Impending FCC funding reduction will hamper goal to offer higher speeds and build quickly.
HUDSON OAKS, Texas – Nextlink Internet, one of the fastest growing rural internet service providers in the U.S., announces that it is almost 2 years ahead of schedule in its FCC CAF II broadband network construction.
Nextlink was supposed to be 40% complete with its $281 million CAF II program construction, but has in fact built 70% of its required locations across six states. This builds on its 50% completion rate announced in August 2022.
Nextlink has also been rolling out 5x the network speeds required of CAF II program participants, and has been planning to increase speeds to 10x CAF II program requirements in many CAF areas.
However, FCC funding reductions could imperil these advances.
“Doing better for rural residents is in our DNA,” said Bill Baker, Founder and CEO. “Our mission since the company’s founding has been to provide excellent connectivity and customer service to rural areas that have been left without for far too long. But our deployment plans will be hampered by a funding reduction due to circumstances outside of our control.”
Nextlink currently has a 4.8 out of 5 star customer satisfaction rating on Google, and provides internet service to over 90,000 customers across seven states and has grown to nearly 1000 employees with over 40 field offices. In 2021, Nextlink was voted WISPA’s Operator of the Year and has also been awarded Fastest Fixed Wireless Provider and Top Internet Speeds in Texas by Broadbandnow.com.
“Because there are fewer locations in our rural footprint than the FCC originally projected, we are at risk of facing a funding reduction of over $21 million,” said Claude Aiken, Chief Strategy Officer. “Our build costs have increased beyond original projections due to inflation, and the funding reduction will slow our construction and hamper our goal to offer higher speeds in many CAF areas.”
Nextlink has filed a petition with the FCC to allow the carrier to achieve its goals of completing CAF construction quickly and significantly exceeding program speed goals.
“Growing up in rural Texas, I saw how important modern services were to the vitality of rural communities,” said Bill Baker. “I am hopeful that we will be able to continue to rapidly build out our CAF areas with service that greatly exceeds FCC benchmarks. Rural residents should not have to continue to wait for excellent broadband service
About Nextlink Internet
Nextlink Internet is a rural-focused provider of high-speed internet and phone services, investing over $1 billion in unserved and underserved communities with its fiber and wireless infrastructure. As an active participant in public-private partnerships to close the digital divide, Nextlink is working to rapidly connect millions of homes, businesses, and anchor institutions in rural areas and small communities across 11 states. For more information visit: nextlinkinternet.com.