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The Buildout: Charter, Comcast get millions in Alabama, NTIA awards $280M to tribes, Vexus in TexasThe Buildout: Charter, Comcast get millions in Alabama, NTIA awards $280M to tribes, Vexus in Texas

This week in broadband builds: Charter, Comcast get millions in Alabama; NTIA awards $280 million for tribal networks; TDS construction in Idaho; Brightspeed's plans for Illinois and Michigan; and more.

Nicole Ferraro

August 29, 2022

4 Min Read
Fiber optic cables lie on a construction site
(Source: dpa picture alliance/Alamy Stock Photo)

The Buildout is a new column from Light Reading tracking broadband network deployments. This week we're tracking fiber and fixed wireless builds that will connect roughly 174,000 locations across the US. Send us your news right here. Keep up with every installment of The Buildout here.

  • The governor of Alabama, Kay Ivey, announced $26.6 million in broadband grants on Friday (August 26) to serve 15,000 households, businesses and public facilities. The state awarded $11.6 million to Comcast to connect 7,843 locations, and $7.3 million to Charter Communications' Spectrum Southeast service to connect 4,364 locations. The remaining $7.8 million went to Farmers Telecommunications Corp. to cover 2,664 locations. The grants were awarded through Alabama's Digital Expansion Division, which was created in 2021 to distribute $276 million in Alabama's American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds for broadband.

  • In a series of announcements, the Biden administration awarded more than $280 million in grants for broadband deployment on tribal land last week. The grants, awarded through the NTIA's Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program (TBCP), are expected to connect 11,131 unserved households, businesses and community anchor institutions. "NTIA has now made over 64 awards totaling more than $620 million in funding through the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program," the agency said in a press release. The program received $2 billion through the Biden administration's infrastructure law, on top of the initial $980 million made available through the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. The recent grant recipients include Yurok Telecommunications Corp. ($61.6 million), Hoopa Valley Tribal Council ($65 million), Inter-Tribal Council of Nevada ($18.9 million) and Spokane Tribe of Indians ($16.8 million), among others, to build a mix of middle- and last-mile fiber and wireless infrastructure.

  • TDS Telecommunications announced network construction plans in Idaho, where the company plans to expand to the Boise and Twin Falls, Idaho, areas. Specifically, TDS plans to build out its network to serve 12,000 addresses in the town of Caldwell in Treasure Valley; and 3,000 addresses in the Magic Valley towns of Hansen, Heyburn and Kimberly. Construction is set to start later this year. TDS also announced it has started delivering service in Billings, Montana, making Montana the 32nd state where TDS delivers services. In a press release, it said it had "more than 100 residential and commercial orders ready to install with more than 1,300 service addresses connected to the state-of-the-art fiber network." TDS delivers speeds up to 2 Gbit/s.

  • Comcast said it will spend $9 million to construct a 75-mile fiber network to connect more than 3,400 homes and businesses in Spring Hill, Kansas. Homes will be able to get speeds up to 1 Gbit/s and businesses up to 10 Gbit/s. The build is expected to start in late 2022 and take roughly two years. In a press release, Comcast said it has invested "more than $12.6 million in technology and infrastructure in Kansas, including upgrades to our network," with the Spring Hill expansion bringing its investment in that state to $21 million.

  • Vexus Fiber announced last week that its service is now available to "thousands" of residences in San Angelo, Texas. The company aims to connect 10,000 homes in the region by the end of the year. Vexus Fiber is live in several cities in Texas and Louisiana, and it's currently constructing its 100% fiber networks in the Rio Grande Valley, Laredo, Tyler, Nacogdoches and Huntsville, Texas; Lake Charles, Sulphur, West Lake and Alexandria, Louisiana; and Santa Fe and Albuquerque, New Mexico.

  • IQ Fiber turned on service for the first portion of its fiber network in Jacksonville, Florida, last week, offering residential broadband speeds between 250-1,000 Mbit/s. The privately funded ISP launched in August 2021 and aims to deliver fiber broadband to 60,000 homes across northeast Florida. Network construction started earlier this year.

  • Brightspeed, which is undergoing a $2 billion network upgrade, announced its build plans for Illinois and Michigan. In the short term, the company aims to build its network to 14,000 Illinois locations in Knox County and 10,000 Michigan locations across several counties by the end of 2023. In total, it plans to connect up to 45,000 Illinois locations and 24,000 Michigan locations. Brightspeed is planning network construction over the next five years in roughly 20 states.

Read more about:

The Buildout

About the Author(s)

Nicole Ferraro

Editor, host of 'The Divide' podcast

Nicole covers broadband, policy and the digital divide. She hosts The Divide on the Light Reading Podcast and tracks broadband builds in The Buildout column. Some* call her the Broadband Broad (*nobody).

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