LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Windstream has begun construction of its first broadband stimulus project in Texas. The work in Garrison is being funded in part by a federal grant under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
The stimulus grants were designed to bring broadband to sparsely populated and remote areas where extending high-speed Internet service is cost prohibitive without a public-private partnership.
“This is an exciting day for Windstream and our customers in the Garrison area,” said Bruce Bailey, Windstream’s local manager. “Our broadband network already reaches every area that was cost-effective, and now we will be able to extend it to some of the most rural parts of the Garrison telephone exchange.”
Broadband access to the Internet gives users a powerful tool for education, commerce and entertainment.
Nationally, Windstream was the largest single recipient of broadband stimulus grants awarded on a competitive basis by the U.S. Agriculture Department’s Rural Utilities Service.
Windstream won grants totaling $181.3 million for projects in 13 states, including Texas. The grants cover 75 percent of the cost of installing broadband. Windstream will invest the remaining 25 percent, a total of $60.4 million.
In the state of Texas, the grant totals more than $1.6 million, and Windstream’s investment is almost $538,000.
In Garrison, the project involves upgrading Windstream’s existing network with 11 miles of fiber optic cable as well as electronic equipment. It will reach approximately 200 potential customers.
Construction is expected to be completed in late September, and the new broadband service should be available to Windstream customers by late October.
Windstream Corp. (Nasdaq: WIN), headquartered in Little Rock, Ark., is an S&P 500 communications and technology solutions provider with operations in 29 states and the District of Columbia and about $4 billion in annual revenues. Windstream provides IP-based voice and data services, MPLS networking, data center and managed hosting services and communication systems to businesses and government agencies. The company also delivers broadband, digital phone and high-definition TV services to residential customers primarily located in rural areas and operates a local and long-haul fiber network spanning approximately 60,000 route miles. For more information about Windstream, visit www.windstream.com