Service providers are rapidly building broadband in communities nationwide via fiber, existing coax, and wireless. The Great Broadband Build is a weekly roundup of the latest broadband network deployments.
AT&T Targets Lawrence County, Ind with Fiber Broadband
Lawrence County, Indiana, has launched a project with AT&T to expand AT&T Fiber to more than 2,300 customer locations. In Northwest Lawrence County, AT&T has been selected to build AT&T Fiber to more than 2,300 customer locations in a $3.6 million project. This is in addition to the 700 locations planned for the State’s Next Level Connections broadband grant program. As part of the agreement, Lawrence County will invest $ 1.1 million, and AT&T will invest $2.5 million in the project to provide fiber to Northwest Lawrence County. Residents and businesses have access to up to 5 Gbps at symmetrical speeds. Planning and engineering work for this project will begin immediately. The network buildout is expected to be complete in 24 months.
IQ Fiber Secures Additional $150M in Equity from SDC Capital Partners
IQ Fiber has secured $150 million in follow-on equity funding from its founding investor SDC Capital Partners. This funding comes as it moves forward with its Phase 1 target of 60,000 available homes across metro Jacksonville and four counties in Northeast Florida. The additional equity funding will support further network deployment and customer growth in 2023. Established in August of 2021, IQ Fiber is deploying its fiber-optic-to-the-home (FTTH) network in Duval, Nassau, St. Johns and Clay Counties, with service now available in San Marco, Mandarin, Jacksonville Beach, Atlantic Beach, Orange Park, and Neptune Beach.
Archtop Acquires Warwick Valley Telephone Co.
Archtop Fiber is continuing its growth path, reaching a deal to acquire Warwick Valley Telephone Co. The fiber internet provider signed a stock purchase agreement with Momentum Telecom, a provider of managed cloud communications services, to acquire New York-based independent telco, which was founded in 1902 and has been part of Momentum since 2015. Archtop Fiber will provide telecommunications services to customers in New York’s Orange County and portions of central New York and northwestern New Jersey, bringing the benefits of high-speed fiber Internet and increased bandwidth as part of its mission to bridge the digital divide in underserved communities. In addition, Archtop plans to leverage Momentum Cloud Voice solutions in its greenfield markets. Like its plans after acquiring Hancock and GTel, Archtop Fiber will upgrade WVT’s network to fiber to deliver high-speed broadband service. WVT is Archtop Fiber’s latest acquisition as it expands its footprint in the Northeast. Archtop expects the WVT acquisition to close in late 2023, pending regulatory approvals.
C Spire Lights Fiber for Brookhaven, Miss Residents
C Spire will soon offer fiber internet to more than 4,000 homes in Brookhaven, Mississippi. The new fiber broadband service is faster than the national average and offers additional television and related home phone services. Construction of nearly 100 miles of fiber is expected to start in several neighborhoods in early June, with activations beginning in early September. Homeowners can order residential fiber in the Brookhaven area his week. Residents can sign-up at www.cspire.com/fiber. Local government, community and business leaders are rallying residents to sign up for the service. C Spire began service in the Brookhaven area in 1991 – and now offers wireless and fiber internet services to residents and businesses and a full suite of products to business and government entities. C Spire launched fiber service to major cities across Mississippi in 2014 and has built a network spanning more than 100 communities in Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee. Mississippi cities include the greater Jackson area, Biloxi, Clarksdale, Greenwood, Gulfport, Hattiesburg, Meridian, Oxford, Starkville, Tupelo, Vicksburg, and Yazoo City. Earlier this month, C Spire launched the muti-gig service for residential customers statewide.
Metronet Breaks Ground Kentwood Fiber network
Metronet has begun construction of its fiber network has officially started in Kentwood. Metronet’s fully funded multimillion-dollar investment in the community will provide residents and businesses throughout the city with access to Metronet’s fiber internet. Underground work in Kentwood has begun near the intersections of 32nd Street SE, Hampton Downs Drive SE, Breton Road SE, and Brook Drive SE. Construction activity will progress rapidly throughout the community, with the first customers expected to be connected this summer. As construction progresses throughout the city, customers may sign up for presale to indicate their interest and prioritize service installation once available. Those interested in Metronet services may visit metronet.com to be notified once their address is available for installation and to access the presale. Kentwood residents will begin seeing Metronet trucks throughout the area as construction activities expand. Residents will receive communication by mail about construction activity in their neighborhood 30 days before starting.
