Windstream said today that it has met the latest milestones for 2019 Connect America Fund II broadband deployment. The company also said that it expects to complete all its CAF II deployment by December 31, which is the FCC deadline.
As of year-end 2019, Windstream had deployed broadband to 80% of its CAF II locations in each of 17 states for which it accepted funding. The company says that it will complete deployments to all its locations by the end of this year.
“Windstream is committed to bringing faster broadband speeds to our customers across rural America,” Jeff Small, president of Windstream’s consumer and small and midsize business segment, said in a press release. “The FCC’s Connect America Fund has played a vital role in the ongoing effort to deliver broadband service to rural areas where deployment would otherwise be cost prohibitive. Windstream continues to invest our own capital to expand broadband availability where it’s prudent to do so, and we look forward to participating in the FCC’s upcoming Rural Digital Opportunity Fund to reach even more of our customers.”
Windstream committed to deliver broadband to more than 404,000 locations across 17 states when it accepted $175 million in CAF II support back in 2015. Windstream rejected support for the state of New Mexico at the time.
Not all companies met their deadlines. Last week, Frontier and CenturyLink told the FCC that they wouldn’t do so. Frontier accepted funding in 29 states. Of these, it said that it had met or exceeded its targets in 16 states but, based on preliminary data, would miss in 13: Arizona, California, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin and West Virginia.
CenturyLink said it had met milestones in 10 states (the letter actually said it had done so in 2018, but that seems to have been a typo). It may not have met the obligations in 23 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.
The Windstream, Frontier and CenturyLink news came as the FCC approaches rule adoption for the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) that will replace CAF II