The Great Broadband Build: Brightspeed Makes Fiber Internet Available in Six States; Glo Fiber Launches 5 Gbps Symmetrical Service

In the latest issue of The Great Broadband Build, we're tracking Brightspeed's move to bring fiber to six states and Glo Fiber rolling out 5 Gbps symmetrical fiber internet service. 

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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.

You can send news directly to Sean Buckley, Editor in Chief of Broadband Communities, at Stay abreast of each installment of The Great Broadband Build here.

Brightspeed Makes Fiber Internet Available in Six States
Brightspeed has officially started selling its gig internet service via its newly built next-generation Fiber-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network just six months after launching as a standalone company. Homes and small businesses in parts of Alabama, Indiana, North Carolina, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin that previously had limited high-speed broadband internet options can now subscribe to Brightspeed Fiber Internet, the company's newly launched XGS-PON fiber broadband service. This launch represents the first phase of Brightspeed's fiber deployment. The company plans to reach 1 million homes and small businesses by year-end. Brightspeed’s service territory encompasses over 6.5 million locations in mainly rural and suburban communities across the Midwest, Southeast, and parts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Today, Brightspeed serves over 1 million customers in these areas, primarily through its existing broadband network. Brightspeed's planned $2 billion network investment will bring internet service to more than 3 million homes and businesses over the next five years.

Glo Fiber Launches 5 Gbps Fiber Internet Service
Glo Fiber has debuted its symmetrical 5 Gbps fiber internet service across all its markets. Over 147,000 homes across Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania will have access to the new gigabit speeds. Multi-gig speeds are designed for these growing demands and will provide more bandwidth to run many connected devices simultaneously.

Google Fiber Brings 8 Gbps to Iowa
Google Fiber is now offering a range of fiber-based broadband speeds in Wes Des Moines, Iowa. Customers can now choose between 1, 2, 5 and 8 Gbps service. The new symmetrical 8 Gbps service costs $150 per month and comes with Wi-Fi 6 router, up to two mesh extenders, and the new 10 Gbps Fiber Jack. As with Google Fiber’s other products, 8 Gbps customers also get unlimited data, one terabyte of cloud storage, no-cost professional installation and Google Fiber’s 24/7 customer service. The service provider currently offers 8 Gbps in West Des Moines and Mesa, Arizona. In a blog post, Google Fiber said it was working to upgrade its offering in all of its cities, not just its newly announced metro areas.  As those activities are complete, Google Fiber will roll out 8 Gbps (and 5 Gbps) across the country.

Saddleback Communications Unveils Asymmetrical, Symmetrical Fiber-based Services for Businesses
Saddleback Communications is now offering two new Business Fiber Internet service packages—an asymmetrical and a symmetrical product. Ideal for cost-conscious businesses, Saddleback delivers asymmetrical speeds starting at 25 Mbps and up to 1 Gbps/300 Mbps. Saddleback has fiber-based symmetrical Internet speeds starting at 25 Mbps and up to 10 Gbps. The company’s Business Fiber Internet offering is generally available now to all businesses in the Saddleback Communications service area.

WOW! Central Florida Fiber Build Progresses
WOW!’s construction of its fiber network is nearing completion in the Central Florida communities of Casselberry, Forest City, and Wekiwa Springs. Construction has also begun and is progressing rapidly in other Central Florida communities, including Fairview Shores, Fern Park, Goldenrod, Lake Mary, Longwood, Ocoee, Sanford, Sanlando Springs, Winter Garden, and Winter Springs. These new market build-outs, along with its successful launch of WOW! Fiber Internet services in Altamonte Springs, Florida, are part of the company's ongoing market expansion to bring its fiber network to 400,000 homes in new service areas by 2027. Residents across these Central Florida communities will soon experience WOW!'s an all-fiber web and subscribe to fiber services, including residential symmetrical Internet speeds up to 5 Gbps.

Blackfoot Plots Out $76M Rural Montana Fiber Project
Blackfoot Communications plans to invest over $76 million in fiber-based broadband in rural Montana. The investment is being made possible by more than $60 million in ConnectMT grants awarded by the State of Montana, with Blackfoot contributing more than $16 million to fund the project. Blackfoot Communications was awarded seven grants to deliver broadband to the following counties: Granite, Missoula, Ravalli and Sanders. Individual communities include Darby, Drummond, Philipsburg, Plains and Potomac. Construction to deploy fiber in these areas begins in the Spring of 2023, with a projected completion date in 2026. The investment from Blackfoot will allow customers access to broadband internet speeds of up to 1 Gbps or more.

