CenturyLink and Frontier each received federal funding to expand their broadband networks in rural areas, but have reportedly failed to meet the requirements for that funding.
ARS Technica reported that CenturyLink notified the Federal Communications Commission that it “may not have reached the deployment milestone” in 23 states, meeting the requirement in only 10. Frontier also notified the FCC that it “may not have met” the requirements in 13 states, meeting the requirement in just 16.
The FCC Connect America Fund was designed to bring broadband to the entire country to improve education, health care, and person-to-person communication. Funding came from the Universal Service Fund which is paid for by telecommunications company fees.
According to the guidelines set for the Connect America Fund, funding recipients needed to reach 80% of funded locations by December 31, 2019 and need to reach 100% of funded locations by the end of 2020. Both CenturyLink and Frontier failed to meet the first of those two milestones.
In their letter, Frontier noted that they were given a waiver for some areas, due to “unforeseeable hurdles with tribal permitting and rights of way.” The letter also says that the company reached 70% of their locations. CenturyLink gave few details about their progress or reasons for not reaching end of the year goals.
CenturyLink and Frontier will have to report their final numbers to the FCC by March 1, 2020.
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