Windstream’s Georgia Investment, Meta’s Mega Losses, Starlink Premium

Kinetic, a Windstream business, is plowing millions for broadband expansion in Georgia.

Windstream’s Georgia Investment, Meta’s Mega Losses, Starlink Premium
Photo of Elon Musk

February 3, 2022 – Kinetic, a business unit of Windstream Holdings that provides broadband, entertainment and security services, will partner with 18 different communities within the state of Georgia in an effort to provide high-speed internet to residents.

Announced Thursday, Georgia will plow $171 million into the project from American Rescue Plan Act money, while Kinetic will invest an additional $133 million.

“This is very good news for residents of Georgia. Building reliable, ultrafast internet service in rural areas requires collaboration and public-private partnerships,” said Tony Thomas, president and CEO of Windstream, in a press release. “These partnerships allow us to accelerate our deployment of fiber broadband throughout rural Georgia. We commend Governor Kemp and the committee for their leadership on this issue.”

Meta losses could be largest in corporate history

The stock price of Meta Platforms, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, plunged nearly 25 percent late Wednesday and early Thursday, translating to a roughly $200-billion loss in value, following its disappointing fourth-quarter earnings.

Facebook’s user base dropped for the first time in the history of the platform. The decline in Facebook user growth went from 1.930 billion users to 1.929 billion users. According to The Hill, “Most of that drop came from Africa and Latin America, a potentially worrying sign given that the social media’s growth has been stagnant in North America and Europe for some time.”

Observers say the $200-billion loss could be the largest in market history.

SpaceX’s Starlink broadband business launched Wednesday a new premium version of the product, which is intended to provide faster speeds of the satellite service.

Consumers of founder Elon Musk’s broadband service will have to pay $2,500 up front for hardware along with an additional $500 a month for service. To put these rates into perspective, the standard service costs $499 for the hardware and $99 a month.

Starlink’s premium service will function at download speeds of 150 to 500 Megabits per second, versus the standard version that once clocked between 50 Mbps to 150 Mbps. The service will perform well in worse weather conditions and provide access to 24/7 tech support, said the company.