Rep. Doug Collins, a republican Congressman from Gainesville, released the following statement after telecommunications provider Windstream filed for bankruptcy.

“For years, Windstream has taken advantage of customers and taxpayers by promising speeds they know they can’t meet and failing to provide consistent broadband service while collecting taxpayer dollars and receiving substantial federal tax breaks. Despite it’s bankruptcy status, the burden of Windstream’s financial problems cannot fall on the shoulders of taxpayers who depend on their services to access the Internet. Windstream must continue to meet its obligations under the Connect America Fund to provide broadband service to rural communities like northeast Georgia.

“Since I first took office, I have received hundreds upon hundreds of complaints from Ninth District residents regarding virtually every aspect of Windstream’s service in Northeast Georgia. Businesses have been unable to operate efficiently because of unreliable service. Students in rural areas fail to gain access to high-speed internet they need to complete their school work at home. Despite repeated efforts to prompt Windstream to address these issues, they continue to fall short.

“I continue to believe increased competition spurs improvement, which is why I’ve introduced the Connect America Fund Accountability Act to hold providers accountable. I remain committed to holding carriers like Windstream accountable, and working to expand broadband access in Northeast Georgia and beyond.”

Windstream announced it would be filing for bankruptcy in February.

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