AT&T’s CEO: We’ll see more open access networks in the U.S.

May 23, 2024
AT&T sees potential in the utility of open access fiber networks.

As AT&T moves forward with its fiber broadband push, the service provider is complementing its own network builds outside of its territory through its open access platform via its wholesale Gigapower platform. 

Last January, AT&T and investment firm BlackRock Alternatives, through a fund managed by BlackRock’s Diversified Infrastructure business, say that they have agreed to form a wholesale fiber network services provider called Gigapower LLC that will target markets outside of AT&T’s traditional 21-state wireline footprint.

The two companies say they will co-own and “govern” the joint venture but did not reveal the ownership split or how much money each party will commit to the deal. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals; the parties did not predict when they expect this milestone to be met.

Speaking to investors during the 52nd annual JPMorgan Global Technology, Media and Communications Conference, John Stankey, CEO of AT&T said open access fiber networks will continue to emerge.

“I think we're going to continue to see more open access networks show up in the United States for a variety of reasons,” he said. “There’s individuals who are building in places, that they have adopted that as their business model, and they're going to get some footprint, and they're going to build over time.” 

He added that some providers that are looking to access BEAD funding could potentially be required to consider an open access model.

“There will be some states under the BEAD structure that are probably going to have conditions or expectations for the government subsidized portion of those networks maybe need to be built with an open access condition on it,” Stankey said. “I don't think that will be universal, but I think it will pop up in certain places. So, will there be more 5 years from now than there are today? Yes, I think there'll be more.”

About the Author

Sean Buckley

Sean is responsible for establishing and executing the editorial strategies of Lightwave and Broadband Technology Report across their websites, email newsletters, events, and other information products.

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