FairPoint gets $2M CAF grant to extend broadband service in Vermont

FairPoint Communications (Nasdaq: FRP) is expanding the availability of its broadband service thanks to a $2 million grant from the Federal Communications Commission's Connect America Fund (CAF).

The service provider plans to extend broadband service in 53 Vermont towns that are deemed "unserved" or don't have any broadband access.

Set to be completed over the next three years, FairPoint estimates it will bring broadband DSL service to almost 7,100 locations with 2,600 qualifying for CAF funding. During the build out period, it said that a "third of the communities would come online each year."

"With this latest project, FairPoint will have invested almost $100 million for broadband across Vermont since 2008," Mike Smith, Vermont state president for FairPoint, said in a release announcing the new initiative.

Vermont has been a major focus of the service provider's broadband ambitions lately. Last month, FairPoint announced that it allocated allocated $6.6 million to extend broadband DSL service to 19 rural communities in Vermont.

Besides Vermont, the CAF funding will enable the telco to bring broadband services to South China, Maine.  

FairPoint is the latest service provider to secure an FCC CAF grant. Earlier this month, fellow rural ILEC Frontier Communications (Nasdaq: FTR) secured a $72 million CAF grant from the FCC to expand broadband throughout its respective service territories.

For more:
- see the FairPoint release

Related articles:
FairPoint plans to enable 19 Vt. towns with broadband DSL service
Frontier secures $72M Connect America loan to expand broadband reach
FCC opens $300M fund to boost rural broadband access
Rural telco groups want the FCC to rethink its USF reform program

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