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This week in broadband builds: US Treasury awards $82.2 million to North Carolina; plus fiber network news from GoNetspeed, Spectrum, Shentel, Ritter Communications, Hawaiian Telcom and Beacon Broadband.
January 19, 2024
The Buildout is a column from Light Reading tracking broadband network deployments. This week we're tracking new fiber construction and service launches reaching over 48,000 locations across the US. Send us your news here. Keep up with every installment of The Buildout here.
The US Treasury Department on Thursday approved $82.2 million in capital projects funds for broadband in North Carolina. The funding, announced by President Biden during a visit to the state, is projected to connect approximately 16,000 homes and businesses and will be awarded through North Carolina's Broadband Stop Gap Solutions Program, which aims to "reach individual or small pockets of households or businesses which have not been reached through prior federal investments." This funding is in addition to $177.7 million already awarded to the state by the Treasury through the capital projects fund in 2022. North Carolina is also set to receive $1.5 billion through the Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) program. The Treasury Department has thus far awarded roughly $9 billion of the $10 billion it was allotted for the capital projects fund through the American Rescue Plan. On a webinar this week, Joey Wender, director of the Treasury Department's capital projects fund, said the department has reimbursed nearly $500 million for projects completed.
GoNetspeed has started construction on a $4.8 million fiber buildout in the town of Ludlow, Massachusetts. The network will ultimately reach 4,800 homes and businesses, and the first customers are expected to receive service in "early 2024," said the company. GoNetspeed, which is building out fiber networks in multiple states, is funded by Oak Hill Capital.
Charter's Spectrum launched broadband services for 1,900 homes and businesses in Cullman County, Alabama. Spectrum was awarded funding to build out in Cullman County through the FCC's Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF).
Shentel's Glo Fiber has launched services in initial neighborhoods in Rockingham County, Virginia. The company expects to complete construction on the network in mid-2024, reaching over 8,000 homes and businesses in the county.
Ritter Communications is investing $4.3 million to build out fiber to the cities of Russellville and Morrilton, Arkansas. In a press release, the company said its RightFiber services will be available for residents in "early 2024." Russellville and Morrilton have a combined household reach of roughly 13,000, according to census data.
Hawaiian Telcom has expanded its Fioptics broadband service to reach more than 95% of the island of Moloka'i. In a press release, the company said Fioptics is now available to an additional 4,500 residents and businesses on Moloka'i. Hawaiian Telcom delivers its Fioptics service to roughly 337,000 locations across Hawaii and has invested nearly $1 billion over the last decade to expand fiber services. The company was also awarded $37 million in June 2023 via the NTIA's Middle Mile program toward an $87 million project to build 15 new middle mile fiber routes.
Beacon Broadband, a subsidiary of Coos-Curry Electric Cooperative (CCEC), has launched broadband services for 360 new addresses in Brookings, Oregon. With these households, the company said its service is available to "nearly all Curry County households and businesses from the California border to Cape Sebastian." Curry County claims over 11,000 households, according to the latest census data. In a Facebook post this week, CCEC said that Beacon Broadband has connected 2,000 subscribers thus far. The project was initially spearheaded in 2018.
Read more about:The Buildout
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