CenturyLink adds service to rural areas
CenturyLink on Tuesday said that it expanded high-speed internet service to thousands of rural Colorado households as part of a government-supported plan to expand broadband access.
Approximately 28,000 households and businesses can now receive internet speeds between 10 mbps to 80 mbps in cities including Pagosa Springs West, Cortez and Durango.
Half of those households are in regions that qualified for government support because it’s expensive to build out broadband service there. Support comes from the Federal Communications Commission’s Connect America Fund.
Back in August 2015, CenturyLink said it accepted $26.5 million per year for six years as part of the Connect America Fund. In exchange, it must provide broadband service of at least 10 mbps for downloading and 1 mbps for uploading to 50,000 homes and businesses in certain rural areas. In Colorado, the company upgraded 150 wire centers near these rural areas to extend broadband.
“Through the construction of new fiber cable and upgrading additional existing facilities to rural wire centers across the state, more than 13,000 additional customer locations benefitted
from improved speeds, some reaching 80 mbps,” said CenturyLink spokesman Brandon Yergey. “Speeds vary based on distance limitations.”
CenturyLink also shared how many households in a few of the rural cities are benefiting from the broadband upgrade:
•Pagosa Springs West – 1,123
•Durango – 786
•Black Forest – 637
•Cortez – 608
•South Fork – 442
•Estes Park – 338
Colorado was just one state where CenturyLink received public funding to build out broadband in rural areas. In 2015, the company accepted $506 million annually over six years to deliver broadband service to 2.3 million rural households in 33 states nationwide.
The FCC required companies to build out 40 percent of the households by the end of 2017 and complete the build out by the end of 2020. CenturyLink said it is ahead of that goal.