TDS Kicks Off Construction of its Rock County, Wisconsin Fiber Network
TDS Telecommunications has started construction on its fiber network in Evansville, Wisconsin, with Milton soon to follow. The fiber-to-the-premises technology offers up to 8 Gbps symmetrical connections to homes, up to 10 Gbps dedicated connections for businesses, and TV and phone options for all customers over fiber. The builds are expected to reach approximately 2,900 Evansville and 2,700 Milton addresses. The projects add to TDS’ expansion in Rock County. The Madison-based company began work and connected its first customers to its Janesville fiber network last year. Residents of Evansville and Milton will see TDS contractors working in utility easement areas as they lay conduits for the underground fiber. Services will become available to residents gradually as sections of the network are completed. Outside of its Rock County projects, the company also recently broke ground on fiber networks in Dodgeville and Mineral Point. The Madison-headquartered company is investing nearly a billion dollars in Wisconsin fiber-optic expansion. TDS has been doing business in the state for 54 years and serves customers in 32 states.
Google Fiber Names Franklin, Tenn. As its Next Fiber City
Google Fiber recently named Franklin, Tennessee, the next fiber-based broadband service target. Situated 19 miles Southeast of Nashville and the 7th largest city in Tennessee with more than 80,000 residents and double-digit growth, publications such as Money, Southern Living, USA Today, and Livability consistently recognize Franklin among the best places to live in America. In 2022, private investment reached the highest level in Franklin’s history with $874 million in direct construction investment. Google Fiber expects to start construction early next year and plans to serve Franklin customers in late 2024.
Comcast Brings its 10G Network to Arcadia, FL
Comcast is expanding the Xfinity 10G Network to Arcadia and surrounding areas in DeSoto County to reach more than 10,000 homes and businesses. This expansion is not only bringing high-speed Internet services to some areas for the first time – but will do so on the broadband network that is being built to power the rapid rise in Internet consumption today and in the future. Arcadia is the latest community in Florida to roll out these Xfinity 10G Network enhancements, setting the stage for introducing new symmetrical multi-gigabit internet options that can be delivered across Comcast’s existing networks with less cost. Comcast expects to complete the network expansion by the end of the summer, making services available in the City of Arcadia and parts of other areas in DeSoto County, including Nocatee and Lake Suzy. Residents should visit Xfinity.com/MyTown and enter their addresses to get additional details on services and when they are available at their homes.
Lumos Invests $50 Million on Johnston and Harnett County, NC Fiber Network.
Lumos is investing over $50 million in Johnston and Harnett County, North Carolina, to bring its fiber internet services to residents and businesses in the area over nearly 600 miles of fiber. These expansions mark the company’s fourth and fifth new market announcement in 2023. Lumos will provide internet to portions of the Johnston County communities of Benson, Clayton, Four Oaks, Selma, and Smithfield, as well as those in Harnett County, including areas of Dunn, Angier, Coats, Erwin, and Buies Creek. Lumos will be the first fiber internet provider for some homes in these communities, changing the lives of many families with affordable access to a network advanced enough for their current and future digital needs.
GoNetspeed Lights Fiber Services for the City of Easthampton, Mass
GoNetspeed and the City of Easthampton today announced that residents and businesses throughout Easthampton will soon have the opportunity to experience fiber internet directly from their homes or businesses. Through GoNetspeed’s fully funded $3.6 million investment, all Easthampton residents and companies will have access to GoNetspeed’s fast, reliable internet and voice service. Construction is expected to begin this fall, with the first customers eligible for service installation as early as the start of 2024. Once completed, more than 9,000 homes and businesses will have the opportunity to experience GoNetspeed’s symmetrical fiber internet speeds, allowing customers to upload just as fast as they can download. Residents and businesses interested may visit gonetspeed.com to sign up for priority installation once service is available in their area. GoNetspeed is working to ensure that more communities throughout Massachusetts have access to a high-speed 100% fiber internet infrastructure. In the coming months, more communities throughout the state will join Easthampton in having access to GoNetspeed’s fiber internet.
