The Benton Foundation reports…
Earlier this month, CenturyLink and Frontier updated the Federal Communications Commission on the companies’ progress deploying broadband service using support from the FCC’s Universal Service Fund. In 2015, both CenturyLink and Frontier accepted Connect America Fund (CAF) Phase II support to deploy broadband service. CenturyLink was to deploy service to over one million locations in 33 states; Frontier to over 774,000 locations in twenty-nine states. But the funds came with obligations to hit deployment milestones. CenturyLink now says it reached December 2018 in twenty-three states, but has not reached the deployment milestone in 11 states: Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Washington, and Wisconsin. Frontier met the milestone in 27 states, but hasn’t met the CAF Phase II sixty percent interim deployment milestone in Nebraska and New Mexico.
The obligation is to serve a certain number of locations broadband at the speed of 10 Mbps down and 1 Mbps up by a certain date.
And here’s what the letter from CenturyLink to the FCC says…
In August 2015, CenturyLink accepted Connect America Fund (CAF) Phase II support to deploy broadband service to over one million locations in thirty-three states. Using that support, CenturyLink has now enabled broadband service at speeds of at least 10/1 Mbps or higher to over 700,000 locations in CAF II census blocks in those states. This constitutes more than sixty percent of the company’s national CAF II commitment. On a state-by-state basis, CenturyLink’s current year-end data reflect that it met or exceeded the program’s December 31, 2018 interim broadband deployment milestone in twenty-three states.
At this point, however, the data also reflect that CenturyLink may not have reached the deployment milestone in some states. Thus, in accord with 47 C.F.R. § 54.320(d),1 CenturyLink provides this notice that, based on preliminary year-end data, it may not have met the CAF Phase II sixty-percent interim deployment milestone in eleven states. Those states are Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Washington, and Wisconsin.
CenturyLink continues its process to review, validate and confirm the data. By March 1, we will provide the vetted requisite information to the HUBB portal in accord with 47 C.F.R. § 54.316.
CenturyLink continues to deploy broadband to CAF II locations under the program, anticipates reaching the sixty-percent milestone in all thirty-three states soon, and remains committed to meeting its CAF II obligations. In accord with section 54.320(d), CenturyLink is also providing this notice to the Universal Service Administrative Company and to state commissions and relevant Tribal Governments in the impacted states. Please contact the undersigned with any questions regarding this notice.