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AT&T, Verizon Decline Connect America Subsidies
As Their Interest in DSL and Rural Markets Disappears Entirely
by Karl Bode 12:04PM Wednesday Jul 25 2012
The FCC's Connect America Fund gives phone companies significant subsidies if they agree to expand their broadband services into under-served areas, though hopefullly the FCC can dole out the funds without forgetting to track how the money is spent -- something that has historically been a problem for the agency. Yesterday was the deadline for telcos to sign up for the subsidies, and while companies like Frontier have agreed to take $72 million to wire an additional 92,000 homes, Telecompetitor directs our attention to the fact that AT&T and Verizon have declned participating. Both companies only vaguely stated they wouldn't be participating in the plan because the money wasn't substantial enough and they already have plans for these areas:
Two of those carriers – AT&T and Verizon – yesterday declined all of the funding they had been offered. In a letter to the FCC shared with Telecompetitor, AT&T — which was offered $47.8 million — said it is “optimistic” about its ability to get more broadband into rural areas, “particularly as the technology continues to advance.” But the company said it could not commit to participate in the program until it finalizes that strategy. Verizon, which operates largely in the densely populated Northeast, was offered $19.7 million. The company’s letter to the FCC did not cite a specific reason for the decision, other than noting that the amount of money involved was “relatively small.”
Of course as we've been exploring, Verizon and AT&T don't want subsidies to wire rural markets -- because they are retreating rapidly from wires. Both companies have made it very clear they're willing to watch most of their DSL users flee to cable so they can focus on more profitable LTE. While LTE is expected to cover a lot of rural America, there is expected to be more than a few areas where copper is eliminated but LTE still won't reach -- actually creating more connectivity gaps in 2012 as we try to create fewer.

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Ai Otsukaholic

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And who would run it, the gov't which mismanages and bankrupts everything they touch?



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