Updated 12:30 pm ET October 30
Charter Communications told the Maine Connectivity Authority (MCA) last week that it would decline a $6.9 million rural broadband award announced in April, according to MCA. The agency posted a note on its website about that last week, which was the basis for Telecompetitor’s initial reporting on this topic.
Telecompetitor heard from MCA this morning that Charter has indicated that it will accept a compromise about the Affordable Connectivity Fund requirements for Maine’s Reach Me broadband grant program.
“I’m happy to confirm that discussions with Charter are ongoing, with anticipated resolution of agreed-upon terms, especially as it pertains to affordable service,” Maine broadband director Andrew Butcher told Telecompetitor around noon ET today.
The MCA website was updated after this post was published this morning to reflect the update.
Maine’s Reach Me program covers some of the costs of deploying high-speed broadband to remote areas of a provider’s service territory. Charter was the biggest winner in the program.
At issue is a program rule that requires funding recipients to offer a service priced at $30 so that low-income customers on the FCC Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) can get service for free after their monthly $30 subsidy is applied.
Over 2,000 homes will be impacted by Charter’s decision, MCA said.
Charter, which uses the brand name Spectrum for its broadband service, did not immediately respond to a request for a statement about this.
The $6.9 million in funding that Charter won in Maine’s Reach Me program is a drop in the bucket in comparison with the total amount of rural broadband funding the company has won over the last few years. As of July, the company had won $700 million in funding since the 2018 RDOF program, in which Charter won over $1 billion for rural buildouts.