Fiber to the Home

Gigapower said today that it will expand to markets in North Carolina and South Carolina. The company, a joint venture between AT&T and investment firm BlackRock, deploys fiber broadband and uses an open access network approach.

The new markets are Monroe, Weddington and Greater Union County, NC, as well as Rock Hill and Greater York County, SC. All the new markets are in the Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia metropolitan statistical area (MSA), which spans parts of both Carolinas.

As Gigapower noted in two press releases today, the new markets “are homes to thriving communities – strong independent and corporate businesses, expanding educational institutions and growing opportunities.”

AT&T and BlackRock formed the Gigapower JV last year and plan to make service available to 1.5 million locations, possibly more, depending on the results from the initial markets.

Deployments already have been announced in several other states, including Florida, Nevada, New Mexico and Arizona.

The open access approach is a wholesale model, with Gigapower giving AT&T competitors the option of leasing connectivity on the network to offer service to end users. AT&T also will offer service to end users and will be the anchor tenant on the networks.

This approach enables AT&T to share network build costs and quickly expand to markets outside its local service footprint.

The Gigapower JV already has imitators. Last month, T-Mobile announced a similar deal with investment firm EQT that will absorb the network assets of EQT portfolio company Lumos.

AT&T already offers broadband service in parts of North Carolina and South Carolina, including parts of the Charlotte MSA. A decade ago, several North Carolina markets were among the first to get AT&T gigabit service. But according to BroadbandNow, the company doesn’t serve markets included in today’s releases.

Additional information about the new Gigapower markets can be found in this press release about North Carolina and this one about South Carolina.

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