All-Fiber, Gig-Speed Network to Reach 60,000 Potential Customers in Tennessee by End of 2023
Charlotte, NC — August 4, 2022 — Brightspeed today announced that it will deliver, by the end of 2023, 60,000 new fiber passings in the first phase of its fiber network build in the state of Tennessee. In subsequent years of its network initiative, the company plans to add over 70,000 fiber passings for a total of over 130,000 new fiber-enabled locations in its Tennessee operating territory.
“We could not be more excited to share the details of our initial fiber build in Tennessee. High-quality, reliable broadband has never been more critical, whether for work, education, telemedicine, entertainment, or just staying connected,” said Chris Creager, Chief Administration Officer of Brightspeed. “We can’t wait to introduce our state-of-the-art products, and simple, intuitive customer experience to households and businesses across our service area.”
Tennessee is one of the 20 states that make up Brightspeed’s footprint, encompassing mainly rural and suburban regions of the country. In total, Brightspeed intends to invest at least $2 billion in its fiber optics transformation, which is expected to reach up to 3 million homes and businesses over the next five years, including in many locations where fiber and advanced technology have not historically been deployed.
By the end of 2023, Brightspeed will bring faster, more reliable internet and Wi-Fi to 60,000 residential and business locations in markets within Carter, Greene, and Washington counties.
Creager emphasized the importance of Brightspeed’s fiber investment to the individuals and businesses of the broader local community: “We are pleased that Johnson City, Tennessee will be home to one of Brightspeed’s major operational work centers. We live and work here, and we want our communities to have the ability to compete and flourish in today’s digital economy.”
Beyond its initial network build plans, Brightspeed is currently evaluating additional areas for consideration for Tennessee’s broadband infrastructure initiatives. “It’s our mission to bring more fiber-based internet to customers across our footprint. We are looking forward to participating in a major way in current and future broadband grant programs,” said Creager.
“In Tennessee, we’ve prioritized strategic investments in broadband infrastructure to ensure our rural communities are connected and have every opportunity to thrive,” said Governor Bill Lee. “I welcome Brightspeed to Johnson City and commend this company for its partnership to increase connectivity across Upper East Tennessee.”
State Senator Rusty Crowe said, “I certainly appreciate this initiative as we have worked tirelessly these last few years to increase broadband access—especially in those rural areas where it is needed the most. This will move Northeast Tennessee forward, not only from a business perspective, but from an educational perspective as well. This will be especially important for our students whose education and curriculum require a great deal of computer work at home. I appreciate Brightspeed for the work they’re doing in my Senate District and our state as a whole.”
Brightspeed is leveraging the latest technology innovations as part of its copper-to-fiber transformation, including the deployment of XGS-PON, a leading-edge architecture capable of symmetrical internet speeds exceeding 1Gbps, and the fiber necessary to deliver ultra-fast connections to homes and businesses.
Brightspeed will initially be comprised of incumbent local exchange carrier (ILEC) assets and associated operations of Lumen Technologies (NYSE: LUMN), which are the subject of a pending acquisition by Apollo-managed funds (NYSE: APO). The company has secured all necessary state-required regulatory approvals in the 20 states in its operating footprint. The parties expect to obtain final FCC approval in the third quarter, and to close the transaction early in the fourth quarter.
Brightspeed plans to announce additional state-specific network build plans over the next few weeks.
For more information about Brightspeed, visit the company’s website, www.brightspeed.com.
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C. and expected to have assets and associated operations in 20 states, Brightspeed will provide broadband and telecommunications services through a network platform capable of serving more than 6 million homes and businesses. The company aims to bridge the digital divide by deploying a state-of-the-art fiber network and a customer experience that makes staying connected simple and seamless. For more information about Brightspeed, visit the company’s website, www.brightspeed.com.
Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher