Windstream said this week that it upgraded high-speed broadband connectivity to approximately 1.3 million locations last year. The company also noted that this represented the fulfillment of three goals for the year: Expanding the Kinetic Business 1-Gig Fiber Internet to 100,000 business locations, deploying the fiber Kinetic Internet to 100,000 homes and in other ways boosting speeds to an addition 1.1 million locations.
“Windstream carried its high-speed Kinetic Internet to more homes and businesses in 2019, empowering our rural communities with greater access to the digital economy and enhanced entertainment such as 4K streaming across multiple screens at home,” Jeff Small, the president of the company’s consumer and small and midsize business segment, said in a press release. The Kinetic Internet service grew two years in a row, with a net addition of more than 28,000 customers last year.
Windstream High-Speed Broadband
The company invested about $400 million to make the growth possible. Windstream also invested in fixed wireless, cable Internet and in other broadband technologies. Speeds provided to subscribers now range from 25 Mbps to 300 Mbps, with most upgraded locations in the 100 Mbps range or higher.
It should be noted that the growth occurred in the shadow of a bankruptcy filing. Last February, Windstream opted for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code after the courts sided with Aurelius Capital’s involving Windstream’s 2015 real estate investment trust spinoff. prohibited. Shortly thereafter, Windstream received $1 billion in debtor-in-possession financing that it said would permit it to meet its “operational needs and continue operating its business as usual.”
Also in February, a Windstream high-speed broadband expansion was completed that doubled the availability of the 100 Mbps Kinetic Internet Service. At that point, 34% of households in the provider’s footprint got the higher speed.
Four months later – in May – Windstream said that it will use 5G spectrum it won in the millimeter wave auction to support fixed wireless service at speeds as fast as 1 Gbps. The company said at the time that it would use fixed wireless to support gigabit service to 5 million households. Significantly, 2 million of these were to be outside its local service footprint.
In July, the company said that it had 102 fixed wireless sites operational in 26 Iowa markets – and had plans to add more than 100 more. The company’s fixed wireless service, made possible in part by funding from the Connect America Fund (CAF) program, offers speeds in excess of 100 Mbps.