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Windstream Wants $238 Million In Taxpayer Funds
Says in exchange they'll bring DSL to 93% of their footprint
by Karl Bode 09:51AM Tuesday Mar 30 2010
Many of the bigger carriers ignored the first round of broadband stimulus funding because they generally prefer their taxpayer dollars without any pesky restrictions. After lobbying to have the rules weakened, we're not surprisingly seeing major carriers change their tune on applying for funds. Last week we noted that Qwest was going to apply for $350 million in federal stimulus funds to help them deploy VDSL. That's an ironic move given Qwest would be using taxpayer funds to deploy DSL -- after a long history of suing cities for trying to use taxpayer funds to deploy fiber.

Windstream Communications also now appears interested in the latest round of stimulus funds. According to a Windstream press release, the company has applied for $238 million to expand what sounds like ADS2+ into a larger number of markets. According to Windstream, they'd combine the $238 million with $80 million of their own funds to improve service to about 500,000 homes and 80,000 businesses. The company says the push would allow them to deliver DSL to 93% of their 3 million voice line customers, up from 89% currently:
Windstream would expand its fiber network by more than 7,000 miles and install additional equipment in its facilities to expand and enhance broadband service to about 500,000 homes and 80,000 businesses within 320 exchanges under the project. If approved, the project would enable Windstream to make high-speed Internet available to 93 percent of Windstream�s three million voice lines, up from 89 percent currently. Maximum speeds for the stimulus project areas would range from 6 Mbps to 12 Mbps.
Like Qwest of course, Windstream lacks a wireless division to buoy revenues, making next-generation upgrades and pleasing investors not something that's easy to do simultaneously.

topics flat nest 
Jacksonville, FL

Can't have it both ways

We want Telecom USA to be a true public utility, provide access to all, but then we don't want them raising rates to pay for it, no below the line fees to pay for the infrastructure required.

Telecom USA says they can be a public utility, but if you won't let us raise rates or make us remove below the line fees, then please provide some sort of subsidy so we can provide updated services to everyone.

If you tell us to compete with other services like muni fiber or cable companies, then we want the right to pick our customers as we see fit so that we don't have to invest in low profit areas (like rural).

Problem is today, Consumer USA wants them to be BOTH.

We want to have competition, but we also want them to act as a public utility as well. So they lobby and push back and if they can't get it through our phone bills, they will get it through our Congress, through our 1040.

I Void Warranties

Billings, MT

Re: Can't have it both ways

Actually, technically, our tax dollars is what built the power grid and phone companies.

So *WE* actually own the network, but they'll never admit to it.

Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Tulsa, OK
Bassackwards. Telecom USA wants guaranteed profits. They want their geographic footprint to be largely free of pesky competition and kept safe and locked in by Government rules. They want captive consumers who have little choice but to buy their products on their terms and make them fat and happy capitalists.

At the same time, they want the Government to provide subsidies, handouts, and tax incentives to pay for costs of building out.... Of course this infrastructure will remain their property and competition will be locked out (no open access.) It's win win win all around for them, and lose lose win for consumers (lose on choices, competition, decent prices, and as a taxpayer, but win as getting some DSL finally over nothing previously..)

And then they want to live happily every after, bending over their Captive Consumer base.

Telecom USA isn't content with good profits and some money. They want mega profits and massive tons of money. They even want it so once you're paying them to access the Internet, they can charge Internet companies (Ie Google) for access to YOU. (Net Neutrality.) Greed knows no bounds.

Consumers and taxpayers get the shaft.
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini
Jacksonville, FL

1 edit

Re: Can't have it both ways

Edited out
Jacksonville, FL
"They want captive consumers who have little choice but to buy their products on their terms and make them fat and happy capitalists."

Agree with the first part.

Capitalists by definition don't pursue exclusive markets (though it would make any capitalist happy to have one) but prefer to have a unique product or service that differentiates them in the marketplace.

While Telecom USA is capital intensive, in the past regulators have allowed them to recover their cost of capital through pricing. With more choices in the marketplace now, regulators have begun to force the carriers to find their own cost of capital in the markets, not through price controls. However, we (consumers through our regulators) still demand that Telecom USA provide a public utility, which conflicts with market based pricing.

We get in umbrage when a carrier quotes a DSL connection to a rural location in several hundreds (sometimes thousands) of dollars, but don't bat an eye when they provide $5 off a month on DSL in a better served area.

While no one is happy Verizon is selling off rural assets (RMT are a rip off IMHO), technically, they are doing what a true capitalist would due in a competitive, market based economy....shedding non-core, low or 'no profit' service areas.

Basically Verizon is saying, "we are not a public utility". Any lobbying by Verizon to subsidize infrastructure should be rejected outright.

Bill Dollar

New York, NY

Show me the plan

Reading between the lines, they are asking for $238M (spending $318M) to serve 580,000 premises, but only 120,000 of these are currently unserved. This means, under the NTIA program rules, the other 460,000 have to fall in the "underserved" category. The question is, are those 460,000 truly underserved (i.e. only option is crappy slow DSL), or is there some limited cable competition?

Port Byron, NY

Re: Show me the plan

hey sounds better to me then giving all over our money to haitians and chileians

Beverly Hills, CA
Of course lets face it. These guys have all the "dinero" in the world to fork out Fiber to the home. I mean, its soooo cheap!

Because the promise of 10Mbps for most ADSL2+ customers is just not enough....

Maybe Cuba has better download speeds.

Grinnell, IA

Re: Show me the plan

They might (will) be in Iowa soon. However, they will not win me over with 768k of upload. These phone companies need to wake up and realize that 5 years from now DSL will be and is starting to be like dial up today. There download rate tops where Mediacom starts as well. (Normal Service)



1 recommendation

The average arm chair quarterback at BBR would tell you that anything less than 10Gig-E is under served.

Hazelwood, MO

Re: Show me the plan

said by battleop:

The average arm chair quarterback at BBR would tell you that anything less than 10Gig-E is under served.
Your snide remark shows shear stupidity. As the "average arm chair quarterback at BBR" is a professional consumer and whether your average stock jockey corporate kiss ass likes it or not ultimately it is us professionals you must make happy.

Besides, nowhere within BBR does the average person make any where near the claim you use so sarcastically.



1 recommendation

Re: Show me the plan

You fail miserably at understanding my comment.

I start new work on
Granite City, IL
·AT&T Midwest
·Google Voice
said by battleop:

The average arm chair quarterback at BBR would tell you that anything less than 10Gig-E is under served.
LOL.... so true!



Give them the money!

Give them the money! I have Windstream and I'm too far to get fast ADSL. I have 512k dsl which pathetically slow. An upgrade would be nice!

Homer Glen, IL

$238 million?


Oh man, they are funny, but seriously though, windstream don't quit your day job.

Next thing you know Comcast is going to purchase a public broadcasting stati....
Oh crap, we are so screwed.


Glendale, CA


rofl that's a lot of money for shitty windstream with their amazing upload speeds that blow our minds away. As said, DSL is slowly fading away.
The Internet is about to go down....it is actually.