FCC Wraps Up CAF II

Says $1.5 billion per year is spoken for
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The FCC says that, in total, ten carriers accepted $1.5 billion per year in Connect America Fund II (CAF II) Universal Service Fund broadband subsidies to build out service to high-cost areas.

Getting the most money by far were CenturyLink and AT&T. Others taking the money were Cincinnati Bell, Consolidated, Fairpoint, Frontier, Hawaiian Telecom, Micronesian Telecom, Verizon and Windstream.

In all, says the FCC, 7.3 million consumers in 45 states (and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands) stand to benefit from the buildout, part of the FCC's migration of Universal Service funds from traditional phone service to broadband.

Not all the money was used by the price cap carriers. The remainder will be available for competitive bidding by competitors including cable operators, rate-of-return carriers, satellite companies and others.

Verizon only put in for 46.5 million and is only subject to "the issuance and acceptance of regulatory approvals for Frontier’s proposed acquisition of all the ownership interests of certain Verizon subsidiaries, including Verizon California Inc. (Verizon California) and GTE Southwest Incorporated d/b/a Verizon Southwest (Verizon Texas) by December 31, 2015."

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