Wireless carrier AT&T and fund manager BlackRock have formed Gigapower, LLC, a joint venture that will operate a commercial fiber platform.

The innovative joint venture is aimed at fueling significant fiber investment across America.

Gigapower will deploy a multi-gig fiber network to new cities where AT&T has no footprint, including Las Vegas.

Gigapower to “connect even more people and businesses” – AT&T

AT&T, an American multinational telecommunications holding company, and Blackrock, an American multinational infrastructure investment company, have teamed up to form Gigapower, a joint venture that will “provide a state-of-the-art fiber network to internet service providers and other businesses” across the United States.

According to a May 11 official announcement by AT&T, the newly formed joint venture was established through a fund managed by its diversified infrastructure business.

Gigapower will leverage AT&T’s nationwide wireless sales capabilities across America and Blackrock’s expertise and capital to “give more Americans access to super-fast, reliable, high-capacity fiber.”

Data from OECD reveals that fiber is now the dominant broadband access technology in half of all OECD countries. According to the OECD broadband statistics update in February, there was a “12.3% rise in fiber broadband subscriptions across OECD countries between June 2021 and June 2022” with subscriptions in the US accounting for 63% of the total.

This suggests that broadband connectivity is in demand more than ever and it is “more critical to our day-to-day lives” as noted by the US mobile operator AT&T.

Therefore, Gigapower is aimed at providing an “open access fiber network to bring high-speed connectivity to more Americans.”

Remarking on the partnership with Blackrock, AT&T Chief Executive Officer, John Stankey, said that the company invests in fiber because it believes that the technology “changes everything.”

Stankey added:

“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.

Gigapower plans to deploy a reliable, multi-gig fiber network to an initial 1.5 million customer locations across the nation using a commercial open-access platform.

The venture will ramp up AT&T’s fiber broadband rollout, as the company aims “to pass 30 million-plus consumer and business locations in its traditional service areas by the end of 2025.”

According to AT&T, Gigapower will enable it to expand its fiber service reach beyond its traditional service areas in order to deliver state-of-the-art broadband access technologies to more communities across the country.

BlackRock brings on board significant expertise, capital and a commitment to invest in future-proof access technology led by world-class operating teams.

On his part, Larry Fink, Chairman and CEO, BlackRock said:

BlackRock is pleased to help bring critical broadband services to communities across America. 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.

Combined with existing efforts within AT&T’s 21-state footprint, this capital-efficient network deployment will also help spur local economies in each of the communities in which Gigapower operates.

“Fiber is the lifeblood of digital commerce,” said Bill Hogg, CEO of Gigapower, adding:

We have a proven team of professionals building this scalable, commercial open access wireline fiber network. Our goal is to help local service providers provide fiber connectivity, create the communications infrastructure needed to power the next generation of services and bring multi-gig capabilities to help close the gap for those who currently are without multi-gig service.

Gigapower will be jointly owned and governed by AT&T and BlackRock.

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