On January 22 and 23, NRECA members Curtis Wynn (Roanoke Electric Cooperative), Glenn Martin (Carolina Connect) and Mike Keyser (BARC Electric Cooperative) met separately with FCC Commissioner Carr (Ex Parte Letter
), Commissioner Starks (Ex Parte Letter
), the rural broadband advisor for Chairman Pai (Ex Parte Letter
) and wireline advisor for Commissioner O'Rielly (Ex Parte Letter
) about ensuring the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) reverse auction properly incentivizes investment in high-speed networks that will meet the needs of rural communities for decades. NRECA expressed strong support for the clearing round proposal which will award support to the bidder building the highest speed network once the bids are below the FCC set budget for each census block group. NRECA expressed concern with the burdensome letter of credit proposal and added an additional bidding tier at 50/5 Mbps. Failure to properly prioritize highspeed networks well above the Minimum Performance Tier (25/3) will result in "antiquated" networks at the end of the ten-year RDOF funding period. NRECA also recommended modification of the letter of credit requirements in the draft order.