Citing their own plans for deploying broadband service, AT&T and Verizon Communications informed the FCC last week that they would decline Phase 1 monies offered from the agency’s new Connect America (CA) fund for the development of fixed line broadband network infrastructure in rural areas. In a press release issued on July 25, the FCC announced the allocation of $115 million in Phase 1 CA funding that will be combined with millions more dollars in private investment to expand high-speed Internet services to 400,000 U.S. residents and businesses within the next three years. Carriers accepting the CA funds include Frontier Communications, which was granted $71.9 million, and CenturyLink, which intends to use the $35 million it was allocated to extend broadband services to 45,000 homes. AT&T, however, turned down the $48 million in CA funding it was offered, notifying the FCC in a letter that it was “in the midst of evaluating . . . options for further rural broadband deployment.” In the letter, delivered on July 24, AT&T senior vice president Robert Quinn voiced optimism “about AT&T’s ability to get more broadband into rural areas,” but acknowledged: “until AT&T finalizes that strategy, it cannot commit to participating in the [CA] incremental support program.” In a similar communiqué, Verizon—which had been deemed eligible for $19.7 million in CA funding—told the FCC that it had decided against participating in the CA program “in order to focus resources and capital on our own wireline and wireless broadband deployment plans.” While stressing that its broadband strategy “[complements] the FCC’s universal service goals” Verizon further pledged to “continue to work with the FCC to help deliver the promise of broadband to all Americans, wherever they live.” Notwithstanding AT&T and Verizon’s actions, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski lauded the completion of the Phase 1 CA funding process as “the beginning of the most significant public-private effort in history to ensure that every American has access to broadband by the end of the decade”.