Verizon, AT&T Decline Broadband Connect America Funding: Two of those carriers – AT&T and Verizon – yesterday declined all of the funding they had been offered. In a letter to the FCC shared with Telecompetitor, AT&T — which was offered $47.8 million — said it is “optimistic” about its ability to get more broadband into rural areas, “particularly as the technology continues to advance.” But the company said it could not commit to participate in the program until it finalizes that strategy.
One year ago, the big incumbent telcos urged the FCC to reform the Universal Service Fund with standards that would effectively subsidize deployment of first generation DSL service introduced more than a decade ago. Now that the USF has been reformed into the Connect America Fund along the lines of what they wanted, they're saying thanks but no thanks to the subsidies. Most likely because the legacy DSL standards the telcos proposed last year were already outdated by a decade or more -- and now look even more obsolete and unable to keep up with burgeoning bandwidth needs.