SAFFORD, Ariz., July 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- CenturyLink, Inc. (NYSE:CTL, news, filings) announced today that it will accept $35 million from the Federal Communications Commission's Connect America Fund (CAF) to deploy broadband service to 45,000 homes in unserved rural areas in multiple states. In Arizona, the company will receive approximately $500,000 in CAF Phase I funding to bring broadband service to more than 600 homes.
CenturyLink was eligible for nearly $90 million in CAF Phase I funding. However, restrictions on the use of the CAF 1 funds made further deployment uneconomic.
"CenturyLink is excited to be able to work with the FCC to bring broadband services to thousands of homes for the first time. In addition to the incremental CAF funding, we are investing millions of dollars of our own money to bring robust broadband services to more customers because we believe these services will bring essential educational and economic opportunities to high-cost, rural areas of the country," said Steve Davis, CenturyLink executive vice president for public policy and government relations.
"We are disappointed that restrictions on the use of these funds will not allow us to deploy rural broadband services to the extent we had originally anticipated," Davis said. "However, we share the FCC's overall goal of deploying needed facilities in high-cost areas where reliable and affordable broadband service is not available. Therefore, we will continue working with the FCC to find ways to efficiently and effectively use additional CAF 1 funds to provide broadband services to our rural customers."
"CenturyLink is a broadband leader in Arizona and we'v e made significant investments here within the last several years. However, we still face deployment challenges in some of our unserved, high-cost areas," said Terry Beeler, CenturyLink's region president for the Southwest Region. "We are excited that if the FCC waiver is granted, we will be able to invest a total of $13.7 million over the next three years in Arizona. This investment reflects not only the federal support, but also a significant matching investment from CenturyLink for unserved markets in Arizona. We believe this funding will enable us to bring broadband to as many as 17,000 households in unserved, rural areas of Arizona. This investment will play a significant role in Arizona's broadband future. CenturyLink shares the FCC's goal of bringing broadband services to consumers, businesses and anchor institutions that will improve education, telemedicine and economic development in our local communities."
CenturyLink has filed a waiver application which, if granted, would allow it to deploy broadband services to approximately 60,000 more homes nationally in high-cost areas where reliable and affordable service is currently not available. This waiver has been supported by the Washington Public Service Commission, the Minnesota Department of Commerce and other state agencies.
CenturyLink is the third largest telecommunications company in the United States. The company provides broadband, voice, wireless and managed services to consumers and businesses across the country. It also offers advanced entertainment services under the CenturyLink™ Prism™ TV and DIRECTV® brands. In addition, the company provides data, voice and managed services to enterprise, government and wholesale customers in local, national and select international markets through its high-quality advanced fiber optic network and multiple data centers. CenturyLink is recognized as a leader in the network services market by key technology industry analyst firms, and is a global leader in cloud infrastructure and hosted IT solutions for enterprises through Savvis, a CenturyLink company. CenturyLink's customers range from Fortune 500 companies in some of the country's largest cities to families living in rural America. Headquartered in Monroe, La., CenturyLink is an S&P 500 company and is included among the Fortune 500 list of America's largest corporations. For more information, visit www.centurylink.com.
SOURCE CenturyLink, Inc.
For further information: Cherla Ramsey, +1-928-428-1178, Cherla.Ramsey@CenturyLink.com