Charter Communications is expanding its broadband network, launching a multi-year, multi-billion-dollar expansion in its current services areas and in territory acquired through the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Phase 1 auction.
Charter plans to invest $5 million in the project, offset by $1.2 billion from the RDOF auction.
In addition to improvements in its current network, the project will provide gigabit high-speed broadband to about 1 million underserved customers in 24 states including Alabama. The customer number is based on Federal Communications Commission estimates.
“The network Charter will build in these rural areas will offer 1 Gbps high–speed broadband access to all newly served customer locations with starting speeds of 200 Mbps, enabling consumers to engage in remote learning, work, telemedicine and other applications that require high-bandwidth, low-latency connectivity,” Charter said in announcing the project.
“The pandemic has further highlighted the need for broadband availability and adoption and Charter is committed to furthering its efforts as part of the comprehensive solution needed to address these challenges,” said Tom Rutledge, chairman and CEO of Charter Communications, which is based in Connecticut. “As Americans across the country increasingly rely on broadband to work, learn, access healthcare and stay in touch with family and loved ones, bringing broadband access to more unserved areas should be a priority for all stakeholders.
A quick buildout depends in part on Charter’s ability to piggyback on current infrastructure in place to support other utilities, the company says.
Charter says it plans to hire about 2,000 workers for the rural buildout.
In addition to Alabama, the new rural service will be provided in California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.