Frontier will use CAF II funding to expand broadband in acquired Verizon territories

When Frontier completes its acquisition of Verizon's (NYSE: VZ) assets in California, Florida and Texas, the service provider will leverage its eligible funding from the Connect America Fund's second phase (CAF II) to bring broadband services to underserved areas of California and Texas.

In June, Frontier announced that it had accepted $283 million annually in CAF II support from the FCC to deploy broadband to more than 650,000 high-cost rural locations throughout its current 28-state service area.

"If Frontier is able to obtain regulatory approvals for the Transaction prior to December 31, 2015, it will utilize available funding for broadband deployment in the high cost areas within the Transferring Companies' territories," Frontier wrote in an FCC filing.

In California, the service provider plans to use $32 million in CAF II funding annually over the next six years for broadband deployment in Verizon 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.

Likewise in Texas, Frontier has accepted $16.5 million in CAF II funding. This would allow the telco to bring broadband services to nearly 37,000 locations in high-cost areas.

Besides the CAF II funds, Frontier will use other available funding programs, including the California Advanced Services Fund, to expand broadband availability.

To serve these remote customers, Frontier will use a mix of VDSL2 and ADSL2+ with copper bonding, with DSLAMs connected with fiber to a ROADM-based middle mile network, to backhaul traffic. Being primarily copper-based connections, the actual speeds each subscriber gets will depend on their distance from the nearest CO (central office) or RT (remote terminal) housing the necessary last mile network electronics.

At this point Frontier has not developed a specific broadband expansion plan for the areas it will enter into as a result of the Verizon acquisition, but it expects the CAF II projects to be its initial focus.

"Although Frontier has not yet formulated detailed plans for enhancing broadband deployment and services in the Transferring Companies' service areas, it anticipates that it will start with the CAF Phase II projects, which would result in significant builds in both California and Texas," wrote Frontier in the FCC filing.

For more:
- see this FCC filing (.pdf)

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