FairPoint has completed a broadband expansion project targeting 50 Vermont towns that will serve more than 18,300 locations, reflecting another step in fulfilling its build out requirements set by the FCC’s CAF-II program.
By completing these projects, the service provider is bringing up to 15 Mbps DSL speeds in rural areas – some of which have never had any broadband connection.
In 2015, FairPoint accepted $37.4 million in CAF-II funding, enabling it to build network infrastructure that will bring 10/1 Mbps and higher broadband services to nearly 105,000 locations in 14 states.
Utilizing CAF funding, in combination with its own direct investments, FairPoint completed broadband upgrade projects in various towns such as Arlington, Fairfield, Searsburg and others throughout the state.
Since this is a copper-based DSL service, the projects completed at these locations in Vermont will now qualify these households get up to 15 Mbps for downloads based on the distance from the customer location to FairPoint’s DSLAM equipment.
Paul Sunu, CEO of FairPoint, told investors during its third quarter earnings call that the service provider was on track with meeting its CAF-II commitments for next year.
“We are on schedule, if not ahead of pace of our CAF II build target for 2017,” Sunu said during the earnings call, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript. “And we continue to enhance the network to reduce future incidence of trouble.”
Over the past eight years, FairPoint has invested more than $900 million in its networks infrastructure and technology to bring broadband to northern New England, including building thousands of miles of new fiber optic network across the region. The service provider currently has more than 17,000 miles of fiber in its Northern New England region.
By completing these CAF-II builds, FairPoint will be able to help offset the broadband losses it suffered during the third quarter.
Similar to AT&T and CenturyLink, FairPoint has made an effort to attract more quality customers, but that shift has caused near-term churn in its third quarter broadband results. In the third quarter, FairPoint lost 1,893 broadband subscribers, ending the quarter with a total of 309,547 subscribers, down from 311,400.