The Great Broadband Build: Fidium Fiber Brings Fiber to Southern Vermont’s CUD; Brightspeed Secures $500M Investment from Mubadala

In the latest issue of The Great Broadband Build, we're tracking how Fidium Fiber is bringing fiber broadband to Southern Vermont’s Communications Utility District and Brightspeed securing $500 million from Mubadala.


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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.

Fidium Fiber to Bring Multi-Gig Fiber Service to Southern Vermont’s Communications Utility District
Fidium has agreed to bring its fiber broadband service to over Southern Vermont Communications Union District (SoVT CUD). Communications Union Districts (CUDs) are non-profit municipal entities established by Vermont towns seeking to provide broadband to underserved or unserved communities. Fidum’s new fiber network in southern Vermont was partially funded through a grant awarded to SoVT CUD, which partnered with Consolidated to bring fiber to its 14-town service area in Bennington County. The service provider will enable multi-gig service in over 14,000 additional Vermont homes and businesses by the end of 2023. Construction is underway for southern Vermont’s expansion, bringing Fidium to the communities of Arlington, Dorset, Landgrove, Londonderry, Manchester, Peru, Pownall, Sandgate, Shaftsbury, South Londonderry, Sunderland, Rupert, Weston, and Winhall. Fidium service is already available to more than 18,000 homes and businesses in Bennington, Dover, Marlboro, Searsburg, Shaftsburg, and Woodford. With the completion of the announced expansion, more than 116,000 locations in Vermont will have access to Fidium Fiber by the end of 2023.

Brightspeed Secures $500M Investment from Mubadala
Brightspeed has agreed for Mubadala to invest $500 million in the service provider. With this investment, Mubadala will become a minority shareholder alongside investment funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management. Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, Brightspeed is the fifth-largest incumbent local exchange carrier (ILEC) in the U.S., with the capability of serving more than 6.5 million homes and businesses in mainly rural and suburban communities across the U.S. Midwest, Southeast, and parts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Brightspeed officially launched operations in October 2022 and began building its fiber network, which started serving its first fiber customers in March 2023. Brightspeed's planned fiber transformation is expected to reach up to 3 million homes and businesses over the next five years, including in many places where fiber and advanced technology have not historically been deployed. The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals and conditions.

Ritter’s RightFiber Launches 2, 5 Gbps Symmetrical Services
Ritter Communications’ RightFiber launched a 5 and 2 Gbps symmetrical fiber-to-the-home internet service across its fiber network. Jonesboro, Arkansas, selected Ritter Communications as its official residential broadband partner last year. On average, U.S. households now have 22 connected devices in their home. RightFiber’s multi-gig technology provides the fastest speeds for customers to run multiple devices simultaneously with no lagging or buffering.

STELLAR Broadband Expands Fiber Service to City View Apartments
STELLAR Broadband is now offering its fiber broadband service to City View Apartments. This new mixed-use development includes 172 apartments, a 5,000-square-foot fitness and training center, and 13,500 square feet of commercial co-working space in Downtown Lansing. City View is set to become a focal point of the capital city. The company's fiber network can deliver speeds up to 10 Gbps. STELLAR offers a variety of features, including 24/7 customer support, a satisfaction guarantee, and a variety of security features.

Baicells Partner Group Targets MDU Properties with Private LTE
Baicells Technologies and its networking partners CELLocity, ALEF Edge, and LittleBird collaborated to define and deploy a private LTE solution for residential rental communities in Phoenix, AZ. The commercial deployment was recently recognized with an award for excellence by the OnGo Alliance, a leading industry organization with 180+ member companies that promotes the capabilities and benefits of private LTE and 5G networks. Leveraging the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) spectrum, the team quickly built and deployed a turnkey private wireless (cellular) network at Cabana Happy Valley, a residential complex of 292 apartments and community spaces based in Phoenix, Arizona. The solution, which went on air in February 2023, has several elements comprising LTE radios from Baicells, a managed core solution from CELLocity, Hosted Edge from ALEF Edge, and the IoT application ecosystem from LittleBird. Vall Technologies bundled the elements and deployed a turnkey solution making it easy for the complex. This solution template is already being rolled out at other residential properties across Phoenix, AZ, the metro area, and beyond.

