Broadband Outreach Comes Up Short

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The FCC has handed out large sums of money to carriers promising to deliver broadband services across the United States. As reported by Ars Technica, Frontier Communications and CenturyLink received federal funds, but have fallen short on delivery goals. 

Although both providers could ultimately meet service goals, both admit they are not currently on pace.

CenturyLink informed the FCC that it’s meeting expectations in 10 states, but “may not have reached the deployment milestone” in 23 others. Frontier reports success in 16 states, but admits to coming up short in 13 others. 

Both carriers were among the first ISP’s to put their hands up for the FCC’s Connect America Fund auction back in 2015. Monies were awarded to providers who pledged to deploy internet service with speeds of at least 10 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream. The agreement reached with CenturyLink gave the company $505.7 million for six years of annual funding. In return, the telecom agreed to supply service to 1,174,142 homes and businesses across 33 states. Frontier reached a similar six year agreement, ultimately receiving $283.4 million for 29 states covering 774,000 households and businesses. 

While the exact completion percentages are not currently available, Frontier and CenturyLink have until March 1, to report their final numbers to the agency, according to  Ars Technica. Both telecoms claim progress close to, but still under 80 percent, in many states. Some waivers have been allowed, for example, when deadlines were not met by Frontier due to problems operating on tribal lands. 

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