LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Windstream has begun construction of its first broadband stimulus project in Missouri. The work near Myrtle is being funded in part by a federal grant under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
The stimulus grants were designed to bring broadband to sparsely populated and remote areas where extending high-speed Internet service is cost prohibitive without a public-private partnership.
“This is a good day for Windstream and our customers in the Myrtle area,” said Dwight Thompson, Windstream’s local manager. “This project will expand our broadband network in the Myrtle area and make a high-speed Internet connection available to approximately 200 potential customers.”
Broadband access to the Internet gives users a powerful tool for education, commerce and entertainment.
Nationally, Windstream was the largest single recipient of broadband stimulus grants awarded on a competitive basis by the U.S. Agriculture Department’s Rural Utilities Service.
Windstream won grants totaling $181.3 million for projects in 13 states, including Missouri. The grants cover 75 percent of the cost of installing broadband. Windstream will invest the remaining 25 percent, a total of $60.4 million.
In the state of Missouri, the grant totals $10.3 million, and Windstream’s investment is $3.4 million.
In the Myrtle area, the project involves upgrading Windstream’s existing network with about 20 miles of fiber optic cable as well as electronic equipment. It will give customers access to the Internet at speeds of at least 6 Mbps.
Construction is expected to be completed in late December and the new broadband service should be available to Windstream customers in mid-February.
Windstream Corp. (NYSE:WIN, news, filings), headquartered in Little Rock, Ark., is an S&P 500 communications and technology solutions provider with operations in 29 states and the District of Columbia and about $4 billion in annual revenues. Windstream provides IP-based voice and data services, MPLS networking, data center and managed hosting services and communication systems to businesses and government agencies. The company also delivers broadband, digital phone and high-definition TV services to residential customers primarily located in rural areas and operates a local and long-haul fiber network spanning approximately 60,000 route miles. For more information about Windstream, visit www.windstream.com.
Scott Morris, 501-748-5342