The Federal Communications Commission recently released the results of its Connect America Fund Phase II auction, and Camarillo-based telecom GeoLinks says it received a total of $87.8 million to expand rural internet service in California and Nevada.
The company says it was the largest auction winner in California and fifth-largest winner in the nation overall.
“GeoLinks’ founding mission is to close the U.S. digital divide,” company co-founder and CEO Skyler Ditchfield said in a news release. “With this promise of capital from the FCC, GeoLinks will be able to further expand our network into rural areas of both California and Nevada, ultimately providing more than 11,000 rural locations with Internet at 100 megabits per second. We are excited that this new infrastructure will also reduce the cost of bringing high speed broadband access to anchor institutions such as schools, libraries, hospitals and community colleges.”
According to GeoLinks, a total of 103 providers ultimately won support in the auction to expand broadband across 45 states. The funding, which will be distributed over the next 10 years, is intended to connect 53 percent of rural homes and businesses with broadband download speeds of at least 100 megabits per second. Nineteen percent are intended to have gigabit service available. And 711,389 locations — all but 0.25% — will have at least 25 Mbps service available.
Melissa Slawson, GeoLinks’ general counsel and vice president of government affairs and education, said: “As part of its efforts to promote ubiquitous broadband access for all Americans, the FCC created the CAF II auction to enable Internet service providers to build and maintain infrastructure in unserved areas throughout the U.S. I am elated to see that a capable company of our size was granted substantial funding to further propel our mission connect rural California, Nevada, and beyond.”
Ranked in 2017 and 2018 as one of Inc. Magazine’s fastest-growing companies in America on the Inc. 5000, GeoLinks says it delivers enterprise-grade internet, digital voice, SD-WAN, cloud on-ramping, Layer 2 transport, and both public and private turnkey network construction.