The Great Broadband Build: Ziply Fiber Launches 10G Service; UTOPIA Fiber Builds 2.9M Feet of Fiber

In the latest issue of The Great Broadband Build, we're tracking how UTOPIA Fiber built out 2.9 million feet of fiber in 2022 and Ziply Fiber has launched a new 10 Gbps residential 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.

Ziply Fiber Launches 10G Residential Fiber Broadband Tier
Ziply Fiber has debuted a 10-Gig home internet service across its four-state footprint in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. The service provider recently announced its 100th new fiber market and first edge-out market since it began its fiber expansion efforts in 2020. Ziply Fiber’s new 10 Gbps service plan costs $300 monthly and comes with Static IPv6 and IPv4 addresses. There is also a one-time $300 installation fee. Customers can provide their router with an SFP+ port capable of 10 Gbps speeds or lease one from Ziply Fiber for $10 monthly.

UTOPIA Fiber Built over 2.9M Feet of Fiber Infrastructure in 2022
UTOPIA Fiber built more than 2,969,784 feet of fiberoptic infrastructure in 2022 throughout Utah, Idaho, and Montana. This impressive feat was accomplished, facing fierce headwinds from supply chain constraints and labor market shortages. Additionally, UTOPIA Fiber inked the deal to provide residential services to its 20th Utah city while also completing fiber buildouts in 14 cities, including UTOPIA’s 11 original towns. More than 20,000-gigabit customers were added to the network (including nearly 1,000 businesses), and about 400 10 Gbps customers (including about 300 companies) added service. Data centers, state agencies, and higher education institutions opted to take 100 Gigabit speeds.

Empire Expands Canandaigua, NY Fiber Internet Presence
Empire Access is set to expand its fiber network into Canandaigua, New York. Set to be completed in the spring of 2023, the new network build will offer residents and businesses internet, TV, phone, and security solutions. This latest build follows private equity firm Antin’s acquisition of Empire and North Penn Telephone, enhancing the fiber-to-the-premise (FTTP) player’s ability to serve Western New York and Northern Pennsylvania.    

Metronet Starts Building Out Fiber Network in Bellbrook, Ohio
Metronet has begun construction of its fiber network in Bellbrook. Construction has already started in the city’s northwest corner near Possum Run Road. It will expand rapidly throughout the community, with the first customers expected to be connected by the fall of 2023. As construction continues throughout the city, customers may sign up for presale to indicate their interest and prioritize service installation once available.

Finland’s Valoo Taps Nokia for its 10G Fiber Broadband Network
Finland-based Valoo has tapped Nokia as its primary network access supplier for its planned 10G XGS-PON fiber broadband network. The new network will connect 200,000 homes in around 30 cities by the end of 2026. Nokia will provide fiber access nodes for the central office and its Altiplano broadband access controller, which includes software-defined access networking (SDAN) capabilities. Nokia’s Quillion will allow Valoo to migrate to 25G PON when it wants to add more capacity. Valoo focuses on fiber broadband access and is undergoing large-scale fiber developments in the Finnish market. In February this year, the company announced that as well as building fiber networks, it will offer internet service subscriptions and make its network available to third-party operators.

Kinetic to Light Fiber Internet for More Andrews, Texas Customers
Windstream’s Kinetic will make its fiber-based internet service available to 1,700 homes and businesses in Andrews, Texas. The new fiber Kinetic will lay in the city and expand its fiber broadband coverage in Andrews beyond its existing 4,200 customers to nearly 6,000. Kinetic’s Andrews fiber project is part of the provider’s $2 billion multiyear capital investment strategy to dramatically expand gigabit fiber service across the company’s 18-state footprint.

Virginia’s Department of Housing and Community Development Expands Participation in FCC’s ACP Program
The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) will receive $189,000 from the (FCC) in an outreach grant to drive awareness and increase enrollment in the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). ACP provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward internet service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 on purchasing a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price.

GigabitNow, Hoosier Fiber Networks Begin Lighting FTTH Customers in Bloomington, Indiana
GigabitNow and fiber network developer Hoosier Fiber Networks recently announced that Bloomington’s first homes are ready for fiber internet home connections and order availability for GigabitNow’s fiber internet service. According to GigabitNow, 100 homes in the South Griffy neighborhood are now ready for connection to Hoosier Fiber Network’s fiber internet network. An additional 3,700 homes will be connected by the end of May. Since the project began, nearly a quarter million feet of fiber conduit have been laid, and it passed 3,676 homes throughout Bloomington. GigabitNow offers three symmetrical tiers: 2 Gbps for $69 a month, 5 Gbps for $149.99, and up to 10 Gbps for $199.99. Eligible low-income residents may qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Plan (ACP) to receive at least a symmetrical 250 Mbps plan at no cost to the user if ACP is applied. The City and Hoosier Fiber Networks will provide the “drop” connection to qualifying households.

Omni Fiber Dedicates $7M for Wilmington, OH Fiber Build
Ohio-based Omni Fiber and the City of Wilmington have partnered to bring broadband access to a large portion of the city with a new fiber network. Once the estimated $7 Million project is complete, the fiber network will provide high-speed Internet access to residents and businesses. Residential services include fiber Internet plans up to 2 Gbps, traditional and streaming TV options, and Home Phone. Small business solutions will also be available later this year. Construction of the multi-month project is now underway, with installation expected to begin in the summer.

