Windstream said yesterday that the company now serves 1 million high-speed Internet customers on its 16-state network. 

Windstream added approximately 21,000 new high-speed Internet customers to date in the first quarter of this year, surpassing the approximately 16,000 new customers added during the fourth quarter of 2008.

“The Internet is forever changing the way we learn, live, work and play,” said Jeff Gardner, president and chief executive officer for Windstream. “This achievement is a testament to Windstream’s focus and ability to transform our business around this cornerstone product.”

Windstream offers high-speed Internet connection speeds from 1.5 Mbps to 12 Mbps in a variety of bundles for its customers. Windstream said its Internet service is available to roughly 88 percent of its 3 million access lines. Overall broadband penetration at the end of 2008 was 32 percent of total access lines and 49 percent of primary residential lines.

Windstream began offering high-speed Internet service in 1999 as the landline division of Alltel Corp. The company topped the half-million customer mark in August 2006, following the spin-off from Alltel and merger with Valor Communications Group.

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