Brightspeed has announced the specific markets — all in North Carolina — where it initially will deploy fiber broadband. The goal is to complete the buildouts, which will reach 300,000 locations, by the end of next year.
The company plans to add 500,000 more passings — for a total of 800,000 – to its footprint in North Carolina, which is its home state, in subsequent years. Buildouts will be primarily in rural and suburban areas.
Brightspeed had said that it would initially build in North Carolina but had not specified where. The state is one of 20 where Brightspeed is slated to acquire operations from Lumen. The company has said it plans to invest $2 billion to upgrade networks in the states it is acquiring.
First phase North Carolina counties that Brightspeed says will get services this year and next are Alamance, Beaufort, Bertie, Camden, Carteret, Chatham, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Dare, Duplin, Edgecombe, Forsyth, Granville, Guilford, Halifax, Harnett, Hertford, Hoke, Lenoir, Martin, Moore, Nash, Onslow, Pasquotank, Pender, Perquimans, Pitt, Randolph, Rockingham, Sampson, Vance and Wilson.
The company plans during the first phase to bring service to the Greenville/New Bern, Raleigh/Durham and Greensboro/High Point/Winston-Salem areas.
The acquisition from Lumen is expected to come this year through a pending $7.5 billion acquisition by Apollo Management, which will own Brightspeed. Brightspeed says that regulatory approvals are expected in the third quarter and the transaction is expected to close early in the fourth. Brightspeed would get more than 60,000 fiber passings in the transaction, according to a press release.
“Brightspeed is based in North Carolina, so it is especially meaningful to share the initial fiber build specifics for our home state,” Chief Operating Officer Tom Maguire said in a press release. “High-quality broadband has never been more important, whether for work, education, telemedicine, entertainment, or simply staying connected. We are thrilled for the opportunity to bring the capabilities of our fiber network to customers in so many North Carolina communities.”
Brightspeed began “design and construction preparation” in March for its expansion plans, which will make use of 10G XGS-PON technology.