March 09, 2021 — LITTLE ROCK, Ark.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Windstream, a privately held communications and software company, has submitted its application to receive $43 million over 10 years in the FCC’s Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) Phase I auction to bring fiber-to-the-home internet services to more than 15,700 locations in Kentucky.
“This is an exciting opportunity to further expand our fiber network in Kentucky, enabling us to bring gigabit-speed broadband to rural communities that would have been too expensive to serve without a public-private partnership,” said Stephanie Bell, Windstream’s vice president of state government affairs in Kentucky.
RDOF Phase I targets wholly unserved census blocks, defined as those blocks where no location receives 25/3 Mbps broadband.
Windstream received RDOF support for broadband deployment projects in parts of 59 counties in Kentucky.
Bell noted Windstream invested almost $47 million in 2020 to expand broadband access in Kentucky. Almost 92,000 locations had access to gig speeds at the end of 2020, while almost 479,400 locations had access to 25 Mbps or more.
“Partnerships are the key to deploying high-speed broadband in rural areas where the cost of deploying a fiber network would otherwise be prohibitive,” Bell said. “That’s why Windstream is actively seeking partnerships with communities and electric co-ops across Kentucky to accelerate fiber deployment and the related benefits for our customers.”