Furthering public-private partnerships and supporting unserved or underserved areas are the goals of an investment that Searchlight Capital Partners LP has made in Indiana service provider Mainstream Fiber Networks.

Mainstream has already received more than $19 million in grant funding from the Next Level Connections Broadband Initiative in Indiana.

“We firmly believe access to high-speed fiber optic Internet is essential for all communities and businesses – but specifically those in rural areas – to stay competitive and successful in today’s digital economy. In fact, Mainstream was founded specifically to connect Hoosiers in digital deserts that exist in communities across the state. That will continue to be our mission,” Mainstream founder and CEO Bryan Gabriel said in a press release.

Mainstream Fiber was founded in 2006 by Bryan Gabriel as a wireless ISP. The company eventually shifted to fiber and took its current name.

Mainstream Fiber isn’t the only investment that Searchlight has made in telecom.

Earlier this month, Searchlight and the British Columbia Investment Management Corporation entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Consolidated Communications for about $3.1 billion. Searchlight already owns about one third of Consolidated.

Searchlight’s initial investment in Consolidated was announced in September 2020. The investment firm bought a 35% stake in Consolidated for $425 million.

Former FCC Chairperson Ajit Pai is a partner at Searchlight.

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