In this latest issue of the Great Broadband Build, we’re tracking Frontier’s West Virginia plans and how AT&T will bring fiber-based services to underserved Kansas and South Carolina communities.
Frontier Dedicates $100 to Expand West Va. Fiber Reach.
Frontier plans to invest about $100 million to expand its fiber network reach to over 100,000 additional locations in West Virginia this year. The company’s investment of $100 million in West Virginia is the largest announced by any communications service provider in the state. Since 2021, Frontier has built fiber to over 125,000 homes and businesses in more than 60 urban and rural areas across West Virginia, including Beckley, Bluefield, Charleston, Clarksburg, Falling Waters, Huntington, Hurricane, Inwood, Kanawha City, Morgantown, Parkersburg, Scott Depot and Wheeling. With plans to reach over 100,000 additional locations in West Virginia this year, the company is deploying fiber in new areas, such as Elkins, Fairmont, Grafton, Hinton, Logan, Nitro, Princeton, St. Albans, Weirton and Woodsdale. Frontier’s 2023 investment of $100 million in the state is in addition to its ongoing partnership with the West Virginia Economic Development’s Office of Broadband to deploy fiber to underserved and unserved areas across the state.
LiveOak Fiber to Acquire Alma Telephone Company’s Fiber Assets in Georgia Counties
LiveOak Fiber, a regional service provider building and operating, have signed a deal to acquire Glynn and Camden Counties fiber network assets from Alma Telephone Company (ATC) Broadband, a provider based in Alma, Georgia. The acquisition of ATC’s fiber network assets in these two counties allows LiveOak to strengthen its service delivery capabilities throughout the Golden Isles of Georgia’s Southeast coastline in Glynn and Camden County, Georgia. It will bring advantages to residents and businesses in these underserved counties. Residents and Businesses can expect packages that start at 500 Mbps and go up to 10 Gbps, including premium managed Wi-Fi with no contracts and no data caps. Jody Craft, President at LiveOak Fiber, said in a release that the acquisition “enables LiveOak Fiber to expedite our timeline for buildout in Glynn County and expands our service area to include the businesses and residents of Camden County.”
WOW! Fiber Internet Activates First Customers in Altamonte Springs, Florida
WOW! Internet, Cable & Phone has added its first customers in Altamonte Springs, Florida, one of its Greenfield markets, and the company’s fiber network now passes over 1,000 homes there. WOW!’s all-fiber Internet services will continue to become available to customers in different neighborhoods as construction continues throughout Central Florida. In 2022, WOW! announced its plans to extend its footprint by bringing its fiber service to customers in Seminole County and Orange County, as well as to Greenville County, South Carolina, as part of its Greenfield expansion initiative. Residents in Altamonte Springs can now subscribe to WOW! Fiber services, which include symmetrical 5 Gbps internet service. Subscribers to WOW!’s fiber Internet will receive the necessary equipment upfront to get started on WOW!’s network and Wi-Fi at no extra cost, unlimited data, and no annual contracts. New customers who sign up will also benefit from WOW!’s introductory offers with free professional installation, Visa Rewards gift cards, and a subscription to HBO Max for select tiers of service. It will also offer WOW tv+, home phone plans, WOW! mobile powered by Reach. Later this year, WOW! will offer businesses a set of products. The company has gained additional momentum toward meeting its Greenfield expansion goals by expanding construction in other Seminole County communities – Wekiwa Springs, Casselberry and Forest City- beginning construction, leasing a facility and hiring key personnel in Greenville County, South Carolina.
IQ Fiber Expands Service to Florida’s Nassau and St. Johns Counties
IQ Fiber, a Northeast Florida residential fiber internet service provider, has launched network deployment projects in Anastasia Island in St. Johns County and Fernandina Beach in Nassau County. Design and engineering work is complete, and construction of the $36 million project will begin in the coming weeks. IQ Fiber’s network has expanded rapidly over the past year. The company now serves or has projects underway in Duval, Clay, St. Johns and Nassau Counties, including San Marco, Beauclerc, Mandarin, Jacksonville Beach, Atlantic Beach, Orange Park, Lakeside, Ridgeview and Fleming Island. IQ Fiber’s fiber network can deliver symmetrical speeds of up to 10 Gbps. The network consists of underground conduit and fiber-optic cables extending from the core internet backbone directly into individual homes, allowing for the fastest internet speeds while supporting the explosive growth in internet usage and demand.
Comcast, Piece County, Wash. Enter Public-Private Broadband Pact
Pierce County, Washington, and Comcast finalized an agreement to expand broadband internet services on the Key Peninsula. Comcast will construct the infrastructure and make its full suite of broadband services to over 526 Key Peninsula homes and businesses, including multi-gig broadband speeds for residential customers and up to 100 Gbps for business customers. Pierce County is working to facilitate the expansion of broadband infrastructure to underserved areas of Pierce County. This program partners County funding with broadband service providers to build infrastructure for residents’ benefit and quality of life and enhance economic opportunities for local businesses. The approximately $5 million internet expansion project is being funded as a public-private partnership between Comcast and Pierce County, with the County contributing $3.75 million of federal funding allocated through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA). Once permits are obtained and construction has begun in the public rights of way, Comcast will create an online resource for residents seeking information about the network built in their neighborhood, including answers to frequently asked questions and product and service details.
