South Carolina – 11 July 2023 – STL[NSE: STLTECH], a leading optical and digital solutions company, today announced its partnership with Windstream, a privately held communications and software company, to support their large-scale fiber expansion projects.
Windstream Wholesale, an optical technology leader of fast and flexible advanced solutions, has multiple fiber construction projects underway including an extension of its existing Tulsa, OK route from Little Rock, AR, to Memphis, TN; a new fiber build from Raleigh, NC, to Jacksonville, FL; and another project from New York City to Montreal. Additionally, Windstream, through its Kinetic business, is bringing the best internet experience to more and more homes, businesses, and carrier partners across America. Kinetic by Windstream is investing $2bn to dramatically expand gigabit internet service across its 18-state footprint.
The collaboration started in February 2021, when the STL began providing Optical Networking Solutions to Windstream. Building upon this foundation, STL has expanded its offering set to provide advanced optical designs like high-fiber count Intelligently Bonded Ribbon and Flat ribbon, in addition to its loose tube optical cables. These products are designed to ensure faster rollout, superior network longevity, and high scalability, aligning perfectly with Windstream Wholesale’s requirements for metro, and long-haul optical networks which currently provide up to 400G wave services to its customers and will support 800G transmission in the future.
“For us, it is a top priority to deliver the best reach and customer experience to our consumers including the world’s largest hyperscalers,” said Buddy Bayer, President of Windstream Wholesale and Enterprise. “And we want to do it fast. Windstream sets the bar high in terms of technology and engineering and we are confident that STL, with nearly 30 years of Optical expertise and global footprint, will ably support our connectivity ambitions. It’s a bonus that both companies are also equally committed to rural broadband.”
“STL and Windstream are extremely well positioned to take advantage of future market opportunities such as the $42 billion Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program,” said Jeff Small, President of Kinetic by Windstream. “Kinetic is committed to bringing the fastest, most reliable internet service to residents in under-connected communities using the best construction materials manufactured here in America.”
The BEAD Program and other U.S. federal infrastructure projects include domestic manufacturing requirements for fiber optic cable and other equipment. Announced in 2021, STL is building a state-of-the-art, Industry 4.0-certified manufacturing facility in South Carolina that will enable it to produce “Made in America” Optical solutions for Windstream and other service providers. STL is able to commit to producing compliant materials with shorter-than-average market lead times through this onshoring effort and through flexing its global supply chain.
Paul Atkinson, CEO of STL’s Optical Networking Business said: “We think of our customers first. Our goal is to partner and co-develop advanced and sustainable Optical solutions with our key customers so that they can contribute to America’s broadband ambitions. I am very excited to work ever more closely with Windstream and collectively create value for communities and businesses in the US.”