Segra, US Ignite Promote Economic and Labor Growth in Greensboro, NC
Fiber infrastructure provider Segra has partnered with US Ignite to accelerate the smart city movement in Greensboro, NC, since 2020. Over the last two years, Segra has supported infrastructure and innovation developments in and around Greensboro’s South Elm Street Corridor as part of US Ignite’s Innovation District Working Group. And US Ignite supports two key initiatives: community investments and business support and providing internet access for educational institutions. Leveraging Segra’s community investment, US Ignite received $4 million in federal funding to develop the plan for infrastructure improvements within the Innovation District. Besides helping US Ignite secure funding, Segra also works with companies in the Innovation District, such as Transform GSOForge Greensboro, and The Nussbaum Center for Entrepreneurship, Inc., all of which are Greensboro-based organizations that support entrepreneurs, those looking for jobs, and small businesses. Segra will also deliver internet access by providing a high-speed private education network for all pre-K through post-doc students at no cost to students or their families. Core services include high-speed broadband access, shared cloud significant data computing architecture, and open data collaboration, focusing on areas where no or poor internet access exists. This is similar to Segra’s current partnership with Open Broadband in Charlotte, NC.

Gigstreem Raises $59M to Accelerate Managed Wi-Fi Growth in Multifamily Properties.
Gigstreem has raised $59 million in funding, which will help drive further growth of managed Wi-Fi broadband in the multifamily property segment. The $59 million was raised in two separate transactions in Q1’23, with all proceeds coming from Gigstreem’s existing investor base. The first transaction, which raised $19 million for Gigstreem, was led by Crestline Investors and included participation from real estate technology venture capital firm RET Ventures and Essex Property Trust and UDR; capital from this funding round will help Gigstreem scale its growth and deploy internet services to more markets. Crestline led an additional $40 million raise in March 2023 to provide Gigstreem with the strategic capital to pursue acquisition opportunities. Most of the money raised in the second round was used to acquire most assets from GigaMonster Networks, an Atlanta-based residential and commercial internet provider. The acquisition will accelerate the expansion of Gigstreem's national footprint, more than doubling the number of assets utilizing the company’s technology while further growing the team and expanding local customer support and engineering capabilities.

With over 100 new properties onboarded through the acquisition, Gigstreem now services 52,000 apartment units spanning 28 markets nationwide. The platform plans to launch operations in some 40,000 additional apartments in 2023. Additionally, in securing a significant portion of Gigamonster’s assets and subscribers, Gigstreem will expand its presence into six new markets while increasing its market share in several existing markets, including Texas, Florida, California, Washington, and Georgia. This transaction comes from several other significant corporate developments at Gigstreem. In August, Gigstreem acquired netBlazr, which positioned Gigstreem as a new ISP for apartment owners and managers in the Greater Boston area. Gigstreem also entered the Seattle, San Francisco, and Dallas markets.

Fidium Fiber Lights Up Service in Maine’s Farmington and Blue Hill Peninsula Regions
Over 16,000 homes and small businesses in Maine’s Farmington and Blue Hill Peninsula regions can now order symmetrical, multi-gigabit fiber internet from Fidium Fiber. In the Farmington area, this includes the communities of Chesterville, Farmington, Industry, Mercer, New Sharon, New Vineyard, Starks, Strong, Temple, and Wilton. The Blue Hill Peninsula includes Blue Hill, Brooklin, Castine, Deer Isle, Penobscot, Sedgwick, and Stonington. With the addition of these communities, more than 164,000 homes and businesses throughout Maine can now order Fidium Fiber. The new fiber network in these areas was partially funded by a grant from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration in partnership with the Maine Connectivity Authority. In addition to the Blue Hill and Farmington areas, Fidium is now Rangeley area, including in Dallas Plantation, Rangeley Plantation, and Sandy River Plantation. All Fidium plans offer symmetrical speeds from 50 Mbps to 2 Gbps. Fidium Fiber also offers VoIP phone service plans and features rates that allow customers to stream their preferred TV and entertainment. Customers who sign up for 2 Gbps speeds can now receive a discounted price of $85 per month for the first year of service and only $95 per month after that.

GoNetSpeed Equips Shortsville and Manchester, NY Residents with Fiber Broadband
GoNetspeed’s fiber internet is available to residents and businesses in Shortsville and Manchester. Customers throughout GoNetspeed’s service area may now experience high-speed symmetrical upload and download internet speeds and voice service directly from their home or business through the company’s $1.3 million investment. With construction complete, more than 1,300 locations will have access to GoNetspeed’s fiber internet service. GoNetspeed continues to expand its fiber network presence throughout New York. Currently, Cheektowaga, Canandaigua, Depew, Geneva, Macedon, Newark, Palmyra, Seneca Falls, Waterloo, and several more communities throughout the state have access to GoNetspeed’s service.

Breezeline Expands Fiber Internet Access in West Virginia
Breezeline has expanded access to its fiber internet service in West Virginia through a new 500-mile fiber network that will reach more than 40,000 homes and businesses in Monongalia County. Frank van der Post, President of Breezeline, said in a release that it has “extended our fiber facilities to 25,000 new homes and businesses already and expects to add 17,000 serviceable homes and businesses over the next 12 months.” Breezeline has completed the construction and activation of its services in Brookhaven, Cheat Lake and Morgantown. The service provider will extend its facilities into Westover, Star City and Granville. Since the project began last year, Breezeline has invested more than $40 million in the construction and activation of its network and has tripled its workforce as it has expanded its operations in the region.

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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