AT&T to Deliver Fiber Internet to Charleston and Greenville, SC
AT&T has garnered an agreement with South Carolina Broadband Office to bring AT&T Fiber service to more than 9,000 additional customer locations in Greenville and Charleston. In Greenville, AT&T has been selected to build AT&T Fiber to nearly 2,500 customer locations in a project valued at $12.3 million. In Charleston, the plan calls for AT&T Fiber to be delivered to almost 6,900 customer locations in a project valued at $10.5 million. Plans call for residents and businesses to have access to the fastest internet delivering up to 5-Gig speeds.
Colorado’s Sterling Ranch Taps Lumen for 8 Gbps Fiber Broadband
Sterling Ranch, Colorado’s 21st-century master-planned community with more than 1,600 occupied homes (12,000-plus residences are planned) on 3,400 acres, has expanded its existing relationship with Lumen (formerly CenturyLink) that will bring 8 Gbps service to the Denver metro area. Leveraging XGS-PON technology, Lumen will make the 8 Gbps service available throughout Sterling Ranch by the end of 2024. This is possible due to the investment by Sterling Ranch to have fiber in every home in the community. XGS-PON technology is being made available at Sterling Ranch by Lumen Technologies through its fiber internet service, Quantum Fiber. The multi-gig service currently delivers up to 8 Gbps symmetrical internet speeds in select locations, with plans to add new areas throughout 2023 and 2024.
TDS Telecom, Maine’s Swan’s Island Partner, Wins $1.7M broadband Grant
TDS Telecommunications has received a grant in partnership with Swan’s Island of nearly $1.7 million to upgrade its internet services on the island. The Maine Connectivity Authority (MCA) announced the grant as part of its Connect the Ready program, which distributed a total of $34 million for broadband projects across the state. The TDS project covers all of Swan’s Island and will bring fiber internet to the community and upgrade customers’ speeds to up to 1 Gbps. Planning work has begun, and fiber deployment will start later this year. The grant funding is supplemented by funds from TDS and local jurisdictions. The Swan’s Island project is just one component of TDS’ work to expand fiber communication services to several municipalities in Maine.
Florida’s Escambia River Electric Cooperative, Conexon Connect to Bring Broadband to Rural Florida
Conexon Connect has been selected by Escambia River Electric Cooperative (EREC) to deliver high-speed fiber internet access for rural Floridians living and working in the cooperative’s service territory. The Connect, powered by Escambia River Electric Cooperative, will span approximately 600 miles of fiber network in Escambia County, reaching over 4,000 electric member locations with an estimated cost of $24 million. The network is expected to be complete to all 4,000 locations by mid-2024, with initial service availability targeted as early as the third quarter of 2023. The fiber network will offer members access to symmetrical multi-gigabit internet capabilities. Additionally, it will provide phone service and enable the benefits of smart grid capabilities to the electrical infrastructure. Conexon and Conexon Connect work with electric cooperatives committed to serving their members with fiber broadband. The company has designed more than 200,000 miles of fiber with its clients, built more than 50,000 miles annually, and connected more than 500,000 rural Americans to fiber to their homes.
Greenlight Networks Dedicates $9M to Expand into New York’s Underserved Hudson Valley
Greenlight Networks is bringing its fiber Internet network into New York’s Hudson Valley, with symmetrical multi-gigabit Internet services becoming available in the Town of Wallkill beginning Summer of 2023. Over the next year, the company will invest nearly $9 million in network and infrastructure build-outs, providing jobs and business for local contractors. Over five years, Greenlight intends to invest $57 million in the Hudson Valley region with aggressive expansion plans. Greenlight has scheduled underground construction in the hamlets of Mechanicstown and Scotchtown in Spring 2023, with aerial construction to begin in Winter 2023.
Greenlight has identified the Hudson Valley region as being underserved regarding its current access to fiber Internet. The company began working with local officials in Wallkill in the fall of 2022 to secure the necessary approvals and required agreements to begin construction. The company is now working closely with local utility companies to gain access to the utility poles, which will further increase the number of homes that gain access to Greenlight’s service offerings. Residents in Wallkill, including the hamlets of Mechanicstown and Scotchtown, will start to see Greenlight Networks trucks, as well as those of its sub-contractors, as construction activities expand throughout the community.
Wyyerd Fiber Brings Service to Southern California
Wyyerd Fiber, a fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) ISP, has launched service in two anchor communities in Southern California, Chula Vista, and National City. Wyyerd offers a full suite of services to residences, businesses, enterprises, carriers, and non-profit partners, including government and education entities. Wyyerd is committed to establishing a local presence and forging partnerships within the communities it serves. Opening its new regional headquarters in National City has created jobs for over 100 SoCal residents in construction, customer service, sales and ma, and management.
