SUMMARY OF WINDSTREAM COMMENTS
The paramount goal of the Recovery Act’s broadband programs should be deployment toconsumers who lack access to broadband at speeds capable of supporting core services, such asremote conferencing, online banking, and distance education. Providing access to these servicescan transform how Americans work, play, are cared for and protected, and otherwise live theirlives. Furthermore, broadband deployment offers a critical foundation for construction of cutting-edge energy, health, education, and transportation services, as called for in the RecoveryAct.Together broadband providers, including Windstream, have invested many tens of billions of dollars to connect much of the Nation to broadband services. Congress, however,recognized that a subset of consumers are not able to benefit from this tremendous effort becauseof the high costs of reaching their areas. Provided by the Recovery Act, grants hold thesubstantial promise of altering the economic barriers blocking new investment in the mostremote and costly areas of the Nation to serve.Windstream’s recommendations are based on its significant experience in deployingbroadband to rural consumers. Windstream serves primarily rural regions, where often costs arehigh and subscriber density is low.
Yet Windstream has devoted hundreds of millions of dollarsto deploy broadband to 88 percent of its voice customers. Now more than one million of Windstream’s three million voice customers subscribe to broadband.Windstream, however, currently cannot make an economically rational case fordeploying to much of the remaining 12 percent of its voice customers who lack broadband
With an average subscriber density of approximately 20 access lines per square mile, Windstream offerstelecommunications services to approximately 3.0 million access lines across 16 states. Windstream’s annualcapital expenditures exceed $300 million, or approximately 10 percent of its annual revenues.