Mississippi regulator investigating AT&T’s use of Connect America Funds

A Mississippi Public Service Commissioner has issued an investigative subpoena to AT&T, requesting information on their use of nearly $300 million in Connect America Funds to deploy broadband to 133,000 locations in the state. The subpoena seeks the number of actual subscribers to AT&T’s fixed wireless service and the number of complaints by customers that AT&T was not able to serve them after the company claimed service was available in their area. The Connect America Fund (CAF) is an FCC program designed to subsidize the cost of voice and broadband deployment to unserved areas, especially rural areas where deployment costs are high.

“AT&T has taken $280,000,000 in federal funds designated for MS and claims that they have made internet service available to 133,000 locations across our state. Last week, I simply asked them to send me information on how many of the 133,000 locations have actually signed up,” said Mississippi PSC Commissioner Brandon Presley. “They now completely refuse to provide this information. These are federal dollars that the PSC must certify annually. What are they hiding? You can bet I intend to find out. I will not sit idly by and see the public monies fleeced by any company that refuses accountability.”

Links:

Mississippi Investigates AT&T $300 Million Plan To Expand Rural Broadband (Forbes, Sep. 12, 2020)