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The Federal Communications Commission has approved the transfer of 4.8 million telephone land lines from Verizon Communications to Frontier Communications. Most of these lines are in rural areas and small cities in 14 states.

As part of the agreement, Frontier has agreed to “significant deployment commitments from Frontier” to brining broadband to millions of customers, according to Fiber Opitcs Online. The FCC order contains voluntary commitments from Verizon and Frontier. Fronteir has agreed to deploy broadband with speeds of at least 3 Mbps downstream to at least 85 percent of the transferred line by the end of 2013, increasing to 4 Mbps to 85 percent of the lines by 2015.

Frontier will also “launch an anchor institution initiative to deploy fiber to libraries, hospitals and government buildings, particularly in unserved communities,” according to Fiber Optics.

The Illinois Commerce Commission approved the deal. ICC commissioner Erin O’Connell-Diaz said, “This grant of authority to Frontier will help to close the gap that still exists for many Illinoisans by giving them access to essential 21st-century technologies. In the end, it’s up to Frontier that it keeps its promises. Illinois is watching.” 

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