Startup Hexvarium prepares to ride the fiber buildout wave
Startup Hexvarium on Wednesday announced the launch of its fiber buildout strategy – an effort the company hopes to eventually back with a $500 million buildout fund.
"What we've created is a template for multiple entities to come together," Hexvarium CEO Gerry Lawlor told Light Reading in a telephone interview.
Hexvarium's services aim to help fiber network operators, electricity utilities, local governments and others quickly and easily evaluate the costs associated with building fiber networks in different parts of the country, as well as how much revenue those networks might generate, according to Lawlor.
The company's planning and mapping software, HexMAPP, can target specific geographic areas of the US and overlay those locations with information about who lives there, how much it might cost to deliver different kinds of telecom services there, which services might already be available and what investors' potential returns on investment might be.
Lawlor added that Hexvarium's calculations are dynamic, meaning that operators will be able to reevaluate their network buildouts throughout a given period. That way, they can adjust their plans as necessary.
Hexvarium, which was previously called Open5G, is launching into the market at a critical time. AT&T, Frontier and other massive telecom operators are in the midst of building fiber to millions of new locations.
Further, the US government is preparing to funnel billions of dollars into the broadband market in order to finance the deployment of new telecom services – particularly fiber – in rural or unserved areas.
Prior to joining Hexvarium, Lawlor founded multiple Internet service providers (ISPs). He also spent time at T-Mobile, working on strategies to expand the operator's network.
Hexvarium was co-founded by entrepreneur Mike Farmwald, who launched a fiber network in his hometown of Atherton, California. Farmwald helped to finance the development of Atherton Fiber, which uses Hexvarium's fiber deployment platform.
Today Hexvarium counts around 35 employees but expects to significantly increase that number by the end of this year, according to Lawlor. He said the company is primarily funded by Farmwald but is working to close an initial round of venture funding.
Lawlor noted that Hexvarium is also "willing to put our own money into an area" via an infrastructure investment fund. He said the company is currently developing the fund and hopes to grow it into a $500 million effort. The money is intended to build new fiber networks to up to 1 million new locations in the US during the next five to seven years.
- Analysts fret over Lumen's fiber plans
- BEAD's high-cost threshold 'key area' of concern for fiber advocates
- Chipset, workforce shortages could hamstring US fiber bonanza
— Mike Dano, Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies, Light Reading | @mikeddano