AT&T to Build Broadband Services Outside Its Current Markets

AT&T’s fiber network currently serves 21 states mostly in the South and Midwest as well as California, Texas and Florida.



Photo:

Anthony Behar/Sipa USA/Reuters

AT&T Inc.

T 0.22%

said it would launch broadband services in states it doesn’t currently serve by forming a joint venture with

BlackRock Inc.

BLK 0.09%

to fund the rollout of fiber-optic networks in new markets.

The Dallas-based telecom company said it would form a venture with BlackRock Alternatives called Gigapower LLC to reach an initial 1.5 million customer locations across the U.S. The companies didn’t disclose the financial terms of the deal or the states they would seek to serve.

Wireless companies and cable operators have increasingly been crossing onto each other’s turf as they search for growth and new customers. Cable operators such as

Charter Communications Inc.

and

Comcast Corp.

have signed up millions of customers to cellphone services.

T-Mobile US Inc.

and

Verizon Communications Inc.

are selling home internet services via 5G wireless networks. AT&T, meanwhile, is looking to roughly double its fiber optic network, which lets it sell both broadband service and video packages. 

The joint venture comes after Congress passed legislation in 2021 as part of a bipartisan infrastructure bill that provides $42.5 billion to fund broadband deployments in the country. AT&T has shed its media businesses to refocus on its core wireless and broadband services.

AT&T’s fiber network currently reaches about 18.5 million locations and has about 7 million connections. The network serves 21 states mostly in the South and Midwest as well as California, Texas and Florida.

The company said Friday that the joint venture would be in addition to its current goal of reaching more than 30 million fiber locations, including businesses, by the end of 2025.  

The new venture is expected to include a project AT&T has already announced to roll out a fiber network in Mesa, Ariz., where it would compete with cable company Cox Communications Inc. and others.

Fiber-optic connections, which make up the internet’s critical infrastructure, already have major players dominating the space including

Microsoft Corp.

, Google parent

Alphabet Inc.,

Meta Platforms Inc.

and

Amazon.com Inc.

Write to Will Feuer at [email protected]

Copyright ©2022 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

Appeared in the December 24, 2022, print edition as ‘AT&T to Expand Broadband to More States.’

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