Arcadian Infracom will use an investment of as much as $140 million from investment firm TIAA, which focuses on the retirement market, to accelerate fiber projects in the four-corners region of the southwest. Arcadian Infracom calls itself “an internet infrastructure development, construction, and operations company.”
Arcadian plans to build fiber routes between Phoenix and Salt Lake City and between Phoenix and Denver that will purposely be routed through rural and tribal communities. The routing, which Arcadian says provides network diversity, resiliency, security and improved latency, was made possible by a value-sharing partnership between Arcadian and the Navajo Nation for access to the Navajo Reservation.
The routes will serve cloud providers, content companies, carriers and ISPs – and will provide broadband in the rural and tribal communities through which it passes. TIAA’s investment manager Nuveen originated, underwrote and will manage the investment.
“TIAA’s investment has the ability to significantly scale Arcadian’s capital-intensive business across multiple fiber routes as well as create additional synergistic investment opportunities as we route the digital ecosystem directly through rural and tribal markets,” Arcadian CEO and co-founder Dan Davis said in a press release.
Fiber transport business models are evolving to include partnerships for the social good or to help eliminate the digital divide, as well as traditional carriers expanding their fiber transport footprints to take advantage of explosive demand for bandwidth.
In 2019 Facebook launched a Middle Mile Infrastructure subsidiary to sell excess capacity on fiber networks that the company would be building to interconnect its data centers. The Facebook fiber builds focus on areas where fiber is not already available from another company in underserved and unserved markets.
In March, Windstream said that it added 60,000 wholesale fiber locations across its 18-state footprint. Those locations, which became available during the first quarter of the year, are where Windstream is the incumbent provider. At the time, Windstream was embarking on a $2 billion expansion of its fiber broadband access capabilities.