WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Large and mid-sized carriers announced plans this week to accept $386 million of the $485 million in Connect America Fund (CAF) subsidies to build out broadband to unserved and underserved locations in their service territories. Among the group are USTelecom members Windstream, which committed to $123.9 million; AT&T, $100 million; CenturyLink, $54 million; FairPoint, $3.3 million; Hawaiian Telcom, $1 million and ACS, $173,800. CenturyLink announced it is investing an additional $54 million of its own money to add to the CAF investment. The investment will extend broadband to 600,000 new homes and small businesses, according to the Federal Communications Commission.
“We take pride in our industry’s commitment to connect unserved and underserved areas with robust broadband by accepting this funding”
The funding comes on the heels of a recent government report highlighting a continuing gap between urban and rural broadband deployment, particularly with respect to higher speed services. Growth in basic availability is slow since it is very costly to service the small portion of homes not already served. This is why the Federal Communications Commission created the Connect America Fund to attempt to bridge this gap.
“We take pride in our industry’s commitment to connect unserved and underserved areas with robust broadband by accepting this funding,” said USTelecom President Walter McCormick. “The FCC is to be commended for designing a well-constructed and strategically targeted program -- the carriers making these investments serve over 80 percent of the 18 million Americans with no access to broadband service. As the FCC has observed, this program is one of the most significant public-private efforts in history to ensure that every American home and business has access to broadband. We are pleased our members are a part of this important effort.”
The United States Telecom Association, USTelecom, is the premier broadband trade association representing service providers and suppliers for the telecom industry. USTelecom represents companies offering a wide range of advanced telecommunications services including voice, video and data over local exchange, long distance, wireless, Internet and cable platforms.