Frontier Communications spent much of 2017 tackling the digital divide, deploying rural broadband and reaching Connecting America Fund II (CAF) milestones in eight more states.
Most recently, Frontier rolled out services in Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin. They join Arizona, Connecticut, Georgia, Montana, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Washington and West Virginia as states with deployment in 40% of eligible locations, which Frontier was required to hit by year-end under the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) CAF II program.
The service provider has moved quickly.
"The Connect America Fund or CAF II program requires companies that accepted funds to deploy broadband to 40% of eligible locations by the end of 2017," said R. Perley McBride, chief financial officer at Frontier Communications Corp. (NYSE: FTR), during the provider's third-quarter earnings call on Oct. 31, adding that its goal is to pass 277,000 locations in its CAF II eligible areas by the end of 2020.
CAF is designed to encourage providers to deliver voice and broadband to unserved and underserved regions of the United States. Operators receive funds to build new or upgrade existing networks, the FCC said.
Nationwide, Frontier currently provides broadband to more than 331,000 residential and small-business customers in CAF-eligible areas; it's also improved speeds to over 875,000 more homes and businesses, the company said, through a combination of CAF and Frontier capital funds. Many newly served locations can receive speeds of 25Mbps or greater.
— Alison Diana, Editor, UBB2020. Follow us on Twitter @UBB2020 or @alisoncdiana.