AT&T, BlackRock close Gigapower joint venture, reveal new fiber deployment plans

May 15, 2023
AT&T and BlackRock, through a fund managed by its Diversified Infrastructure business, have announced the closing of their Gigapower, LLC wholesale fiber joint venture.

AT&T (NYSE:T) and BlackRock (NYSE:BLK), through a fund managed by its Diversified Infrastructure business, have announced the closing of their Gigapower, LLC wholesale fiber joint venture and additional plans for fiber deployments. The two companies unveiled Gigapower this past January (see “AT&T forms Gigapower wholesale fiber services joint venture with BlackRock Alternatives”).

With the joint venture officially formed, the partners say that Gigapower will build fiber networks in Las Vegas, the Chandler and Gilbert areas of Arizona, parts of Northeastern Pennsylvania (including Wilkes-Barre and Scranton), and unspecified locations in Alabama and Florida that are outside AT&T’s current service areas. The Arizona buildouts complement a recent deployment in Mesa, which is now considered part of Gigapower’s footprint. AT&T will serve as Gigapower’s first customer; access to the fiber networks will be offered on a wholesale basis to internet service providers and other businesses as well. The joint venture’s infrastructure is being positioned as an asset to broadband deployments.

“We believe fiber connectivity changes everything. That’s why we’re already one of the biggest investors in fiber in the United States,” said John Stankey, CEO of AT&T. “The demand for high-speed connectivity is unprecedented, and through this innovative partnership with BlackRock, one of the world’s foremost investors in infrastructure, we’re able to connect even more people and businesses, accelerating our efforts to help close the digital divide.”

“BlackRock is pleased to help bring critical broadband services to communities across America,” said Larry Fink, Chairman and CEO, BlackRock. “This investment on behalf of BlackRock’s clients will advance efforts to bridge the digital divide and spur economic growth in the communities where Gigapower operates.”

The two companies say they will “jointly own and govern” Gigapower but have not revealed their respective ownership stakes. Bill Hogg, president, technology operations at AT&T from August 2016 to January 2018, will serve as CEO of the joint venture.

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About the Author

Stephen Hardy | Editorial Director and Associate Publisher, Lightwave

Stephen Hardy is editorial director and associate publisher of Lightwave and Broadband Technology Report, part of the Lighting & Technology Group at Endeavor Business Media. Stephen is responsible for establishing and executing editorial strategy across the both brands’ websites, email newsletters, events, and other information products. He has covered the fiber-optics space for more than 20 years, and communications and technology for more than 35 years. During his tenure, Lightwave has received awards from Folio: and the American Society of Business Press Editors (ASBPE) for editorial excellence. Prior to joining Lightwave in 1997, Stephen worked for Telecommunications magazine and the Journal of Electronic Defense.

Stephen has moderated panels at numerous events, including the Optica Executive Forum, ECOC, and SCTE Cable-Tec Expo. He also is program director for the Lightwave Innovation Reviews and the Diamond Technology Reviews.

He has written numerous articles in all aspects of optical communications and fiber-optic networks, including fiber to the home (FTTH), PON, optical components, DWDM, fiber cables, packet optical transport, optical transceivers, lasers, fiber optic testing, and more.

You can connect with Stephen on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.

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