The Buildout: Consolidated, Astound, Ziply win in Washington

This week in broadband builds: Washington awards $121 million; Spectrum expands in Hamden, Maine; Cox to get $1 million in Oklahoma – and more.

Nicole Ferraro, Editor, host of 'The Divide' podcast

May 19, 2023

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

The Buildout is a column from Light Reading tracking broadband network deployments. This week we're tracking new construction and service launches reaching roughly 200,000 locations across the US. Send us your news right here. Keep up with every installment of The Buildout here.

  • The state of Washington awarded $121 million in grants for 19 broadband projects to deliver service to 14,794 unserved and underserved homes and businesses. In a press release, the state said that demand for the program exceeded the available funding by 261%, with 50 different projects requesting more than $316 million. Funding for these grants came from the state's share of American Rescue Plan capital projects funds from the US Treasury Department. According to state data shared with Light Reading, ISP winners include Consolidated ($11.36 million in Kittitas County), Astound Broadband ($8 million in Port of Skagit County) and Ziply Fiber ($1.76 million in King County); as well as several local providers including Rock Island Communications, in partnership with nonprofit utility Orcas Power & Light Co-Op ($14.9 million). Declaration Networks Group (DNG), which is currently building in Washington with funds from the NTIA, also won $12 million for a buildout in Central Stevens County.

  • Ziply Fiber announced that its services are available in Priest River, Idaho, bringing between 2 Gbit/s to 10 Gbit/s residential services to nearly 800 addresses, according to a press release. Ziply's buildout in Priest River is part of its multi-year, multi-million-dollar investment to deploy fiber to underserved communities across the northwest, ongoing since June 2020, following its $1.35 billion acquisition of the northwest operations of Frontier Communications.

  • The NTIA awarded nearly $5 million in grants to ten tribes through the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program (TBCP). The funding will cover a mix of broadband-related projects, including planning, use and adoption, and infrastructure deployments. Those receiving funding to deploy broadband include the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians ($499,999 to connect 17 unserved households with fiber) and the Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe of the Shoalwater Bay Indian Reservation ($498,101 to connect 46 homes with fiber). The NTIA has thus far awarded over $1.77 billion to 157 tribal entities through the TBCP.

  • The US Treasury Department awarded $120 million for broadband deployment to Idaho through the American Rescue Plan capital projects fund. The funding will connect 35,000 homes and businesses which, according to a fact sheet about the funding, represents about 23% of the state's remaining unserved locations. Funding will be distributed by the Idaho Broadband Advisory Board (IBAB) through its fiber-focused Broadband Infrastructure Grant – CPF (BIG-CPF) program. Projects must deliver speeds of at least 100/20 Mbit/s.

  • Spectrum this week completed its network expansion in Hampden, Maine. In a press release, the company said it invested over $500,000 to extend its network to the town's remaining 180 unserved homes. Overall in Maine, according to a recent announcement, Spectrum is spending $70 million on a network evolution to deliver symmetrical, gigabit speeds to roughly 700,000 homes in the state by 2025. Separately, Spectrum launched services this week in parts of Dodge and Fond du Lac Counties in Wisconsin, connecting an additional 1,000 homes to broadband. Spectrum also launched broadband services for more than 4,400 homes and small businesses in Marion County, South Carolina. Both the Wisconsin and South Carolina service launches are part of Spectrum's $5 billion buildout in the rural US, for which it received $1 billion through the FCC's Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) to connect 1 million locations across 24 states.

  •, an ISP in California, announced this week that it completed the expansion of ten wireless towers to expand broadband access to rural towns in Tulare County. The project was conducted in partnership with Land O'Lakes, through its American Connection Project, as well as with Microsoft's Airband Initiative. In a press release, said this buildout will bring broadband to farms, schools, homes and businesses, connecting "more than 255,000 county residents." has backing from private equity firm Littlebanc.

  • Fiber provider Unite Private Networks (UPN) announced it will build more than 55 miles of fiber infrastructure to expand its network into Las Cruces, New Mexico. The new network will yield "over 2,433 serviceable locations," according to a press release. The company will also establish a network hub in the region in order to "provision network capacity back to UPN's core point-of-presence in Albuquerque, NM." The buildout will enable carrier and enterprise customers to have access to fiber services scalable from 100 Mbit/s to 100 Gbit/s, said UPN.

  • Spot On Networks, a wireless ISP (WISP) that provides managed Wi-Fi networks for multifamily communities, announced the completion of a "Wi-Fi Bulk" affordable housing project in Johnstown, New York. The project saw Spot On install Wi-Fi access points for 52 locations in the building, including 36 units and 16 offices and shared spaces. Spot On previously announced completed installations in luxury buildings in Pennsylvania and New Jersey in October 2022.

  • In Oklahoma, the Rogers County Board of Commissions said it will award $1 million to Cox Communications to build broadband in four underserved areas. The funding comes from Oklahoma's share of American Rescue Plan dollars, and will be paired with an additional $2 million from Cox. The buildout is projected to connect 1,100 households, according to local reports.

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The Buildout

About the Author(s)

Nicole Ferraro

Editor, host of 'The Divide' podcast, Light Reading

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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