Approximately 140K+ rural homes in across four states in the south have improved broadband access, due in part to Frontier CAF investments, the company reported yesterday. Impacted states include West Virginia, North and South Carolina, and Tennessee.
With 134K homes, West Virginia saw the bulk of these broadband improvements, according to Frontier. The Connect America Fund (CAF) directly funded new broadband expansion to 16,900 homes there, with an additional 117K households seeing improved broadband capability, according to a Frontier press release.
Frontier has taken a lot of heat in West Virginia regarding their service performance, post the 2010 Verizon acquisition, in which they acquired all of Verizon’s West Virginia landline properties and became the dominant telco in the state. Frontier faced a 2014 class action lawsuit in West Virginia over poor broadband performance.
These new upgrades provide speeds of up to 45 Mbps in the best case scenarios, although distance from Frontier facilities determines actual DSL based speeds. The upgrades impacted 35 counties in West Virginia.
“Through ongoing network investments, Frontier is providing broadband and faster speeds to residents throughout the 35 counties where the CAF investment has been made,” said Elena Kilpatrick, Frontier senior vice president of operations, in the press release. “We have been aggressively deploying and upgrading our broadband service and look forward to serving more local residents.”
Frontier CAF investments also occurred in North and South Carolina, and Tennessee, where new broadband service was made available to 3,400 households and 3,900 households received improved broadband capability. Frontier receives about $8.4 million in annual CAF support, which is slated to upgrade a total of 25K locations in these three states by 2020.
Frontier receives $331.5 million annually from the CAF program, a number that was significantly boosted thanks to its many Verizon property acquisitions.