Frontier applies for $71.5M in CAF Phase I rural broadband funding

Frontier Communications (Nasdaq: FTR) has asked the FCC for over $71.5 million from the Connect America Fund (CAF) as it looks to build out broadband service to an additional 119,000 households.

If it does get the funds, the telco said it would be able to extend broadband services to various underserved areas that are today too expensive to justify deploying network infrastructure.

Winning these additional funds will complement the $2.2 billion the service provider has already spent of its own capital since purchasing Verizon's rural lines in 2010 to increase broadband access and improve network infrastructure throughout its serving area.

Like CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL), FairPoint (Nasdaq: FRP), and Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), the telco also participated in the first round of the CAF program, accepting $71.9 million in funding to bring broadband services to about 92,000 new locations last July.

Through a mix of federal funding and its own capital, Frontier said it has increased average broadband penetration in its markets from as low as 62 percent to over 90 percent.

Following AT&T (NYSE: T) and CenturyLink, which applied for $100 million and $54 million, respectively, Frontier is the third largest telco to apply for CAF Phase I funding this week.

For more:
- see the release

Related articles:
AT&T, Verizon pass on FCC's Connect America Fund phase 1 funding
CenturyLink gets $35M in FCC CAF funding for broadband expansion
Frontier secures $72M Connect America loan to expand broadband reach
FairPoint gets $2M CAF grant to extend broadband service in Vermont