English: Frontier Communications logo at Frontier Building Rochester, New York (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL), Frontier Communications and TDS, three telcos that have a long heritage of serving Tier 2 and Tier 3 markets, are taking diverging paths on what they think about the FCC‘s passing of new rules to reclassify broadband service under Title II of the 1934 Communications Act and Section 706 of the 1996 Telecommunications Act.
Serving as the third largest ILEC that serves a mix of both large metros down to rural markets, CenturyLink has taken a similar stance as its larger ILEC brothers AT&T (NYSE: T) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ), saying that the new order could have achieved its goals without a new source of regulation. Continue reading
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Windom, Minn. — Dan Olsen, who runs the municipal broadband service in Windom, was just about to leave work for the night when he got a call. The muckety-mucks at Fortune Transportation, a trucking company on the outskirts of town, were considering shuttering their office and leaving the area.
“They said, Dan, you need to get your butt out here now,” Olsen recalls. “I got there and they said, ‘You need to build fiber out here. What would it take for you to do it?'”
Fortune, which employs 47 people in the town of 4,600, two and a half hours southwest of the Twin Cities, relies on plenty of high-tech gadgetry. Broadband Internet access figures into how the company bids for jobs, communicates with road-bound truckers, controls the temperatures in its refrigerated trucks and remotely views its office in Roswell, New Mexico. Fortune even uses the Internet to monitor where and to what extent drivers fill their gas tanks in order to save money.
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Rural CSP Frontier Communications plans to spend $40 million to expand broadband in Illinois in 2011. This move is part of Frontier’s goal to provide 85% of its Illinois customers with broadband by 2013.
Frontier recently acquired $8.6 billion in wireline assets from Verizon, and now provides service to 670,000 phone and Internet customers in primarily rural Illinois. The $40 million investment in represents a three-fold increase over Verizon’s investment plan for the region.