Gigapower, the AT&T-BlackRock joint venture, is expanding to three areas of Florida as part of a plan to build fiber to 1.5 million locations outside AT&T's legacy wireline footprint.

Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor

March 19, 2024

2 Min Read
Purple fiber optic cable illustration
(Source: Science Photo Library/Alamy Stock Photo)

Gigapower, the AT&T-BlackRock joint venture, has tagged three areas of Florida for fiber buildouts: Okaloosa County, Crestview and Fort Walton.

The plan is to deliver fiber-fueled, multi-gigabit services to "thousands" of residential and business locations in those areas in the "coming months," the company said. The deployment is headed by the JV through a fund managed by its Diversified Infrastructure business, Gigapower noted. The JV did not say how much it has earmarked for the Florida build.

Those three areas tie into Gigapower's plan to build "open access" fiber networks to 1.5 million locations that fall outside of AT&T's wireline footprint.

Gigapower has identified several other markets for a phase one network build that includes Las Vegas, parts of Arizona (Mesa, Chandler and Gilbert), portions of northeastern Pennsylvania (including Wilkes-Barre and Scranton), areas of Alabama and Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Not much detail on pricing of the services to be delivered over Gigapower's network has been shared yet. Regulatory documents reference that the network, which is being built on XGS-PON technology, will support multiple speed tiers, starting at around 300 Mbit/s on up to 5 Gbit/s. Gigapower has said that its network will be software-upgradable to deliver up to 20 Gbit/s.

AT&T is Gigapower's initial anchor tenant for those buildouts. Gigapower has not announced any other tenants that will sell services off its network, but the JV has been asked if any additional tenants have signed on.

Gigapower officials previously said the JV has been approached by several ISPs. That list includes cable operators and "non-facility-based ISPs," Gigapower CEO Bill Hogg said last year.

Gigapower has also expressed interest in expanding beyond its initial 1.5 million location target, and intends to participate in the $42.45 billion Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) program.

Others are looking into fresh avenues to help fund fiber buildouts. GFiber (formerly Google Fiber) is seeking outside investors to help fund fiber network expansions, with a future goal to have the unit run independently from Alphabet, GFiber's parent. T-Mobile is reportedly looking to expand its fiber ambitions via a possible $1 billion joint venture with Lumos Networks.

About the Author(s)

Jeff Baumgartner

Senior Editor, Light Reading

Jeff Baumgartner is a Senior Editor for Light Reading and is responsible for the day-to-day news coverage and analysis of the cable and video sectors. Follow him on X and LinkedIn.

Baumgartner also served as Site Editor for Light Reading Cable from 2007-2013. In between his two stints at Light Reading, he led tech coverage for Multichannel News and was a regular contributor to Broadcasting + Cable. Baumgartner was named to the 2018 class of the Cable TV Pioneers.

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