Windstream (NASDAQ:WIN) has been awarded approximately $2.2 million in high-cost support by the Nebraska Public Service Commission to expand access to its Kinetic Internet service in 13 of its exchanges in the state.
Support from the Nebraska Universal Service Fund (NUSF) is intended to help make broadband deployment possible in rural areas that would not otherwise be economically feasible.
"Windstream is excited to partner with the Nebraska Public Service Commission to deliver high-speed broadband to more than 1,500 additional locations across the state," said Brad Hedrick, president of Windstream operations in Nebraska. "We understand that faster Internet speeds are critical to our customers throughout Nebraska, and we are continuously enhancing our network to meet that need."
"I'm pleased to see the universal service fund doing what we've designed it to do, provide access to Internet services in the unserved and underserved areas of our state," said District 3 Commissioner Tim Schram. "Now Windstream customers in these 13 exchanges can look forward to receiving high-speed Internet access."
Windstream plans to use the NUSF support along with more than $590,000 of its own capital to undertake 18 separate projects in rural areas within 13 of its local exchanges where broadband is non-existent or extremely limited.
Windstream plans to deploy fiber-optic cable and electronic hardware to deliver a minimum of 10 Mbps downstream with 1 Mbps upstream to all of the project locations. In addition, up to 80% of customers in the project areas should have access to 25 Mbps to 100 Mbps downstream (3 Mbps to 10 Mbps upstream), depending on their distance from the fiber-fed hardware. The work is expected to be completed by mid-2019.
The exchanges are:
- Cedar Bluffs
- Hickman (This project includes a limited number of fiber-to-the-premises deployments designed to deliver 1 Gbps service.)
Note: Exchange boundaries are typically larger than municipal boundaries and include additional communities.