The Great Broadband Build: AT&T, Amarillo Strike Fiber Pact; IQ Fiber Activates Atlantic Beach FTTH Network

Just a few days before Christmas, several new communities will soon benefit from new broadband builds: AT&T and Amarillo strike fiber pact; IQ Fiber activates FTTH network.

  • AT&T
  • Broadband Competition
  • Broadband Penetration

Broadband build activity continues to ramp. In this week’s issue, we’re tracking several new builds, including AT&T and Amarillo strike fiber pact; IQ Fiber activates the FTTH network.

The Great Broadband Build is a new weekly online news feature Broadband Communities is developing to track the ongoing last mile and middle mile deployments across the U.S.

You can send relevant news to sean@bbcmag.com. You can also tune in for new issues of the Great Broadband Build here.

AT&T and the City of Amarillo to Build a $24M Fiber Network
AT&T and Amarillo officials broke ground on a new fiber network that will provide internet to more than 22,000 customer locations as part of a $24 million public-private project between AT&T and the city. The network, expected to be complete in the next 12-18 months, will bring AT&T’s fiber service to more residential and small business locations across the Amarillo area. One of the areas that will benefit directly from the new AT&T fiber network is the Barrio neighborhood, located in East Amarillo. The historic site, with a rich Hispanic heritage, has been the focus of a revitalization plan approved by the Amarillo City Council in 2018 in conjunction with the Barrio Neighborhood Planning Committee.

IQ Fiber Activates Fiber Network in Atlantic Beach
IQ Fiber has activated its fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network in Atlantic Beach. The $12.5 million network deployment began earlier this year and is now serving its first customers. IQ Fiber activated its network in the San Jose Forest area of San Marco in August. The company is also actively constructing its fiber-optic network in San Marco, Beauclerc, Mandarin, Orange Park, Fleming Island, and Jacksonville Beach. IQ Fiber’s fiber network is capable of 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 available while supporting the explosive growth in internet usage and demand. IQ Fiber offers simple month-to-month rates with no fees, surcharges or surprise price increases. IQ Fiber delivers symmetrical speeds along with whole-home Wi-Fi service and a simple app to manage the ever-growing number of Wi-Fi devices in the home. The first phase of the network will deliver fiber-optic internet to 60,000 homes across Northeast Florida. IQ Fiber is privately funded and launched in August 2021.

Brightspeed Delivers Fiber Broadband to 3,000 Rural South Carolina Homes
Brightspeed has completed the expansion of its broadband fiber services in Eutawville, South Carolina and the surrounding area, bringing faster internet service to more than 3,000 doorsteps. Investments from Brightspeed and the company's participation in the South Carolina 2021 Rural Broadband Grant Program helped to meet the growing demand for high-speed internet in the rural Orangeburg County community. The program matches company investments to support broadband expansion to underserved areas. This completed project provides the fiber and electronics equipment for high-speed connections up to 940 Mbps.

Great Plains Communications Awarded $2.8M in Nebraska Broadband Bridge Funding
Great Plains Communications (GPC) has been awarded more than $2.8 million of Nebraska Broadband Bridge Program funding by the Nebraska Public Service Commission (PSC). The funds will be utilized to deploy fiber to 10 projects in various areas of Nebraska, with GPC providing a 25 percent funding match of nearly $940,000. Once the projects are completed, residents in at least 247 homes will have access to fiber services, including symmetrical internet speeds up to 1 Gbps. The Legislature passed the Broadband Bridge Program in 2021 to facilitate and fund broadband network development in Nebraska's unserved and underserved areas. The Nebraska Public Service Commission is responsible for administering grant funding to providers for qualifying projects. Now that funding has been awarded, project planning for deployment will begin in January 2023. Under the program’s guidelines, projects must be completed within 18 months of the funding award date.

Ritter Communications Begins Building Business Fiber Network in Union City, Tenn.
Ritter Communications, a Mid-South provider, has begun a $1.5 million expansion project to bring its telecom services and advanced cloud solutions to businesses and community organizations in Union City. The telco says it is the first to bring XGS-PON technology to the Union City area. This technology will be the foundation for its full suite of broadband solutions and telecom services with speeds up to 100 Gbps. In addition, customers have access to the Ritter Communications Data Technology Center, a secure facility equipped with local customer support teams offering advanced cloud solutions to meet the unique information and storage needs of businesses and other organizations in Union City. Construction of this project was recently completed, and businesses can now reap the benefits of fiber services.

