In an FCC Order released yesterday, LNGS client TV Service, Inc. (TVS), an affiliate of Thacker-Grigsby Telephone Company in Kentucky, prevailed over a price cap telephone company’s attempt to draw federal subsidies to provide wireline broadband in an area where TVS already provides broadband service without federal subsidies.
The price cap company, Windstream Corporation, had asked the FCC to add 95 census blocks within the TVS service territory to the FCC’s initial list of areas in which Windstream could receive ongoing support under Phase II of the Connect America Fund program. Among other things, Windstream purported to show that there was no IP traffic or recent porting activity in those areas. In response, TVS made a detailed factual case and provided web-based advertising, customer bills, and a map of customer locations showing that the company provides broadband service in the areas in question. TVS also provided the results of speed tests showing that the company provides the requisite grade of service across its network. In addition, TVS argued that the IP traffic and porting activity studies referenced by Windstream lacked evidentiary value.
The FCC ruled entirely in TVS’s favor, finding that TVS provides broadband service in each of the areas claimed by Windstream. As part of its ruling, the FCC granted a request by TVS to waive the requirement that a census block have current or former broadband customers in order to qualify as “served”, finding that TVS provided ample evidence of its ability to provide broadband service in a timely manner in all of the challenged areas.