Frontier has extended broadband service to over 275,000 households across California, using a mix of its own capital and the FCC's Connect America Fund Phase II program funding.
In all, the service provider can now offer broadband service in 200 neighborhoods in about 100 cities and communities in 15 California counties. These households include over 39,000 CAF-designated locations in Frontier's service area that now have access to broadband with speeds of at least 10/1 Mbps—nearly half of its planned 90,000 locations statewide, which exceeds the CAF program's 2017 deployment milestone of 40%.
Frontier said that this CAF deployment also enables higher-speed service to thousands more nearby households, with speeds up to 115 Mbps to some locations. Since these connections are over the telco’s copper network, the speeds will vary depending on the physical distance from Frontier's nearest central office (CO) or remote terminal (RT) facilities.
In California, the service provider is leveraging $32 million in CAF-II funding annually over the next six years for broadband deployment in high-cost service areas. During this six-year period, Frontier forecasts that CAF-II funding could enable it to bring 10/1 Mbps broadband service to nearly 77,000 rural locations within this territory.
Besides its CAF deployment, Frontier—with private investment and grants from the California Advanced Services Fund—is expanding broadband service statewide, including service at speeds of 25 Mbps, to at least 100,000 additional households by year end 2017. The service provider said details of these deployments will be reported to state regulators in coming months.
However, the service provider has not provided details about more remote areas that the funding will address such as Modoc, Shasta, Lassen, Plumas, Siskiyou, and Tehama, California.
Under the terms of an agreement Frontier made with the California Public Utilities Commission to purchase Verizon's wireline networks in the state in 2015, Frontier is required to either upgrade or extend new service to 827,000 Californian locations by 2022.
Frontier's CAF-II share—$38 million per year for six years—is making broadband available to households in some of the most remote and sparsely populated parts of the state, from the Mojave Desert to the mountains of Northern California. These are locations where it is economically unfeasible to deploy broadband infrastructure without funding from the FCC.
Overall, Frontier has continued to make progress with its CAF-II build-out commitments.
Outside of California, Frontier expanded rural broadband availability in eight additional states in 2017, including Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin.
These states join Arizona, Connecticut, Georgia, Montana, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Washington and West Virginia as having reached the 40% milestone set by the FCC under the CAF-II program.