Rise Broadband gets $16.9M in CAF II funding; TDS deploys FTTH in New Hampshire

More wireline news from across the Web:

> Rise Broadband was awarded $16.9 million from the FCC to offer broadband in rural areas of Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska and Texas.  Denver Post article

> Alpheus Communications expanded its fiber network in Texas. Release

> Adtran bundled VNF capabilities into a suite of services to provide more flexibility and efficiency for service providers.  Release

> TDS Telecom deployed FTTH services to several cities in New Hampshire. Release

> C Spire Wireless will use Equinox Information Systems' TeleLink usage analytics solution to provide analytics on the company's usage data. Release

Wireless News

> Lenovo and HTC both said they will cut jobs as they seek to increase profitability. Article

> Sprint parent SoftBank bought around $87 million more shares in the carrier, a sign of confidence that SoftBank is standing behind Sprint as the company continues its turnaround push. Article

> Analysts are divided over whether or not AT&T's wireless business will see any material benefit from bundling DirecTV services with AT&T's wireless plans. Article

WirelessTech News

> Google has been testing its drone delivery program in U.S. airspace and plans further tests in rural California after striking a deal with NASA, according to a Guardian report. Article

> Verizon Telematics expanded its relationship with Mercedes-Benz, saying the mbrace Connect platform will be offered complimentary for five years in all model 2016 and newer Mercedes-Benz vehicles.  Article

Cable News

> AT&T said it plans to stop investing in its U-verse CPE platform and will instead use a "derivative" of DirecTV's in-home equipment to create a new, in-home TV product. Article

> Comcast and its NBCUniversal division have pulled the trigger on plans to become more involved in digital media, investing an additional $200 million in Vox Media. Article

And finally … A UK man played two rival British phone companies against each other to vie for his subscription and won a year of free pizza.  Article