Rural Indiana

Charter hopes to complete its RDOF-funded rural broadband deployment ahead of time, said Chris Winfrey, Charter president and CEO, on today’s fourth quarter earnings call. The take rate in those areas is ahead of expectations, he said.

Charter made broadband available to 200,000 new rural locations in 2022, according to Winfrey.

The Charter rural take rate for “passings open at least six months” is “ahead of expectations at about 40%,” he said.

“Over time we expect our rural construction initiatives to be a significant contributor to our customer growth with attractive mid- to high-teens internal rates of return.”

Charter was one of the largest winners in the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) rural broadband program. Funding was awarded through a reverse auction, with funding for an area going to the company that committed to making service available to unserved locations for the lowest level of government support.

Charter won over $1 billion in the auction.

The company also won state and local broadband funding grants in 2022 and expects to win more this year, Winfrey said.

In December, Charter said it had applications for state and local funding pending for 300,000 locations.

BEAD Plans

Winfrey said Charter is likely to participate in the $42.5 billion Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) rural broadband funding program, but he added that the decision will hinge on program rules.

“The rules still haven’t been clarified,” he said. “They need to be right for us to invest and we think they will.”

He offered a status report, of sorts, on program progress.

“Once the maps are clarified and contested, there will be grants given out to the states. . . and states will have their own process in terms of how they allocate that,” he said. “Our outlook is dependent on the rules that get set, the timing of the allocation to the states and how the states distribute [funds].”

A replay of the earnings call webcast is available at this link.

Join the Conversation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Don’t Miss Any of Our Content

What’s happening with broadband and why is it important? Find out by subscribing to Telecompetitor’s newsletter today.

You have Successfully Subscribed!