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The Buildout: Spectrum live in multiple Michigan RDOF regions

This week in broadband builds: Breezeline completes construction in New Hampshire and West Virginia; Ocean Networks to build $120 million Hawaiian Islands Fiber Link; GoNetspeed plans new New York construction – and more.

Nicole Ferraro

February 2, 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 200,000 locations across the US. Send us your news here. Keep up with every installment of The Buildout here.

  • Breezeline, a subsidiary of Cogeco Communications, has wrapped up large fiber construction projects in West Virginia and in New Hampshire. In West Virginia, the company completed a $42 million fiber buildout in Morgantown, located in Monongalia County. The new, 283-mile fiber network makes broadband services available to nearly 40,000 homes and businesses, said Breezeline. And in New Hampshire, Breezeline completed a $40 million, 525-mile fiber buildout, bringing broadband to more than 45,000 homes and businesses in the communities of Somersworth, Madbury, Dover, Durham and Concord.

  • GoNetspeed will begin construction this spring on a fiber network in Utica, New York. The $60 million project will bring broadband to more than 38,000 locations, according to a press release. Service will be available "as early as summer of 2024." Also in New York, GoNetspeed said it will invest $10 million to bring its fiber network to more than 10,000 locations in the city of Rome. Construction and initial service launches will commence in 2025. Separately this week, GoNetspeed said it has launched speeds up to 2 Gbit/s – up from its current offering of 1 Gbit/s – for customers in Maine, Massachusetts, New York and parts of Connecticut. In a press release, GoNetspeed said it will launch 2 Gigs for customers in other communities in "the coming months." GoNetspeed is building out fiber networks in multiple states in partnership with Oak Hill Capital.

  • Both Vexus Fiber and Metronet added new "certified gigabit cities" to their arsenals this week. The companies, which merged in 2022 but operate under their individual brands, apply the descriptor to cities where their multi-gigabit services are available to a majority of locations. For Vexus Fiber, that now includes Amarillo, Texas, where the company has invested $64.5 million since 2020 to expand service to an estimated 79,000 locations. Metronet, meanwhile, has granted the certified gigabit status to Greenville, North Carolina, where the company has invested $46 million to reach a majority of the city, with construction starting in 2021. Vexus Fiber and Metronet are also funded by Oak Hill Capital.

  • The University of Hawai'i (UH) and Ocean Networks, Inc. (ONI) this week announced a $120 million public-private partnership to build out what's being called the Hawaiian Islands Fiber Link (HIFL). The project will see ONI construct and operate a subsea cable system connecting the Hawaiian Islands. The build has partial federal funding – $60 million from the Treasury Department, according to a spokesperson – with ONI to supply the remaining funds via private equity and secured debt. The new subsea cable system will be carrier neutral and open access and is expected to launch in late 2026.

  • The state of Oklahoma last week awarded $374 million to 31 service providers to bring broadband to 55,000 locations in 57 counties. The grants were awarded from American Rescue Plan (ARPA) State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds. In addition to grant funding, providers will supply more than $90 million in matching funds, said the state. Projects must be completed by 2026. In addition to local ISPs and electric co-ops, winning providers include AT&T and Cox.

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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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