Thursday, August 06, 2015

Windstream gets $175M to bring broadband to more than 800,000 rural customers in 17 states

Windstream "has accepted $174,895,478 in annual, ongoing support from the Connect America Fund to expand and support broadband for over 800,000 of its rural customers in 17 states," the Federal Communications Commission reported on Wednesday.

"The Connect America Fund support will enable Windstream to deliver broadband at speeds of at least 10 Mbps for downloads and 1 Mbps uploads to over 404,000 homes and businesses in its rural service areas nationwide where the cost of broadband deployment might otherwise be prohibitive." However, the FCC recently redefined high-speed broadband download as 25 Mbps, something the press release did not note.

States that will benefit are Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Texas. The largest statewide total, $28,867,807, goes to Iowa to support 44,930 homes.

"Under the rules for Connect America Fund Phase II, state-by-state support levels were generated using a new FCC cost model," Andrew Berg reports for Wireless Week. "Companies may accept the funding and related service obligations for its service area in each state. If a company declines an offer for a state, funding will be subject to a competitive process in which any eligible provider can bid to serve all or part of the area. Windstream has declined the statewide offer for New Mexico."

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