Nextlink Internet Wins Largest Connect America Fund II (CAF) Award
from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Totaling $281 Million Over Next Decade
Funds Will Be Used To Bring High-Speed Internet Services To America’s Rural Heartland
FORT WORTH, TEXAS, September 10, 2018 – Texas-based Nextlink Internet today announced it has won the largest share of the FCC’s $1.98 billion rural broadband program which will bring high-speed Internet and voice services to underserved rural communities.
Bill Baker, co-founder and CEO of Nextlink says, “We are excited to participate in the FCC’s mission to close the digital divide in rural communities across the U.S. We, alongside other CAF-enabled providers, will use these funds to bring desperately needed Internet services to rural parts of America who frankly, have been left out of our digital economy,” Baker explained. Baker believes the company’s business model with an intense focus on market-leading service quality and the customer service experience will continue to translate to market success across the CAF area. According to a recent FCC press release, “53 percent of all homes and businesses served with support from the auction will have broadband available with download speeds of at least 100 megabits per second.”
Nextlink’s Senior Vice President of Strategy and Regulatory Affairs, Ted Osborn, explains the significance. “Rural communities have been left behind due to the economic challenges of offering affordable high-speed internet across low-density markets. The FCC has taken a giant leap forward to bring cost-efficient funding for universal service, and Nextlink is prepared to bridge the divide across our nation’s agricultural heartland.” Osborn adds, “Imagine a small business which can fulfill an order faster than before or a student who can now actually utilize information from the internet for their studies and homework. We find it tremendously satisfying to help bring a renewal of economic development to rural communities.”
The FCC requires Nextlink and fellow providers to build out to 40 percent of the assigned homes and businesses within three years of becoming authorized to receive support. Buildout must increase by 20 percent in each subsequent year until complete buildout is reached by the end of the sixth year. “We have an accelerated plan to not just meet the FCC’s six-year buildout requirement but exceed it. We plan on investing over $100 million in the first four years of this buildout effort,” says Baker. “It’s an exciting time for our company. Since we began in 2012, we have been refining our business model while not losing sight of what’s really important to us, company culture and customer service. As a rurally focused, small business, we understand this issue. We understand rural communities and their internet needs. We’re ready to execute on the FCC program requirements and look forward to working with the commission to fulfill the goals of their innovative program,” Baker says.
About Connect America
The Connect America Fund Phase II auction dubbed Auction 903, utilizes market dynamics to ensure higher performance and capital efficiency through a highly competitive process. The Fund is supported by rate-payers instead of tax appropriations.
About Nextlink Internet
Nextlink Internet is an Internet Service Provider (ISP) delivering high-speed internet and voice services throughout North and Central Texas and Oklahoma to residential, business and government customers. The company utilizes fixed wireless and fiber optic technologies to deliver voice and data services to rural communities. Nextlink is ranked as one of the fastest growing privately held companies by the Inc. 5000.
Contact: Amy Power
The Power Group