Frontier Complains That Offering 10 Mbps is a Bridge Too Far
For years the FCC has doled out money to telcos to help them expand telecom services, historically then being quite lax in accurately tracking how (or even if) that money was spent
. Companies like Frontier have also taken oodles of funds on the state level for broadband deployment, and in West Virginia Frontier faced a recent scandal
after the telco was accused of using taxpayer money on useless, over-priced consultants and over-priced fiber builds that didn't help anyone not named Frontier.
Now Frontier is balking at a recent FCC rule change
for Connect America funding that raised the minimum acceptable deployment metric from 4 to 10 Mbps if you want taxpayer money to help fund your DSL upgrades. Frontier, however, insists offering 10 Mbps simply isn't possible:
"Any proposal to raise the CAF Phase II minimum speed obligations of broadband used for CAF Phase II from 4 Mbps download/1 Mbps upload (4/1/) to 10 Mbps download without any increase in funding or other change in terms is not economically feasible," wrote Kathleen Abernathy, executive vice president of External Affairs for Frontier, in a recent FCC filing. "The FCC's own USF budget does not provide adequate funding for a 10 Mbps ubiquitous deployment."
Perhaps if the FCC and state governments audited Frontier's history with taxpayer funds
they might be able to help Frontier come up with the funding they need? Frontier faces little competition in the lion's share of their markets, allowing the company to historically overcharge for slow service and lag on needed network upgrades.