NextLink receives FCC funding and will help close the digital divide in rural America.
NextLink has been awarded $281.3 million by the FCC over a 10-year period which will fund the initiation of high-speed Internet and voice services to underserved rural communities across six states in the Central U.S. Those funds, officially initiated in July, will fuel the infrastructure, personnel and offices needed to service these rural communities.
Bill Baker, co-founder and CEO of Nextlink says, “We are part of a group of extremely talented internet service providers who responded to the FCC’s Connect America Program and we have been entrusted with the tremendously important responsibility of bringing quality internet service to underserved rural communities. We’re honored and ready to dive in and help the FCC achieve this critical mission,” Baker explained.
As part of its requirements, NextLink will deploy service within six years to more than 100,000 homes and businesses in rural areas of Texas, Oklahoma, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska.
“We will continue to build upon the foundation we have established in Texas and Oklahoma and simultaneously work in the other states to address each one’s specific needs and priorities. When we look back 5 years from now, I know my team will be extremely proud to see the role they played in changing the digital landscape in those communities just as we have done in our current service area,” Baker added.
Baker believes NextLink’s business model, with an intense focus on market-leading service quality and customer service experience, will continue to translate to market success across the CAF service area.
The FCC requires Nextlink and fellow CAF 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.
“This rural broadband initiative is essential to America’s economic success and the Nextlink team certainly plans to beat the deployment timeline requirements by a wide margin,” Baker said.
About Connect America
The Connect America Fund Phase II auction dubbed CAF2, utilizes market dynamics to ensure higher performance and capital efficiency through a highly competitive reverse auction process.
About Nextlink Internet
Founded in 2012, Nextlink Internet is an Internet Service Provider (ISP) delivering high speed internet and voice services in Texas and Oklahoma to residential, business, school district 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.