Lumen to maintain fiber buildout pace in 2024—but is it fast enough?

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Lumen Technologies expects to build fiber to an additional 500,000 locations in 2024, matching its pace for 2023. However, some industry watchers believe Lumen could open itself up to fiber overbuilders if it can't accelerate its pace. During Q4 2023, Lumen deployed fiber to another 126,000 new locations, down from 141,000 in the prior period, but ahead of the 113,000 that analysts were expecting. But the pace of Lumen's buildout concerns some analysts. "Our gripe is that they claim an 8-10MM location target for fiber deployment, with a starting point of 3.7MM, and they are only marching towards that target at a pace of ~500k per year.  It will take a decade to get there at this pace.  In the meantime, they are being targeted by overbuilders," New Street Research analyst Jonathan Chaplin explained in a research note. "If Lumen doesn't build those locations, other overbuilders will build them."

Lumen to maintain fiber buildout pace in 2024 – but is it fast enough?