Frontier Communications, a Fortune 500 local exchange carrier, serves primarily rural subscribers, the group least likely to have access to broadband. But now, thanks to the FCC's Connect America Fund (CAF), Frontier will have an additional $71.9 million to deploy and enhance "broadband connectivity in underserved or unserved areas."
According to Frontier Vice President Kathleen Quinn Abernathy:
"The CAF program directly supports broadband infrastructure, a critical first step to offering services to the high-cost, rural parts of our nation. This support will supplement the more than $1.5 billion of private investment made by Frontier over the last two years to deploy an advanced communications network to rural America."
The Connect America Fund was officially launched this past April, said FCC Chairman Genachowski, to "help connect every American to the jobs and economic growth that high-speed Internet provides." CAF will be redirecting some of the $8 billion Universal Service Fund to build-out and improve broadband to under-served customers.
With the $71.9 million, Frontier is planning to extend broadband to some 93,000 customers in 27 states. And, the company is simultaneously planning to increase broadband speeds to "3 megabits per second (Mbps) in at least 85% of households by the end of 2013."
In many areas of country, Frontier is an employer of union labor, and has contracts with the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Speed Matters supports both the FCC and Frontier Communications in this latest expansion.
Frontier Communications to Extend Broadband Deployment to Rural America with FCC's Connect America Fund (Business Wire release, Jul. 9, 2012)
Statement of FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski on the launch of the new "Connect America Fund" (FCC news release, April 25, 2012)
Frontier to Expand in Rural Areas (Zacks Research, Jul. 10, 2012)