Verizon turns down second round of CAF Phase I funding

Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) once again turned down a Phase I Connect America Fund (CAF) award from the FCC to expand broadband services into rural areas. The service provider did not cite a specific reason for its refusal. 

"Verizon has carefully considered the option of accepting the support available to the Verizon incumbent local exchange carriers under this program," the telco wrote in a letter to the FCC. "However, we have determined that Verizon will decline 2013 funding for CAF Phase I."

Both Verizon and fellow RBOC AT&T (NYSE: T) turned down the funding when the FCC made it available last year. While Verizon did not provide a specific reason for turning down the money this time, it previously said that the $19.7 million it was offered in the first round of CAF Phase I was "relatively small."

AT&T took a different turn this time around, saying this week it would accept $100 million after the FCC changed the rules on how the funds could be spent.

The FCC will provide a total of over $385 million in funds to expand broadband to "unserved" areas. Through this fund, the regulator said it will enable service providers to provide 4/1 Mbps broadband service to 600,000 homes and small businesses.

Other telcos that have accepted the second round of CAF Phase I funding include CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL), FairPoint Communications (Nasdaq: FRP), Frontier Communications (Nasdaq: FTR), Puerto Rico Telephone Company, and Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN).

For more:
- see Verizon's letter (.pdf)

Related articles:
AT&T, Verizon pass on FCC's Connect America Fund phase 1 funding
Windstream accepts $60.4M in CAF I funds for rural broadband extension
Frontier applies for $71.5M in CAF Phase I rural broadband funding
CenturyLink gets $35M in FCC CAF funding for broadband expansion

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