilling the promises the company made after winning the RDOF program bid.

Here are the details of the news.

FCC Proposes $21.7M In Additional Fines for LTD Broadband

LTD Broadband (GigFire), an internet service provider, has again received a new blow from the United States communication regulatory body for its defaults in the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) auction.

Last week, the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) proposed a $21.7 million fine against LTD Broadband for failing to meet its minimum internet speed requirements in areas where the provider received funds through the RDOF program that awards funds to service providers that commit to introducing broadband Internet in the unserved areas.

LTD was the largest winning bidder in the RDOF program.

As such, it is required to fulfill its promises of executing the construction to bring high-speed Internet to the specified unserved areas.

However, the FCC said the company could not meet its buildout commitments and was in default. RDOF program rules mandate fines against winning providers that default on their bids.

Therefore, the new fine comes after the FCC found that LTD Broadband defaulted on its bids for 7,238 census block groups and failed to provide internet service to those areas.

LTD Broadband filed an application to the FCC seeking to change the commission’s default decision and requesting approval of its winning bid in the RDOF auction. But the commission rejected the company’s appeal to change its decision the same day it proposed the penalty.

FCC Propose $21.7M in Additional Fines for LTD Broadband

The commission has also rejected the long-term application of another provider, Etheric Communications, because the provider did not receive ETC status and was in default, according to the FCC. Etheric Communication has proposed $732,000 in fines for RDOF defaults.

In a statement announcing the fine, the commission said, “By defaulting on their bids, these applicants hindered the disbursement of funds that could have otherwise been expended for the advancement of broadband access across primarily rural areas in the United States.”

This is not the first time the commission has fined LTD Broadband for its careless conduct.

Earlier, the FCC proposed a $2.3 million fine against LTD for failing to fulfill the requirement for the RDOF program, including obtaining the Eligible Telecommunications Carrier (ETC) status in two states.

In mid-2021, the FCC rejected the company’s request for approval of more time to prove its eligibility to get the RDOF winning benefits. In 2022, LTD was fined twice by the FCC.

The FCC has also denied several claims that LTD Broadband has made, including that the commission did not follow the correct standard of review, the review lacked required standards and guidelines, and the commission should have provided LTD’s winning bids in areas the company could serve.

The commission has also been criticized for not reviewing long-form applications before the RDOF auction.

Being headquartered in Blooming Prairie, Minnesota, LTD Broadband has been serving as a wireless services and broadband internet provider since its establishment in 2011. The company was rebranded to “GigFire” this year.

Following the news, many telecommunications groups have criticized LTD Broadband, raising questions about its ability to fulfill RDOF commitments. It now remains to see whether the latest fine affects the LTD status in the provider’s market.

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William Smith

William Smith is a dynamic editor at World-Wire, covering a wide range of topics including health, technology, travel, and events. Known for his ability to simplify complex subjects, he engages readers with his insightful FAQs and articles. His diverse expertise has earned him accolades, including the "Excellence in Diverse Journalism" award in 2022.

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