Shentel Begins FTTH Upgrade in Radford, VA
Shentel will upgrade its current  Radford, Virginia network with next-generation fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) broadband services. Shentel will fully fund the multimillion-dollar construction project to bring symmetrical multi-gig internet speeds to Radford residents and businesses. Construction will begin in the second half of 2023, bringing an FTTH network to the vast majority of homes and businesses throughout the City by the end of 2024. Using Shentel's 8,000-mile regional fiber network, Shentel can ensure high speeds, low latency, and increased reliability. Radford residents will receive communication by mail approximately 30 days before construction activity in their neighborhood.

TDS Expands 8 Gbps Availability in Over 75 Communities
TDS Telecom has officially quadrupled its fastest available internet speed. Up to 8Gig symmetrical service is now the top speed option for homes and is also available for businesses in more than 75 communities across the U.S. served over TDS’ fiber infrastructure. The move means TDS offers the fastest internet speeds in its recently launched fiber footprint and planned fiber-build communities across Idaho, Montana, North Carolina, Washington, and Wisconsin. TDS first offered multi-gig speeds last fall with the launch of up to 2 Gbps in select areas. The company will continue to provide that internet option and a range of symmetrical choices in the areas it offers up to 8 Gbps.

Tracking RFPs/RFIs
Woodbury, Connecticut, Seeks RFP for Broadband Assessment and Feasibility Analysis
The Town of Woodbury, Connecticut, is accepting proposals from qualified professional consulting firms to conduct a comprehensive High-Speed Broadband Assessment and Feasibility Analysis covering the town’s entire geographical area. Town officials said the study should address two main issues:

  • An assessment of high-speed broadband service(s) existing and serving properties within the Town of Woodbury with the intent to identify and evaluate service and adoption gaps; and
  • A high-speed broadband strategy for the Town of Woodbury that creates the most significant opportunity to support current growth and long-term community high-speed broadband needs, including, as applicable, a high-speed broadband partnership solution.

The goal is to document opportunities to expand last-mile coverage as well as express opinions on the sustainability of the expansion, including potential one-time and recurring third-party funding sources and a deployment plan that will enable the Town of Woodbury and its commercial partners to take advantage of these opportunities in conjunction with high-speed broadband-friendly public policy development. The successful bidder will demonstrate the ability to utilize research methodologies such as public surveys, market analysis, business plan development, regulatory analysis, and operational best practice scenarios. Sealed bids must be received in the First Selectman’s Office at 281 Main Street South, Woodbury, CT 06798-0369 no later than: 3:00 PM, Monday, January 9, 2023. A copy of this RFP can be found on the Town’s Website woodburyct.org.

Mahoning County, OH, issues RFI for Broadband Engineering and Deployment.
Mahoning County, Ohio, has requested information from qualified firms for broadband services for target communities. According to the RFI, the County wants to obtain (“RFI”) for strategic broadband network engineering and deployment to improve broadband access for education, job creation, healthcare, and more in the Target Townships of Mahoning. The RFI Proposal can be accessed in the Mahoning County Purchasing Department, Mahoning County Administration Building, 21 West Boardman Street, Suite 100, Youngstown, Ohio 44503, or by request by sending an e-mail to Annemarie DeAscentis at adeascentis@mahoningcountyoh.gov. Responses are due Dec. 21.

Truckee Donner PUD Extends Broadband Partnership RFI Deadline
The Truckee Donner Public Utility District wants to evaluate a long-term partnership with a qualified and willing Internet Service Provider (ISP) to construct and operate a last-mile broadband network within the district’s service area. Truckee is exploring options to enhance broadband infrastructure and competition by deploying wireline and wireless technology for residential and commercial businesses within the district’s service area. The Request for Information (RFI) is part of a broader planning initiative by the District to evaluate the financial and technical feasibility of deploying broadband technology under a service provider partnership. According to the TDPUD site, responses are due by January 4, 2023.

 

 

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