Five Carriers Form ‘Invest in Broadband for America’ Coalition

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invest in broadbandOn July 7, CenturyLink, Inc., Cincinnati Bell, Inc., Consolidated Communications, Inc., FairPoint Communications, Inc. and Frontier Communications announced they have formed the “Invest in Broadband for America” coalition.

A statement on the coalition’s website, InvestInBroadband.org, said that the purpose of the group is to “preserve critical network infrastructure and competition in the business broadband market.”

The five companies together operate data and fiber transport networks in all 50 states and provide dedicated connections or “special access” to competitors who need to reach fiber networks to market competing telecom services.  

Perhaps a prompt for the formation was the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) proposed regulations on the special access market and incumbent providers. The coalition, along with AT&T Inc., have filed a motion to strike the “irretrievably flawed” data framework underlying the FCC’s recent business broadband services proposal.

Kathleen Quinn Abernathy, Frontier Senior Vice President, External Affairs, said in the statement: “It appears much of the FCC’s plan for new regulation of broadband services is for the purpose of subsidizing undefined 5G technology for the wireless industry. This is the same wireless industry that increasingly relies on our robust fiber build-out to move data traffic from smartphones to the public network and has as much as 10 times the earnings of the wireline industry. Without investment into the backhaul infrastructure by the wireline industry, the future of 5G technology could be rendered useless.”

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