The Buildout: Comcast expands in Minnesota and West Virginia

This week in broadband builds: Comcast expands in Minnesota and West Virginia, Kinetic reaches into rural Pennsylvania, Clearwave goes to Kansas, AT&T wins in Indiana – and more.

The Buildout is a column from Light Reading tracking broadband network deployments. This week we're tracking fiber builds reaching over 30,000 locations across the US. Send us your news right here. Keep up with every installment of The Buildout here.

  • Comcast will connect more than 2,100 unserved homes and businesses in West Virginia with nearly 200 additional route miles of fiber, courtesy of grants through the state's Line Extension Advancement and Development (LEAD) program. According to a press release from Governor Jim Justice's office, "Comcast next month will begin to execute the buildout plan for two projects totaling more than $10 million, enabled in part by a $7.5 million state grant to provide more residents in Brooke, Cabell, Hancock, Morgan, Ohio, and Putnam counties access to Comcast's smart, fast and reliable fiber network." Grant funding for the LEAD program comes from West Virginia's share of federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds ($90 million) and state revenue ($10 million). Construction is set to begin and will wrap up by the end of 2023.

  • In addition to West Virginia, Comcast also announced it will expand its fiber network to over 2,300 homes and businesses in Wayzata, Minnesota. Network construction is slated to be finished in 2023. The Wayzata buildout will cost $2.5 million and brings the company's statewide investment over the last few years to roughly $437 million.

(Source: dpa picture alliance/Alamy Stock Photo)
(Source: dpa picture alliance/Alamy Stock Photo)

  • Kinetic by Windstream will install 31 miles of fiber in northwestern Greene County, Pennsylvania, to deliver broadband to 103 rural customers. The build is thanks in part to a $1 million donation from CNX Foundation, a nonprofit organization that invests in community projects. According to coverage from Observer-Reporter, this marks the third phase of Greene County's broadband buildout. The county previously used $3 million in CARES Act funding to upgrade speeds for 8,300 customers in more-populated areas. Kinetic also received $2.5 million from the state (paired with $2.7 million in Kinetic matching funds) to deliver broadband to 767 customers in the southern part of Greene County. Kinetic is expected to complete construction for both builds in the spring of 2024.

  • Optimum announced it is expanding its network in Texas to bring services to Brownfield, Hereford and Seminole. In a press release, the company said construction of its fiber networks in those communities is already underway, joining more than 250 other communities that Optimum serves in Texas. With this build, Optimum plans to reach 15,900 homes and businesses (4,000 in Brownfield, 5,400 in Seminole and 6,500 in Hereford). Services will start rolling out in early 2023, with construction to continue throughout the year.

  • Clearwave Fiber is expanding its fiber network to Salina, Kansas, as part of its larger buildout in the state. Clearwave's Kansas build will deliver fiber to roughly 9,000 households by early next year, said the company, with construction in Salina set to start "after the first of the year." Clearwave aims to reach more than 500,000 homes and businesses across the US with fiber by 2026.

  • AT&T announced it will build and deliver a fiber network in Delaware County, Indiana. According to a press release, the buildout is still "contingent upon a final contract between the county and AT&T." If all goes to plan, the $2.3 million network buildout will connect 1,250 locations. Funding includes $1.29 million from AT&T, and $990,000 from the county's American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. Once the contract is executed, construction will be completed within 18 months. According to county commissioners, who spoke at a meeting on December 5, AT&T beat Comcast and Charter, which also responded to the county's request for proposals, in part because it had the shortest timeline for rollout.


Nicole Ferraro, editor, Light Reading, and host of "​​The Divide" podcast.

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