CenturyLink to Bring Broadband to 12,000 Rural Households
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Aug. 31, 2015
Julia Joy, 208-914-4188
CenturyLink to bring broadband to 12,000 rural households in Idaho
Company to accept Connect America Fund money
IDAHO – CenturyLink, Inc. (NYSE: CTL) announced today that it will bring high-speed Internet services to more than 12,000 rural households and businesses in Idaho by accepting the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)’s Connect America Fund (CAF) statewide offer in Idaho.
CenturyLink is accepting 33 CAF phase II statewide offers from the FCC to bring Internet service with speeds of at least 10 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload to approximately 1.2 million locations in FCC-designated, high-cost census blocks. The company is accepting a total of approximately $500 million a year for six years.
High-speed Internet access brings many benefits to rural communities, including economic development and better access to education and healthcare services such as distance learning and telemedicine.
“We’re pleased to help bridge the urban-rural digital divide by bringing high-speed broadband to more than 12,000 households and businesses in high-cost markets in Idaho,” said Brian Stading, CenturyLink West region president. “While CAF II funding does not address all markets in our footprint, our company investment for CAF II is significant, and we look forward to working closely with Idaho policymakers to find funding and deployment solutions for additional markets.”
Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter said: “The infrastructure necessary for a modern community used to be roads, bridges, water, sewer and gas lines. But today we know that high-speed Internet is just as essential. With this announcement, an Idaho company—CenturyLink—has been approved by the FCC to bridge the technological gaps and challenges in rural and remote areas of Idaho, bringing us closer and helping us realize the potential of all our communities.”
“Access to high-speed broadband continues to be one of the most challenging issues for a geographically diverse state like Idaho – especially in rural communities,” said Jeff Sayer, director of the Idaho Department of Commerce. “We are appreciative of CenturyLink’s efforts to include Idaho in a nationwide effort to connect our rural areas so they can continue to be thriving centers for business and education.”
Once CenturyLink’s initial CAF II six-year build-out plan is finalized over the coming months, construction is expected to begin in early 2016.
The FCC created the CAF program in 2011 to facilitate high-speed Internet access in high-cost locations by transitioning Universal Service Fund money that was supporting rural landline service to the build-out of broadband infrastructure in rural communities.
CenturyLink previously accepted approximately $75 million in CAF phase I interim, one-time support to bring broadband with 4 Mbps download speed to nearly 114,000 unserved rural locations.
CenturyLink, Inc. (NYSE: CTL) is a global communications, hosting, cloud and IT services company enabling millions of customers to transform their businesses and their lives through innovative technology solutions. CenturyLink offers network and data systems management, big data analytics and IT consulting, and operates more than 55 data centers in North America, Europe and Asia. The company provides broadband, voice, video, data and managed services over a robust 250,000-route-mile U.S. fiber network and a 300,000-route-mile international transport network. Visit CenturyLink.com for more information.