Private equity

AT&T CEO envisions different ways to leverage open access networks

AT&T CEO John Stankey touted open access fiber networks, giving several examples of how they could be structured to benefit AT&T. AT&T is partnering with BlackRock for an open access joint venture called Gigapower. The JV is building networks outside of AT&T’s footprint. It already has fiber builds in progress in parts of Arizona, Florida, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and South Carolina.

Oh sure, everybody loves rural broadband, now

John Greene, former CEO of New Lisbon Holdings, said, “Who would have ever thought we’d see private equity filter into rural areas and small companies?” Rural broadband is very expensive to build. That’s why the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) program is designed to subsidize the gap where it otherwise doesn’t make financial sense for private companies to build. Panelists at the Connect(X) show noted that one of the main competitors in some rural areas is the local electric co-op. Greene said rural electric co-ops “are going to be a force to be reckoned with.

Financing fiber builds is not a cookie-cutter process

An appealing way to finance fiber builds is through asset-backed securities (ABS). However, this is only available to established companies that actually have fiber assets, which they can leverage to secure a lower cost of debt. It’s not something available to new entrants in the fiber space. Since the introduction of the Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) program, many private equity (PE) investors have entered the fiber market.

What's the status of long-haul network builds in the US?

When the internet was new, people talked a lot about long-haul networks in the United States. That’s because a lot of the early data centers were on the East and West coasts, and they needed to be connected. These days long-haul networks are largely overshadowed by last mile builds. There’s a lot of existing long-haul and middle-mile fiber that can be patched together to create the desired routes for any business.

T-Mobile and EQT Announce Joint Venture to Acquire Lumos and Build Out the Un-carrier’s First Fiber Footprint

T-Mobile and EQT, a purpose-driven global investment organization, have entered into a joint venture (JV) with EQT’s Infrastructure VI fund (EQT) that will acquire fiber-to-the-home platform Lumos from EQT’s predecessor fund EQT Infrastructure III. The J

Dragonfly Internet CEO Shares Journey from FWA to Fiber, Alabama Power Deal

Alabama-based Dragonfly Internet was created in 2023 when ITC Holding Company bought a local fixed wireless provider and opted to change the name. Since then, Dragonfly has been upgrading the fixed wireless equipment that the previous company had deployed and expanding to unserved and underserved areas using a mixture of fixed wireless and fiber. “Our preference is to use fiber where we can,” CEO David Hartin said. “But there will be communities where fixed wireless will make a lot of sense to do.

Public and private fiber operators tap asset backed security

One tactic that both private and public fiber companies are using to raise capital is to tap asset backed security (ABS), according to the analysts at TD Cowen. ABS is a type of financial investment that uses income-generating assets as collateral and is an alternative to other ways of raising capital, such as corporate bonds.

The future of broadband mergers and acquisitions

You can’t go far in the broadband industry without hearing about some internet service provider getting acquired or an investment from a private equity company. BrightspeedConsolidated Communications and Wire 3 are a few recent examples. Ropes & Gra

Meridiam rides fiber train in Alabama with $230 million investment

Alabama is getting a major open access fiber boost via private investment. Meridiam, an infrastructure investment firm, is kicking off a $230 million project to build an open access network that will reach 17 Alabama cities, including Selma and Demopolis. It aims to eventually cover 53,000 homes and businesses in partnership with Yellowhammer Networks, a fiber-to-the-premises network developer that’s financed by Meridiam. This is far from Meridiam’s first time riding in the broadband infrastructure rodeo.

Gigapower CEO says open access network is ‘picking up speed’ as joint venture expands to NM

Just over a year has passed since AT&T and asset management firm BlackRock formed Gigapower, a joint venture (JV) that’s providing a wholesale open access fiber network to AT&T’s out-of-footprint territory. Gigapower announced plans to build in Albuquerque, New Mexico. CEO Bill Hogg said the JV is currently constructing networks in five states; Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Nevada and Pennsylvania. AT&T, which is serving as Gigapower’s anchor tenant, is offering service on the network in Arizona, Florida and Nevada.