AT&T, Kansas Office of Broadband Development to Deliver Fiber Broadband to 10K Locations
The Kansas Office of Broadband Development announced a project with AT&T to expand AT&T Fiber to more than 10,000 additional customer locations in Sedgwick County. Plans call for AT&T to be awarded $2.2 million from the Kansas Office of Broadband Development and, along with AT&T’s private investment, the project totals $10.4 million. The project is contingent upon a final contract between the state and AT&T. Plans call for residents and businesses to have access to the fastest internet delivering up to 5 Gbps speeds. Extensive planning and engineering work for this project will begin immediately once a contract is completed. The network buildout is expected to be complete by the end of 2024. AT&T has extensive experience deploying fiber across Kansas. More than 275,000 locations in the state have access to AT&T Fiber today. AT&T is also working with communities across the country to bring AT&T Fiber to residents and businesses through public-private partnerships.
Metronet Connects Beavercreek, Ohio, with 10 Gbps Speeds
Metronet is giving Beavercreek, Ohio, residents and businesses access to its multi-gigabit fiber internet with service installation now available. In addition to Metronet’s 1 Gbps offering, up to 2 gigabits are now available for residents; businesses may choose speeds up to 10 Gbps. Customers in Metronet’s initial construction areas may sign up to be installed by visiting metronet.com. As construction continues, residents in construction areas will receive 30 days’ advance notice by mail about construction activity in their neighborhood. Metronet provides additional messaging, such as yard signs, to notify residents when construction is beginning in their area. ID tags and branded vehicles mark Metronet crews.
Digital Access Ohio Erects Broadband Wireless Tower to Bring Internet to Tuscarawas County
Digital Access Ohio, a middle-mile infrastructure company, launched a new wireless broadband tower creating new high-speed internet service in Tuscarawas County. Digital Access Ohio was formed in 2021 as a partnership between Canton-based Agile Networks and JobsOhio. The mission of Digital Access Ohio is to build, own, market, and operate up to 75 new telecommunication colocation tower sites, principally in rural Ohio. Digital Access Ohio will upgrade 135 existing towers in the state. Wireless Internet Service Providers can leverage this infrastructure to provide last-mile broadband capabilities across the state. Smart Way Communications will be the first entity to utilize the open-access network constructed by Digital Access Ohio to provide last-mile high-speed internet to customers. Digital Access Ohio and Smart Way anticipate that the activation of this new tower will help facilitate internet access for as many as 2,400 households and 125 businesses surrounding the building. The partnership supports Ohio’s Broadband Strategy, which uses economic development and entrepreneurial initiatives to expand broadband.
The DeWine-Husted Administration established the strategy in 2019 to improve access for the unserved and underserved groups in Ohio. The initiative is also a component of JobsOhio’s Inclusive Economic Development strategy, which ensures all Ohioans have equitable access to essential resources and economic opportunities. Additional information regarding locations to be served by the Digital Access Ohio network, including tower locations, will be made available by Digital Access Ohio in the future. Expanding broadband infrastructure is a vital issue impacting Ohio’s economic competitiveness and is a critical resource for individuals seeking to participate in the modern economy. Nearly one-million Ohioans need access to high-speed internet, according to BroadbandOhio.
GoNetSpeed Completes Construction of Maine Fiber Networks in Bangor, Topsham and Orono
GoNetspeed has recently completed the build-out of a fiber network in three Maine towns: Bangor, Orono and Topsham. Through GoNetspeed’s $5 million investment in Bangor, many residents and businesses can now experience high-speed, symmetrical internet speeds and voice service directly to their homes or business. Once construction is complete, more than 8,000 locations throughout Bangor will have access to GoNetspeed’s fiber internet service. Construction of its fiber network in Old Town Orono is complete, with service widely available to homes and businesses throughout the community. Through GoNetspeed’s $3.3 million investment in Old Town Orono, many residents and businesses can now experience high-speed, symmetrical upload and download internet speeds and voice service directly to their homes or business. More than 4,100 homes and businesses throughout Old Town Orono can now experience GoNetspeed’s fiber internet service. Finally, Topsham is complete, and the service is available to homes and businesses throughout the community. Through GoNetspeed’s $1.4 million investment in Topsham, service will be available to 1,500 homes and businesses.
Arvig Acquires ALP Utilities’ Alexandria, Minnesota Fiber Network
Arvig has finalized an agreement to purchase a fiber network that serves about 130 businesses in Alexandria, Minnesota. Arvig acquired the network from ALP Utilities, a community-owned municipal utility that provides residential and commercial electric and water services to the Alexandria area. In a deal finalized on Jan. 18, Arvig will assume ownership and management of the network, which includes 77 route miles of fiber throughout the city and another 13 miles of conduit. Arvig will retain all of the network’s existing business customers and continue to provide the usual services without interruption. The network greatly expands Arvig’s presence in Alexandria and Douglas County. Arvig and ALP Utilities say they expect a seamless transition and customers can count on the same high-quality service as before. ALP partnered with Runestone Electric Association to build the network in the late 1990s, starting with dial-up service and later expanding into fiber for local businesses. Arvig will notify customers about the transition and provide further details about support.