This latest project is one of several Blackfoot has done to expand broadband availability in Montana. Since 2017, Blackfoot has invested nearly $50 million in fiber-based broadband infrastructure throughout Montana, including deploying complete fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) networks in Thompson Falls and St. Ignatius. It is building an all fiber-network west of Anaconda, including the Georgetown Lake area. Blackfoot’s move comes as an effort to enhance the state’s broadband status. According to the FCC, Montana ranks low among states with broadband access, with nearly 1 in 3 Montanans lacking access to high-speed internet.

EnerTribe, Tarana to Expand Tribal Community Broadband Access
EnerTribe, a Native American and woman-owned telecom infrastructure consulting firm, and Tarana announced a partnership to enable the rapid deployment of high-speed internet in tribal communities nationwide. EnerTribe selected Tarana’s G1 for its performance in challenging radio environments. With G1, EnerTribe will assist the Round Valley Indian Tribes (RVIT) in deploying wireless infrastructure to provide improved broadband capacity and coverage in Covelo Valley, California. This upgraded internet connectivity will be crucial to RVIT’s local health clinic, many telehealth patients, and hundreds of residents. EnerTribe will also manage the engineering, procurement, and installation of Tarana G1 equipment for up to 200 other customers in the area.

Metronet Connects First Moline, Ill. Customers to Fiber Broadband
Metronet’s fiber internet is now available to Moline, Illinois first residents and businesses. As Metronet’s service becomes available throughout Moline, residents will have access to multi-gigabit speeds up to 2 Gbps; businesses may access rates up to 10 Gbps. As Metronet continues construction throughout Moline, 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 begins in their area.

Grain Management Acquires Quintillion to Accelerate Alaska Broadband Expansion
Grain Management has acquired Quintillion, a provider of fiber-based connectivity in the American Arctic. Founded in 2015, Quintillion constructed and operated a fiber network that provides high-speed broadband services to communities in Northern Alaska, providing connectivity to schools, hospitals, businesses, and consumers. Quintillion's system currently can deliver gigabit and terabit bandwidth services on a 1,200-mile subsea and 500-mile terrestrial fiber optic network. The financial terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.

Pavlov Media Begins FTTH Build in Fisher, Ill.
Pavlov Media has begun installing fiber-based broadband in Fisher, IL. The project, when finished, will serve approximately 900 homes and businesses in the community. "The residents and businesses of Fisher, IL will soon be able to experience the simply exceptional connections provided by our 1-Gig-speed fiber Internet service," said Mark Scifres, CEO of Pavlov Media.

Lumos Invests $56M to Expand Fiber in New Hanover County and Wilmington, North Carolina
Lumos will invest $56 million to bring fiber internet services to residents and businesses of New Hanover County and Wilmington, North Carolina. Through this expansion, Lumos will provide portions of Wilmington and Carolina Beach, as well as the communities of Ogden, Myrtle Grove, Castle Hayne, and Wrightsboro, with 655 miles of fiber technology. Lumos will also provide portions of Wilmington and Carolina Beach and the communities of Ogden, Myrtle Grove, Castle Hayne, and Wrightsboro, with 655 miles of fiber technology. The expansion highlights the company’s rapid growth and development plans as the third new market for Lumos in 2023. The engineering work on these projects will start in mid-2023.

FirstLight Continues Fiber Network Expansion in Hebron and Sumner, Maine
FirstLight has extended its fiber network in rural Maine, adding more than 100 miles of new fiber to the western Maine towns of Hebron and Sumner. Approximately 300 residences or locations in Hebron will now have access to high-speed fiber Internet. That number continues to grow as FirstLight continues to deliver on its expansion plans. FirstLight would like to accelerate the speed of its self-funded fiber builds in its ILEC and other areas in its service territory and has submitted state and federal funding grant requests to help offset the high cost of building in rural locations. FirstLight aims to make fiber-based broadband available to more locations throughout its six-state network. 

Windstream, Lowndes County, Ga. Begin Construction on a $40M Broadband Project.
Lowndes County, Ga. Commissioners recently entered into a $40 million agreement with Windstream to bring fiber-based broadband to over 16,000 rural residents. The project will provide symmetrical gigabit-speed broadband access to 16,193 residential locations and 1,434 business locations in Lowndes County. It will cover approximately 96 percent of the unserved census blocks in Lowndes County. In 2021, Lowndes County partnered with Windstream to prepare a funding application, which resulted in Lowndes County receiving a grant award of $21,783,961. The total project cost of $39,420,865 will comprise the grant award from the State and $17,636,904 in matching funds provided by Windstream. According to a report in the Daily Valdosta Times, the deal with Windstream is not exclusive, meaning other service providers are free to operate in the same coverage areas. Previously, the county commission had offered entire franchises to cable TV systems, keeping competitors from providing services. Windstream plans to complete the project by Dec. 24, 2024.

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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