AT&T, BlackRock seal Gigapower deal, plan new fiber deployments

May 25, 2023
With the joint venture officially formed, the partners say that Gigapower will build fiber networks in Las Vegas, the Chandler and Gilbert areas of Arizona, parts of Northeastern Pennsylvania including Wilkes-Barre and Scranton, and elsewhere.

By Stephen Hardy

AT&T (NYSE:T) and BlackRock (NYSE:BLK), through a fund managed by its Diversified Infrastructure business, have this month announced the closing of their Gigapower, LLC wholesale fiber joint venture and additional plans for fiber deployments.

The two companies unveiled Gigapower this past January.

With the joint venture officially formed, the partners say that Gigapower will build fiber networks in Las Vegas, the Chandler and Gilbert areas of Arizona, parts of Northeastern Pennsylvania (including Wilkes-Barre and Scranton), and unspecified locations in Alabama and Florida that are outside AT&T’s current service areas.

The Arizona buildouts complement a recent deployment in Mesa, which is now considered part of Gigapower’s footprint.

AT&T will serve as Gigapower’s first customer; access to the fiber networks will be offered on a wholesale basis to internet service providers and other businesses as well. The joint venture’s infrastructure is being positioned as an asset to broadband deployments.

“We believe fiber connectivity changes everything. That’s why we’re already one of the biggest investors in fiber in the United States,” said John Stankey, CEO of AT&T. “The demand for high-speed connectivity is unprecedented, and through this innovative partnership with BlackRock, one of the world’s foremost investors in infrastructure, we’re able to connect even more people and businesses, accelerating our efforts to help close the digital divide.”

The two companies say they will “jointly own and govern” Gigapower but have not revealed their respective ownership stakes. Bill Hogg, president, technology operations at AT&T from August 2016 to January 2018, will serve as CEO of the joint venture.

“BlackRock is pleased to help bring critical broadband services to communities across America,” said Larry Fink, Chairman and CEO, BlackRock. “This investment on behalf of BlackRock’s clients will advance efforts to bridge the digital divide and spur economic growth in the communities where Gigapower operates.”

Read the full story at Lightwave.

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