FairPoint gets on the broadband grant train

FairPoint may continue to struggle with operational and financial issues in its New England markets, but the service provider believes it could help extend broadband access to regions that have little, if any, broadband service. The beleaguered service provider last week applied for $38 million in federal grants to enhance broadband service capabilities in the region. To date, FairPoint has filed five applications in New England in the first of three rounds of the $7.4 billion Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP) and Broadband Technology Opportunity Program (BTOP).

FairPoint asked for specific denominations in each of its New England states. For its Maine and New Hampshire, Fairpoint applied for two grants in each state, while in Vermont it filed one application. In Maine, the service provider applied for grants of $9.8 million grant to improve service in its Aroostook County market and $5.9 million to upgrade its Washington County regions. In New Hampshire it applied for both a $9.4 million grant for its Coos County properties and $1.4 million in funding grant for its Grafton County regions. Finally, in Vermont FairPoint applied for a $7.3 million grant to expand service in the state's Essex and Caledonia counties.

"The citizens and businesses throughout northern New England have been waiting a long time for an affordable broadband Internet connection. These grants would enable the building of the next generation network to more rural and less populated areas where construction and deployment costs are very high - areas we are eager to serve," said Peter Nixon, president of FairPoint, in a press release.

In addition to New England, FairPoint applied for $900,000 and $1 million grants in its Missouri and Northern Florida markets respectively.

For more:
- here's the official company release

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