Windstream Holdings of Little Rock, a privately held communications and software company, announced Monday that it will receive $523 million over 10 years to help bring its Kinetic fiber-to-the-home internet service to approximately 193,000 locations in 18 states.
The funding comes from the FCC’s Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, and Windstream’s plans to use it to deliver 1-gigabit-per-second broadband to some of its most rural customers.
Construction has begun in 16 states.
“As the pandemic demonstrated, robust broadband has become an essential service as more and more of the nation’s economy moves online, and public-private partnerships are essential to making it available in the most rural areas of America,” President and CEO Tony Thomas said in a news release. “That’s why Windstream is participating in network expansion partnerships at the federal, state and local levels to deliver future-proof fiber broadband connectivity to our customers, and we have a strong track record of meeting our commitments.”
Windstream had already announced public-private partnerships in Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, New Mexico and Pennsylvania. In Arkansas, it has been awarded more than $56 million in grants through the Arkansas Rural Broadband Connect program for broadband projects in 11 counties.
The company said it will announce more partnerships in the future.
Separately, Windstream said, it has launched a $2 billion initiative to continue expanding its fiber footprint and gigabit services to more than two million homes and businesses in areas where there is an economically feasible business case to do so.