Brightspeed announces fiber broadband plans for Pennsylvania, Wisconsin

Aug. 3, 2022
Brightspeed reports it is working with a select team of technology innovators and supply chain partners to implement a state-of-the-art FTTP network engineered for faster deployment and market availability.

Brightspeed says it plans to deploy fiber to the home (FTTH) past up to 40,000 premises by the end of 2023 during the first phase of its FTTH initiative in Pennsylvania. The company expects to pass another 150,000 or more in subsequent years. The deployments will focus on markets within Cumberland, Lancaster, and York counties.

Pennsylvania is among the 20 states that will compose Brightspeed's operating territory when the company is finally formed. Brightspeed will mainly consist of the incumbent local exchange carrier (ILEC) assets and associated operations of Lumen Technologies (NYSE: LUMN) that are the subject of a pending acquisition by Apollo-managed funds.

Lumen and Apollo expect to obtain final FCC approval of the deal in the third quarter of this year and close the transaction in early fourth quarter. The fact that the deal hasn’t closed hasn’t prevented the announcement of FTTH deployment plans; company management says they will spend more than $2 billion to bring FTTH to up to 3 million homes and businesses over the next five years.

"We believe that broadband is a thread that connects us all together," said Chris Creager, chief administration officer of Brightspeed. "Our common experiences over the last couple of years have further magnified the importance of a reliable internet connection to empower people and businesses to participate and thrive in the digital economy, healthcare infrastructure, and education system."

Meanwhile, Brightspeed on July 27 outlined its planned fiber network build for the state of Wisconsin. By the end of 2023, Brightspeed said it will complete the first phase of construction and deliver over 70,000 new fiber passings across fifteen counties in the state. In subsequent years of its network initiative, the company plans to add 80,000 fiber passings for a total of over 150,000 new fiber-enabled locations in its Wisconsin operating territory.

“As we continue our extensive preparations for day one, we are pleased to share the build plans for our Wisconsin footprint,” said Sherry Hessenthaler, operations strategy lead for brightspeed. “A reliable, affordable broadband connection is a necessity to function and thrive in the modern economy, and the need for high-speed internet access is especially great in our rural areas. We believe people and businesses should have access to the best internet with the simplest customer experience possible. We are eager to introduce our Brightspeed services to customers in so many Wisconsin communities.”

According to a press release, Brightspeed’s 2022-23 build plan for Wisconsin will bring faster, more reliable internet and Wi-Fi to over 70,000 residential and business locations in markets within Ashland, Bayfield, Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Douglas, Grant, Green Lake, Jackson, La Crosse, Lafayette, Marinette, Monroe, Outagamie, and Sauk counties. These new fiber passings are incremental to 21,000 existing fiber-enabled addresses that Brightspeed will assume upon the close of the transaction between the Apollo funds and Lumen.

“To augment our initial build plans and help make fiber-based internet a reality for even more customers, we have been evaluating areas for consideration for Wisconsin’s broadband infrastructure initiatives,” Hessenthaler added. “We’re excited to have received a sizable grant under the state’s Broadband Expansion Grant Program, and we look forward to pursuing future federal and state broadband grant opportunities.”

"Brightspeed’s investment in Wisconsin will make an enormous difference for residents of our great state who depend on reliable internet to work, learn, and live," said Senator Julian Bradley, Chair of the Senate Committee on Utilities, Technology and Telecommunications.

Brightspeed reports it is working with a select team of technology innovators and supply chain partners to implement a state-of-the-art FTTP network engineered for faster deployment and market availability. The company said it will leverage XGS-PON, an architecture supporting symmetrical internet speeds that exceed 1Gbps, and Wi-Fi 6, the latest wireless networking standard for better speed and performance within today’s device-packed homes and offices.

Brightspeed plans to announce further state-specific network build plans over the coming weeks.

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