TDS Targets Dodgeville and Mineral Point, Wisconsin, with Fiber Broadband
TDS Telecommunications is expanding to Iowa County for the first time and building all-fiber networks in Dodgeville and Mineral Point, Wisconsin. The company’s Dodgeville project is underway, and work is expected to begin in Mineral Point in the coming weeks. Both projects will ultimately deliver high-speed internet, TV, and phone services to approximately 3,700 addresses across both communities. When complete, residential customers in the building footprint can choose up to 8 Gbps, and businesses gain dedicated connections of up to 10 Gbps. Construction work includes laying underground fiber in public utility easement areas in neighborhoods and business parks. Residents will be notified of build activity through signage, direct mail, and door hangers. TDS is also building an all-fiber network in the city of Janesville as well as Onalaska, Eau Claire, Chippewa Falls, and Altoona, Wisconsin. The company is investing nearly a billion dollars in fiber expansion across the state.

GoNetspeed Begins Installing Fiber Internet in Kennebunk, Maine
GoNetspeed has started installing fiber service in Kennebunk, Maine. GoNetspeed’s $2 million investment delivers Kennebunk access to a new fiber internet option. Once construction is complete, more than 2,000 homes and businesses will have access to GoNetspeed’s symmetrical fiber internet speeds, allowing customers to upload as fast as they download. GoNetspeed is continuing to ensure that more communities throughout Maine have access to its fiber internet infrastructure. Bangor, Bath, Biddeford, Brewer, Brunswick, Cape Elizabeth, Cumberland, Falmouth, Gorham, Gray, New Gloucester, Old Orchard Beach, Old Town, Orono, Saco, Scarborough, Topsham, Westbrook, Windham, and Yarmouth have access to GoNetspeed’s service.

Highline Lights Fiber for 900 Homes in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula
Highline, a fiber provider focused on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, is bringing fiber internet to Wilson, Spalding and Spalding Township, Powers, and Meyer Township. More than 900 additional homes will have access to fiber connections. Since it installed its first customer in the Upper Peninsula in October 2021, the provider now ser ices thousands of previously unserved or underserved customers.

Fastbridge Fiber Starts Fiber Build in Williamsport, Bloomsburg, and Danville, Pennsylvania
FastBridge Fiber has begun its expansion to the Greater Williamsport area and will begin construction in the Town of Bloomsburg and the Danville Borough in the coming weeks. The provider will start connecting the first customers in these areas this summer. Information on what to expect during construction can be found at FastBridge Fiber offers symmetrical internet speeds from 500 Mbps up to 2 Gbps over a fiber internet network.

Gateway Fiber Expanding Fiber Internet Service to St. Peters, Missouri
A new high-speed fiber internet service is coming to St. Peters. Local internet provider Gateway Fiber has started constructing its network around the Mexico Road and Mid-Rivers Mall Drive area and will begin residential and business installations this summer. Before construction starts, area residents and businesses will receive a postcard and door hanger notifying them of the process. Gateway offers symmetrical internet speeds from 250 Mbps up to 1 Gbps.

Blue Stream Fiber Strikes Broadband Partnership with Kissimmee, FL Solivita
Blue Stream Fiber has secured a partnership with the community of Solivita in Kissimmee, FL, to bring over 10,000 residents advanced broadband, television, and voice products over its fiber network. Sitting on over 4,300 acres with greenspaces, lakes, and waterways, Solivita ranks among Florida’s top retirement communities, as well as one of the largest to partner with Blue Stream Fiber. As part of its agreement with the district, Blue Stream Fiber will not only equip homes with Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) technology but many of the community’s common areas as well. In addition to providing top-quality telecom services, Blue Stream Fiber's partnership with Solivita is also expected to increase property values within the community. According to recent studies, communities with access to fiber-optic technology can see a significant increase in their property values. Blue Stream Fiber has already initiated the fiber construction process to prepare for activating its services throughout the community in April 2024.

