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Uncle Sam Helps Frontier Reach Unserved Users
$71.9 Million to Wire 92,000 Unserved Homes
by Karl Bode 08:39AM Wednesday Jul 11 2012
While AT&T and Verizon appear more than happy to bleed off DSL users they don't want to pay to upgrade while they focus on wireless, smaller telcos certainly don't have that option. The nation's smaller telcos like Frontier, Fairpoint, Windstream and CenturyLink all face landline customer erosion and constant user defections to faster cable options, with many users fortunate to get 3 Mbps downstream. Frontier Communications, whose service isn't exactly known for cutting edge speeds, appears to be the first of these telcos to get help from the government's Connect America fund. According to a Frontier press release (hat tip to Telecompetitor), the telco will be subsidized $775 per line to bring DSL to roughly 92,000 households:
Frontier Communications’ ongoing commitment to deploying broadband services to rural America will accelerate with the acceptance of $71.9 million from the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Connect America Fund (CAF). The funds present Frontier with an opportunity to expand its commitment to deploying and enhancing broadband connectivity in underserved or unserved areas. By accepting this funding, Frontier has pledged to provide broadband service to an additional 92,876 households covering more than half of the 27 states it serves, ensuring rural customers in states such as Michigan, Oregon, Washington and West Virginia have access to broadband connectivity.
The problem, of course, is that we've been throwing subsidies at the phone companies for a generation, with the government quite often failing utterly when it comes to making sure this money is used as intended. The result has been the exact situation we're in now: marginally competitive-companies providing marginally-modern connections. Back in the Spring, the FCC pledged $300 million to telcos who were willing to agree to deploy to underserved customers. Other companies, like Windstream or Fairpoint, have until later this month to indicate whether they'd like to participate in this program.

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Los Angeles, CA

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reply to Mike

Re: USF?

said by Mike:

Regardless it's DSL. No one cares about copper anymore. Fiber or go home.

Try living on satellite internet. You'll be begging for a 1.5 Mbps DSL in no time.