Windstream will double the areas in which its 100 Mbps Kinetic Internet service is available by the end of the first quarter, the company says. By the end of March, Windstream broadband availability at the 100 Mbps speed level will reach 30% in the company’s 18-state local service territory.
The Connect America Fund will play a key role in financing the expansion. “Windstream understands that premium internet speeds are critical to families and businesses in rural America, and we are systematically enhancing our network to meet that urgent demand,” Jeff Small, the president of the company’s consumer and small and medium-sized business segment, said in a press release. “Network upgrades are expensive, especially in rural areas where there are relatively few customers, so Windstream is using a combination of its own capital and crucial support from the FCC’s Connect America Fund to make faster speeds more widely available. Without support from the Connect America Fund, many of these projects simply would not be economically feasible.”
Windstream Broadband Availability
The company reported that upgrades made last year increased the portion of Windstream’s footprint with access to speeds of at least 50 Mbps to 40%. That number had been 33% at the beginning of the year. The portion of Windstream’s local service territory with access to at least 25 Mbps was at 60% at the end of 2018. It had been 55% at the beginning of 2018.
Windstream is using a variety of technologies to accomplish its network upgrades, including fixed wireless and fiber to the premises. President and CEO Tony Thomas said last week that the company is getting 100 Mbps speeds using fixed wireless in the 3.5 GHz band and expects to reach Gigabit speeds when it introduces millimeter spectrum. This performance makes far more expensive and cumbersome copper infrastructure “irrelevant,” Thomas said.
Windstream is putting a lot into the Kinetic initiative. Also last week, the company said that it will bring 1 Gbps Kinetic service to about 100,000 commercial locations across 16 states early this year.