Lumos lines up 85K more fiber passings in Virginia

The pieces are starting to fall into place for regional broadband provider Lumos as it works to grow its fiber footprint to 1 million passings by 2026. The operator this week announced it received franchise approvals for 85,000 new passings across three Virginia towns, with that work adding to previously announced projects in North Carolina.

Lumos said in a press release its build in Virginia will cost around $83 million and include the construction of 900 miles of fresh fiber to locations in Chesapeake, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach. Engineering work is already underway and the company plans to break ground in early 2023. Most of the build is expected to be finished within two years.

The operator first announced plans for the project in July, but did not receive final approval from local officials until this month.

Its announcement adds to other projects the company has outlined recently. In April, it partnered with Orange County, North Carolina to bring fiber to 28,000 locations there and in August announced plans to invest $51 million to run fiber to 38,000 locations across Forsyth and Randolph Counties.

Earlier this month, it unveiled plans to spend another $50 million to build fiber to around 35,000 residents in Durham and Orange Counties in North Carolina. That project will add 1,500 locations to the 28,000 it was already aiming to reach in Orange. This month it also revealed it won a grant in North Carolina which will help it reach more than 1,000 locations in Alamance County.

All told, Lumos so far this year has publicly announced plans to reach more than 100,000 locations in North Carolina and the aforementioned 85,000 locations in Virginia. These builds will essentially double Lumos’ fiber footprint, which currently stands at around 200,000 passings.

Back in 2021, then-CEO Diego Anderson told Fierce Lumos was looking to add 80,000 passings in 2022. Earlier this year, new CEO Brian Stading, who Lumos hired away from Ziply Fiber, told Fierce it is aiming to hit 1 million passings by 2026 and expects to complete an overbuild of its entire legacy ILEC footprint by early 2023.