VCTI launches RDOF bid planning service

June 18, 2020
VCTI's Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) Planning Service provides comparative wireline-wireless analytics to help broadband service providers optimize bids for success in the FCC's upcoming RDOF auction process.

Broadband network expert VCTI on May 27 announced its Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) Planning Service, a resource designed to help broadband service providers decide where and if to bid, and how to optimize bids for success in the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) upcoming RDOF auction process.

VCTI says the new service will provide analysis of the cost, speed and latency "weighting" per Census Block to provide target service levels optimized for fiber-to-the-home (FTTH), fixed wireless and hybrid architectures. The company contends this detailed comparative analysis of prospective markets provides the critical insight broadband service providers need to refine their bid strategies and packages with unmatched precision and confidence.

The Phase I auction begins on October 22, 2020 and is expected to target over six million homes and businesses in Census Blocks that are entirely unserved by voice and broadband with download speeds of at least 25 Mbps. VCTI notes that a combination of speed and latency performance will be determining factors for the RDOF winning bids, with a minimum speed criteria of 25 Mbps and preference to delivering gig services to households.

Per a VCTI statement, "In this highly competitive auction process, the caliber of the analysis on prospective markets, in particular understanding the interplay of cost to deploy with fiber or with fixed wireless and effect on bid weighting and revenue potential, is critical in developing bids that will have the highest probability of success and profitability."

The RDOF Planning Service is built on the VCTI NOCPlan platform, an automated planning tool that compares different architectures and deployment options by accurately optimizing plans by cost, speed and throughput.

Network design efficiencies are analyzed to uncover the best methods to reach performance targets with optimized investment in fiber, towers, and equipment. Integrated, optimized fixed wireless and fiber plans that deliver the best possible speeds to the most households are disclosed so that broadband service providers can expand addressable markets.

"Nothing in our past has exposed the digital divide as has the recent pandemic. Funding through the FCC's RDOF is paramount to expanding broadband infrastructure to rural communities," commented Raj Singh, CEO, VCTI. "The RDOF Planning Service gives broadband service providers the analytics needed to develop successful bids with confidence."

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