WOW! Breaks Ground on Greenville County, South Carolina Fiber Network
WOW! Internet, Cable & Phone has begun constructing its fiber network in Greenville County, South Carolina. The company anticipates offering its high-speed Internet services to consumers in Mauldin, South Carolina, in the coming months. WOW!'s expansion into South Carolina is part of the company's continued initiative to build new markets non-adjacent to its existing network and deliver its advanced fiber technology and award-winning customer service to residents across its growing footprint. With these expansions, WOW! plans to reach 400,000 new homes passed by 2027, increasing its total passings by 21 percent. Residents in Mauldin, followed by other Greenville County communities including Five Forks, Fountain Inn, Piedmont, and Simpsonville, will soon be able to access WOW!'s all-fiber network that provides 5 Gbps speeds.

Empire Access Expands Further into Northeast Pennsylvania
Empire Access, a Northeast fiber optic service provider, is expanding its service to Bloomsburg, Hazleton, and Nanticoke, Pennsylvania. When completed in the Fall of 2023, the buildout will offer residents and businesses Gigabit-speed Internet, TV, phone, and security solutions. This expansion adds three new communities to Empire Access’ network, which has seen significant growth over the past year.

Google Fiber Sets Pocatello, Idaho as Next Fiber Target
Google Fiber has named Pocatello, Idaho, as its first city to build fiber in Idaho. According to a blog post, Google Fiber has started the engineering process and working with the city to get ready for construction, which it expects to begin late this year. It plans to connect Pocatello residents and businesses to its fiber-based internet in the middle of 2024.

Tachus Fiber Internet Ups Customer Speeds
Tachus Fiber Internet has increased speeds for all existing customers who subscribe to the Company’s symmetrical 100 Mbps and 300 Mbps speed plans. The Texas-based Internet provider has increased rates on both the downstream and upstream for customers. Current 100 Mbps customers will see new speeds of 300 Mbps downstream & 300 Mbps upstream, while current 500 Mbps customers will see new speeds of 600 Mbps downstream and 600 Mbps upstream. Both speed increases were rolled out to thousands of Tachus customers at no additional cost within the last week. Tachus has proliferated over the previous four years to offer ultra-reliable, lightning-fast broadband services to more than 31,000 satisfied customers in a vast arc across the North Houston communities of Atascocita, Conroe, Kingwood, Porter, Willis, and The Woodlands, with current construction on-going in the communities of Huffman, Humble, and Huntsville. Tachus is leveraging its 3,000-mile underground fiber network to provide service using redundant pathways, ensuring the highest reliability and consistent user experience. Tachus’ commitment to customer value ensures speeds are consistently high with pricing that is fair, transparent, and never includes hidden fees.

Oak Hill Capital Invests $150M in Lit Communities to Accelerate Broadband Deployment
Oak Hill Capital has committed $150 million to Lit Communities to fund further and accelerate the construction of Lit's fiber-based network in unserved and underserved communities across the United States. Lit's existing shareholders, including Stephens Capital Partners, The Pritzker Organization, and the Lit management team, are all remaining shareholders and plan to continue to support the business in the future. Lit was founded in Birmingham, AL, in 2019 and leverages public-private partnerships with local governments and municipalities to build and operate last-mile fiber networks. The company now has networks in place, under construction, or planning in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas. In partnership with local communities and vendors, Lit has successfully built and operates fiber networks reaching approximately 20,000 homes and businesses. Oak Hill's investment will enable Lit to bring state-of-the-art, high-speed fiber-to-the-home networks to more than 200,000 locations over the next few years. Oak Hill is an experienced investor in broadband expansion through fast-growing, independently-owned networks in multiple states.

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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