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July 13, 2022
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Brightspeed today announced that it will build a large segment of its planned fiber optics network in Missouri, where it expects to deliver, by end of 2023, over 130,000 new fiber passings in portions of nineteen counties in the first phase of construction in the state. Brightspeed plans an additional 180,000 fiber passings in the state in subsequent years of its build plan, for a total of over 310,000 fiber-enabled locations across its Missouri operating territory.
Brightspeed plans to invest more than $2 billion in its fiber optics transformation, which is expected to reach up to 3 million homes and businesses over the next five years, including in many rural and suburban settings where fiber and advanced technology have not historically been deployed.
Brightspeed will initially be comprised of incumbent local exchange carrier (ILEC) assets and associated operations of Lumen Technologies (NYSE: LUMN), which are the subject of a pending acquisition by Apollo-managed funds (NYSE: APO). The company recently announced that it had secured all necessary state-required regulatory approvals in the 20 states in its operating footprint. The parties expect to obtain final FCC approval in the third quarter, and to close the transaction in early fourth quarter.
Brightspeed has announced several of its state-specific fiber build plans over the last few weeks. The company is conducting network design and construction groundwork across its multistate territory as it continues preparations for day one operations.
"We are pleased to outline the initial build specifics for Missouri and are thrilled that we will be reaching so many communities," said Tom Maguire, Chief Operating Officer of Brightspeed. "Access to high-quality internet service has never been more relevant to today's households and businesses, whether for work, education, healthcare, or entertainment. Brightspeed intends to be a leader in developing connectivity solutions that best benefit our customers in the Missouri cities, towns, and neighborhoods we are privileged to serve."
Brightspeed's 2022-23 build plan for Missouri will bring faster, more reliable internet and Wi-Fi to over 130,000 residential and business locations in markets within Boone, Carroll, Cass, Cedar, Dent, Gasconade, Howell, Jackson, Johnson, Lafayette, Lawrence, Marion, Moniteau, Nodaway, Oregon, Phelps, St. Charles, Texas, and Wright counties.
"Beyond our own substantial network build in Missouri, we look forward to working with stakeholders at state and local levels to further expand fiber-based internet in our serving territory through the Missouri Department of Economic Development Broadband Infrastructure grant program, and other opportunities as they arise," added Maguire.
"Expanding affordable broadband connectivity to every part of Missouri – rural, urban, and suburban – has been a top priority for our administration," Governor Mike Parson said. "High-speed internet access is critical for our kids to learn, farmers to access markets, and businesses to grow. Just this year, we approved nearly $400 million in funding opportunities to expand internet access across our state. We appreciate Brightspeed's investment that will help connect hundreds of thousands of Missourians and increase economic opportunity for Missouri families."
Brightspeed's unique next-generation FTTP architecture, supported by a roster of blue-chip technology vendor partners, is designed to help the company accelerate deployment and market availability. The company's planned XGSPON-based network will be capable of delivering download and upload speeds in excess of 1Gbps and service reliability vital to helping today's households and businesses thrive in the digital economy.
Brightspeed plans to announce further state-specific network build plans over the next several weeks.
Read the full press release here.
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