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Windstream seeks FCC support to expand gigabit broadband

Jeff Small - Kinetoc Windstream 16.9.jpg

Communications and software company Windstream has submitted its application to receive $523 million over 10 years in the FCC’s Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) Phase I auction.

The company says it will use the funds to deliver fibre-to-the-home internet services to almost 200,000 locations across 18 states.

“This is an exciting expansion of our long-term fibre build plans, enabling us to bring gigabit-speed broadband to rural communities that would have been too expensive to serve without a public-private partnership,” said Jeff Small (pictured), president of Windstream’s kinetic business unit.

Small also confirmed that Windstream has met its obligations under RDOF’s predecessor program, known as Connect America Fund Phase II (CAF II). CAF II began in 2015 and helped the company bring a minimum of 10Mbps speeds to over 400,000 rural homes across 17 states.

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“Windstream completed our CAF II projects by the December 2020 deadline, underscoring our commitment to serve rural America and to act as a good steward of the public dollars entrusted to us,” added Small.

With CAF II winding down, RDOF Phase I targets wholly unserved census blocks, defined as those blocks where no location receives 25Mbps broadband.

Aligned with this news, Windstream is also launching a nearly $2 billion initiative to continue expanding its fibre footprint and gigabit services.

In related news, December saw Windstream Wholesale completed the expansion of its high-capacity fibre route from Salt Lake City to Portland and Seattle.

The new route connects the Pacific Northwest to the rest of Windstream’s nationwide network and paves the way for Windstream's expansion into the landing station in Oregon's tech hub, Hillsboro, which is expected to be completed in Q1 of 2021.

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