The ground in the southern half of the U.S. doesn’t freeze solid during the winter, unlike what has already occurred in the northern states—and fortunately for Windstream, some of its service areas targeted for broadband stimulus projects are on the southern side of the line.

Windstream last week announced it has begun construction on stimulus projects near Harrison, Ark. and near Stilwell, Okla. The Harrison project is targeted to make broadband available to approximately 320 customers and the Stilwell project is expected to bring the service to approximately 1,360 customers.

Windstream was the largest single recipient of broadband stimulus grants from the Rural Utilities Service, winning grants totaling $181.3 million for projects in 13 states. The grants cover 75% of the cost of installing broadband, with Windstream investing the remaining 25%, a total of $60.4 million.

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According to the release about the Arkansas project, Windstream now has begun stimulus work in 12 of the 13 states where it received funding, and multiple projects are underway in most states. Telecompetitor previously covered Windstream project launches in several states, including Mississippi, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Florida, South Carolina and Missouri.

Typically Windstream focuses on one small project when it announces the commencement of work in a state – and the Arkansas announcement was no exception. In the Harrison, Ark. area project, Windstream is upgrading four miles of fiber optic cable and equipment – a project with a total cost of $340,000.

The Stilwell, Okla. area project is larger. There, the company is upgrading about 56 miles of fiber optic cable in a project valued at $2.3 million.

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