Windstream Weighs Broadband Stimulus Involvement

VON’s business & regulatory editor Kelly Teal recently interviewed Mike Rhoda, Windstream’s senior vice president of government affairs, about the uncertainties and benefits of applying for stimulus money.  

The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) started accepting applications for the $2.5 billion in loans it’s overseeing, and the National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA) is preparing for the anticipated flood of requests for the $4.7 billion in grants it’s handling.  The idea of grants appeals much more to Windstream; the loans have to be repaid and it’s hard to justify buildouts in remote regions if there’s no guarantee of return on investment.  But because Windstream is a rural LEC that’s received RUS financing before, it must first apply through that agency.

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