The Buildout: Focus launches GREAT service, Vexus Fiber 'certifies' parts of Texas

This week in broadband builds: Focus Broadband launches in Perquimans County, North Carolina; Vexus Fiber available to most Abilene, Texas, homes; Metronet gets New Britain 'gigabit-ready' – and more.

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

May 17, 2024

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 over 270,000 locations across the US. Send us your news at [email protected]. Keep up with every installment of The Buildout here.

  • Focus Broadband announced that services are available in the first phase of the company's fiber buildout project in Perquimans County, North Carolina, specifically in the region of New Hope. The company was awarded funding for the project from the state in 2022 and 2023 through North Carolina's Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology (GREAT) grant program. All in, Focus Broadband was awarded $8 million to connect 2,600 addresses in the county, with broader service delivery expected this summer. Focus Broadband is a member-owned communications cooperative formed in 2021 by parent company ATMC.

  • Vexus Fiber is now available to the majority of the 46,000 homes in Abilene, Texas, making the city one of Vexus' "certified gigabit cities." The company has invested $49 million in the region to build out 600 miles of fiber, according to a press release, and has expanded its service to over 40,000 residents and more than 4,000 businesses since 2021. Vexus Fiber, which merged with Metronet in 2022, has funding from Pamlico Capital and Oak Hill Capital.

  • Similarly, GoNetspeed, which is funded by Oak Hill Capital, has designated New Britain, Connecticut, one of its "gigabit-ready communities," meaning that a majority of homes in the region can access GoNetspeed's fiber network. The company has installed 130 miles of fiber to reach 30,000 locations since starting construction in early 2023. The $5 million project was a public-private partnership with the city through which GoNetspeed received American Rescue Plan funding.

  • Comporium announced progress on its fiber buildout projects in York County and Saluda County, South Carolina. In York County, the company built out two miles of fiber in two rural areas over the past eight months to reach an additional 44 addresses. The $165,000 project combined funding from the American Rescue Plan and private investment from Comporium. In Saluda County, Comporium invested $155,000 to build out three miles of fiber to reach 58 addresses in south Ridge Spring. According to a press release, the company has started a second phase of expansion work in the Ridge Spring area, with customers expected to get connected in the next month.

  • Brightspeed this week also announced progress on its builds in New Jersey and Tennessee. In New Jersey, the company said its network will soon provide connectivity to more than 28,000 homes and businesses in the regions of Clinton, Flemington and Griggstown (8,300 addresses in Clinton and Flemington are currently connected). And in Tennessee, Brightspeed launched initial services on its network serving the Tri-Cities area and Northeast Tennessee. The Tennessee network is expected to ultimately be available to more than 160,000 homes in Johnson City, Kingsport, Bristol, Elizabethton and surrounding communities.

  • Charter's Spectrum proceeded with service launches and new construction associated with its Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) winnings. In South Carolina, the company launched broadband services for 2,025 homes and businesses in Bamberg County, and nearly 300 homes and small businesses in Dorchester County. Similarly, in Massachusetts, Spectrum launched for 1,200 homes and small businesses in the towns of Royalston and Warwick. The company also started new RDOF-related construction to bring broadband to more than 5,000 homes and small businesses in Cass County, Texas.

  • Great Plains Communications this week said it is expanding to more than 1,200 homes in the regions of Aurora and Vevay, Indiana. Funding is provided by the state's Next Level Connections (NLC) Broadband Grant Program. The company is also using NLC funds to build fiber to an additional 292 unserved homes in Bartholomew, Decatur and Ripley. Construction is expected to be complete in June in Vevay and in August in Aurora, with other locations "projected to be finished by year end."

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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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