Windstream has accepted $175 million annually in federal funding for seven years to expand broadband service to approximately 400,000 rural locations in 17 states.
The Federal Communications Commission said the funding would enable Windstream to support more than 404,000 homes and businesses in rural America. Under the Connect America Fund program, Windstream must deliver download speeds of at least 10 Mbps and upload speeds of 1 Mbps.
Iowa will benefit the most ($28.7 million in subsidies), followed by Georgia ($24.9 million), Kentucky ($21.6 million) and Texas ($21.3 million). Alabama is receiving the lowest amount of funds ($511,038).
“This ongoing support supplements Windstream’s substantial network investments, enabling us to continue service in many high-cost areas and to offer new service to many others,” Windstream CEO and President Tony Thomas said.
The Little Rock, Arkansas-based telecom provider is using monies from Phase II of the Connect America Fund, the 2011 brainchild of the Federal Communications Commission.
“Over the next six years, Phase II of Connect America will provide more than $10 billion to expand broadband-capable networks throughout rural America nationwide, all without increasing the cost of the program to ratepayers,” the FCC said in a news release.
Many rural areas also are stricken with modest means. While the U.S. has made progress closing the broadband gap between the haves and have-nots, less than half of the poorest homes subscribe to Internet access, the White House said last month, citing an analysis released by President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors