AT&T scores another fiber partnership deal in Indiana

AT&T’s efforts to secure more public-private partnership deals seem to be paying off, with the operator locking in its second such arrangement in Indiana.

The operator scored a $4.4 million contract to deliver fiber to more than 4,000 locations in the city of Boonville, Indiana. The deal was first announced by the town in May, but was contingent on funding approval by the city council and execution of a final contract. With all the necessary approvals and signatures now in hand, AT&T said planning and engineering work will now begin.

It added the project is expected to be complete within 18 months.

Boonville Mayor Charlie Wyatt said in a statement “Connectivity is crucial to the success of a community and we are so pleased to now officially be moving forward with AT&T on this important project.” He previously noted the forthcoming network will allow residents to tap into online educational, healthcare and business resources.

The new project complements another public-private partnership build AT&T is undertaking in neighboring Vanderburgh County, Indiana. That $39.6 million effort aims to deliver fiber to more than 20,000 locations over the course of a two-year period.

AT&T has also signed public-private partnership deals with Oldham County, Kentucky and Amarillo, Texas in recent months to cover an additional 42,000 locations with fiber.

Speaking with Fierce about the Amarillo deal last month, AT&T President of Broadband Access and Adoption Jeff Luong said it is “absolutely interested in talking to all communities that are looking at using government funding to improve connectivity.” He added communities have made broadband a priority and the operator is seeing them leverage a variety of funding sources ranging from American Rescue Plan Act money to their own general funds to help fuel builds.

Luong argued public-private partnerships have a key role to play in bridging the digital divide, allowing the operator to deploy in areas that might not otherwise be economical to reach.