Brightspeed hits one-year anniversary with fiber live in 13 states

One year has passed since Brightspeed became the fifth largest ILEC in the U.S., and it’s made some notable progress in its $2 billion multi-year fiber deployment.

Most of Brightspeed’s footprint is currently served with copper, but the operator is undertaking fiber builds in 17 states and officially launched fiber service on March 1, 2023, according to a Brightspeed rep.

The rep told Fierce Brightspeed’s fiber internet is “already open for sale” in parts of the following 13 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Louisiana, Missouri, North Carolina, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin.

In addition to those states, Brightspeed is “actively deploying” fiber in Illinois, Kansas, Michigan and South Carolina.

“We are well on our way to meeting our multi-year goal of bringing faster, more reliable fiber broadband internet to more than 3 million homes and businesses,” said the spokesperson.

Brightspeed declined to comment on how much of its footprint is currently covered with fiber, but the rep reiterated fiber will eventually cover around 50% of its territory.

Brightspeed has said it’s looking to reach more than 1 million fiber passings by the end of this year. The rep said the company is “ramping up” deployments in states like North Carolina, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee and Arkansas.

Interestingly, North Carolina and Missouri are among the states that received a sizable allocation from the $42.5 billion Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) program. Missouri scored $1.74 billion, while North Carolina got an allocation of $1.53 billion.

In the case of BEAD, Brightspeed sees “a significant opportunity in our region to pursue this historic program.”

“To that end, Brightspeed has been planning for the BEAD program for some time,” said the Brightspeed spokesperson. “Our goal is to augment our $2 billion investment for our planned fiber build currently underway and expand our build where there is chance to meet BEAD Program requirements.”

The operator is also tapping into state funding opportunities, recently winning broadband grants in North Carolina and Michigan.

“The opportunity to apply for other state and federal broadband grants presents Brightspeed with the chance to extend our already impressive capital investment program,” the rep added, helping Brightspeed reach locations “that would not otherwise be economically feasible.”

Asked if Brightspeed has any updates on copper retirement, the spokesperson said, “We have no immediate plans to implement large-scale copper retirement programs as building fiber is our primary focus at this point.”

“We are instituting processes to leverage our fiber in areas currently served by copper. Fiber is a more efficient, reliable way to serve our customers.”