CenturyLink has announced that the company intends to take $3 billion in government subsidies to shore up the company's broadband network gaps. According to the CenturyLink announcement, the telco will take $500 million a year for six years from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)'s Connect America Fund (CAF). In exchange, it will expand broadband to approximately 1.2 million rural households and businesses in 33 states.
While the FCC now defines broadband as 25 Mbps down, these subsidies require that the deployed services be able to provide speeds of at least 10 Mbps down.
"Our acceptance of the CAF II funding continues our commitment to further bridge the urban-rural digital divide by bringing high-speed broadband to households and businesses in many of CenturyLink's most rural markets," CenturyLink said.
CenturyLink also nabbed $75 million in phase one of CAF funding, which at the time required the telco to deploy speeds of at least 4 Mbps to under-served regions. The telco says its CAF II six-year build-out plan should be finalized over the next few months, and the expansion of DSL services is slated to begin in early 2016.
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