AT&T will accept nearly $3 billion in Phase II Connect America Funds (CAF), at a rate of $428 million per year over the next six years.
In exchange, the operator pledges to bring 10 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload broadband Internet service to 1.1 million new homes and businesses in its rural service areas. The funds accepted by AT&T cover broadband deployments across 18 states, with nearly a quarter of the annual support going into deployments in California and Texas.
AT&T will receive the second-largest amount of Phase II funding from the FCC. CenturyLink will be taking more than $500 million per year to support its own rural broadband deployments for 1.2 million new customers across 33 states.
In all, the FCC’s Phase II CAF awards total more than $1.5 billion in annual support and will support broadband for nearly 7.3 million rural customers in 45 states and one territory, the Northern Mariana Islands in the northwestern Pacific Ocean.
Among other carriers accepting the largest amount of support is Windstream and Frontier Communications.
Verizon—which is in the process of selling parts of its California, Florida and Texas wireline businesses to Frontier—conditionally accepts Phase II support for California and Texas provided it receives regulatory approval for the Frontier transaction.