Frontier finds fewer eligible targets for CAF-II buildouts than predicted

As Frontier Communications moves forward with building out broadband service into hard-to-reach rural areas leveraging funds from the FCC's Connect America Fund (CAF-II), the service provider is finding discrepancies in the amount of eligible targets in seven of the states where it accepted funding.

In June 2015, Frontier announced it would accept $283 million in CAF-II funding, which it said will enable it to build out broadband service to over 650,000 rural locations that it could not economically reach before due to their remote nature.

Earlier, Frontier joined fellow telcos CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL), Fairpoint Communications and Windstream when it accepted $133 million of CAF-I funding, complemented by its own capital, to deploy or upgrade broadband service to nearly 200,000 locations.

When it issued its Phase II Report and Order in December 2014, the FCC told all of the funding applicants like Frontier that there "could be variance between the number of model determined locations in eligible census blocks and the actual number of locations."

Further, the FCC said that there could be a number of places in its initial model where it predicted more locations in eligible census blocks in a particular state than actually exist.

Frontier told the FCC in a filing that it has found fewer locations than predicted in seven states: Arizona, Connecticut, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico and New York.

"Based on these findings, Frontier requests that the Bureau adjust Frontier's location targets in these states to the actual number of locations in eligible census blocks as Frontier indicates above," Frontier said in an FCC filing. "In accordance with the Order, upon adjustment of these location targets, associated funding levels in these states would be adjusted on a pro rata basis."

For more:
- see the FCC filing (PDF)

Special report: AT&T, Frontier, others accept $1.5B in CAF-II funding despite FCC's changing broadband definition

Related articles:
Frontier will use CAF-II funding to expand broadband in acquired Verizon territories
Frontier takes $283M in Connect America Funding to bring broadband to 650,000 unserved sites

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