Partnership

Altafiber has agreed to a public private partnership with Butler County, Ohio for a broadband project that will bring gigabit high-speed broadband fiber Internet access to approximately 60,000 addresses over the next three to four years.

Once the project is finished, all of Butler County’s 150,000 single-family residences will have access to fiber-based Internet, a press release said.

Altafiber, formerly known as Cincinnati Bell, will invest $100 million in the project, which includes bringing fiber to 50,000 single-family homes, as well as 8,000 multi-dwelling units. The county will provide $10 million toward the cost of the project, which comes from funding allocated to the county in the American Rescue Plan Act.

Additionally, “Altafiber’s Smart City organization, UniCity, will provide Butler County with up to $300,000 in funding to construct public Wi-Fi improvements,” the press release said. “Butler County can utilize the funding on a project of its choice, such as providing Wi-Fi in public parks or on public transit.”

The Butler County deal is not Altafiber’s first public private partnership. The company also has at least two others. Both of those also had a public Wi-Fi component.

These types of public private partnerships are becoming more popular, now that ARPA funding has been made available to all U.S. municipalities.

When announcing a public private partnership with City of Boonville, IN, Jeff Luong, AT&T president for broadband access and adoption initiatives, said in an interview with Telecompetitor that the deal could be one of many to come.

The announced agreement with Boonville, came just a few months after AT&T inked a private partnership with neighboring Vanderburgh County. The plan is for AT&T to make fiber broadband available to 4,000 locations in Boonville.

Also last year, Cox said that it is pursuing public private partnerships as it continues to deploy broadband in rural areas. The news was part of some details that the company provided about $400 million that it plans to invest over the next three years in unserved and underserved areas.

With the Butler County project, altafiber and has invested more than $1.5 billion into expanding its fiber network across the greater Cincinnati region.

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