Trailwave Fiber Selects Conexon to Support Rural Georgia FTTH Network
Clarkesville, GA-based Trailwave Fiber Inc., a Habersham EMC Company, has joined a growing number of electric cooperatives turning to Conexon for end-to-end marketing solutions as it focuses on maximizing fiber customer take rates and acquisition. Now in its third year of service, Conexon’s Marketing Division currently serves more than 30 electric cooperatives with a combined membership of nearly 900,000 spanning 14 states. Conexon has enjoyed a long partnership with Habersham EMC and Trailwave, providing fiber network design and construction management for the Trailwave fiber-optic network that spans Habersham EMC’s territory. The addition of Conexon Marketing tools and resources will enable Trailwave to market its FTTH network more effectively and better communicate to members the value of the project and how the FTTH network can improve their lives and communities. The partnership will further cement the project’s success at meeting the high-speed internet needs of Habersham EMC’s communities.
Cable One/Sparklight Dedicates $12M for Sioux City Network Upgrade
Sparklight, a leading broadband communications provider, will begin construction on a $12 million upgrade that will further increase the reliability of its high-speed Internet service while also preparing for the future connectivity needs of the Sioux City community. Sparklight launched Gigabit Internet service to Sioux City residential customers in 2016, well before many others in the industry. The current infrastructure upgrade paves the way for faster download and upload speeds, enhanced streaming and gaming, and uninterrupted connections in multi-device homes. Sioux City’s infrastructure upgrade is expected to be complete by fall 2023. The company anticipates the possibility of intermittent service interruptions during construction. Customers will receive notification before work is conducted in their area.
Sertex Begins Constructing Readsboro, Vermont Fiber Network
Sertex Broadband Solutions has begun constructing the DVFiber community-owned fiber network in Readsboro, Vermont. Over the coming weeks, crews will perform multiple fiber optic cable aerial crossings over the Deerfield River. Under their contract with DVFiber, Sertex, a regional fiber infrastructure deployment expert, will install more than 500 miles of fiber optic cable plant in 24 towns in southern Vermont to reach nearly 5,000 locations, of which 4,290 are currently underserved or unserved. Network construction will continue through early 2026.
Sky Fiber Enables Lake Tahoe and 25 Nevada Towns
Sky Fiber Internet and Tarana Wireless have launched upgraded networks to bring high-speed internet to 25 towns in northern Nevada, passing 30,000 rural homes and hundreds of businesses with reliable broadband service. To allow customers to “do more of what they love online with ease,” Sky Fiber is leveraging Tarana’s G1 product line. The Sky Fiber team found Tarana’s G1 platform provides high-speed service in noisy radio frequency environments and challenging long-range settings. Sky Fiber’s previous wireless equipment had a restricted range and was susceptible to significant performance degradation, known as “rain fade,”, particularly during inclement weather. These limitations resulted in service disruptions in snowy regions of Nevada like Lake Tahoe and neighboring towns.
Previously limited to a maximum speed of 50 Mbps on point to multi-point deployments, Sky Fiber has improved its service offerings with plans now ranging from 50 to 500 Mbps. By leveraging the capabilities of the G1 platform, the company can consistently provide reliable and enhanced service throughout all four seasons. This advancement allows Sky Fiber to retain its existing customers and positions them to compete effectively against established providers in the market. One of the standout features of Sky Fiber’s upgraded G1 network is its ability to establish connections over Lake Tahoe. Utilizing Tarana base node (BN) radios positioned on Genoa Peak, customers located up to 15 miles across the lake can now access impressive speeds of up to 500 Mbps.
Related: The Great Broadband Build
Sean Buckley, Editor in Chief of Broadband Communities and the host of the Broadband Ripple Podcast.
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