Windstream, a privately held communications and software company, has submitted its application to receive $523 million over 10 years in the FCC’s Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) Phase I auction to bring fiber-to-the-home internet services to almost 200,000 locations in 18 states.
“This is an exciting expansion of our long-term fiber build plans, enabling us to bring gigabit-speed broadband to rural communities that would have been too expensive to serve without a public-private partnership,” said Jeff Small, president of Windstream’s Kinetic business unit.
Small also announced that Windstream has fully met its obligations under RDOF’s predecessor program, known as Connect America Fund Phase II (CAF II). CAF II began in 2015 and helped the company bring a minimum of 10/1 Mbps speeds to over 400,000 rural homes across 17 states.
“Windstream completed our CAF II projects by the December 2020 deadline, underscoring our commitment to serve rural America and to act as a good steward of the public dollars entrusted to us,” Small said.
With CAF II winding down, RDOF Phase I targets wholly unserved census blocks, defined as those blocks where no location receives 25/3 Mbps broadband.
Separately, Windstream is embarking on a nearly $2 billion initiative to continue expanding its fiber footprint and gigabit services.
Windstream Holdings is a privately held communications and software company. Windstream offers managed communications services, including SD-WAN and UCaaS, and high-capacity bandwidth and transport services to businesses across the U.S.
The company also provides premium broadband, entertainment and security services through an enhanced fiber network and 5G fixed wireless service to consumers and small and midsize businesses primarily in rural areas in 18 states.