Ting targets 150K new fiber passings in AZ, CA with Ubiquity deal

Ting Internet struck a deal to expand an existing partnership deal with network infrastructure company Ubiquity, a move which will allow it to reach 150,000 new locations in Mesa, Arizona and Carlsbad, California over the coming years. The agreement comes after officials in Mesa gave Ubiquity and several others permission to build new fiber infrastructure in the city back in July.

Amol Naik, Ting’s SVP of Public Policy and Community Engagement, told Fierce that under the terms of the deal Ting will serve as the anchor tenant on network assets built and owned by Ubiquity. While such an arrangement might seem unusual for a U.S. internet service provider, Naik noted Ting has worked with Ubiquity since 2019 to deploy service in two areas around San Diego, California.

In Mesa, Ting will be facing off with AT&T, Google Fiber, SiFi Networks, Wyyerd and Lumen Technologies. In Carlsbad, it seems Ting’s main competition will be AT&T and Charter Communications, according to data from BroadbandNow.

Among U.S. operators, Ting is somewhat unique in that it has four different fiber deployment models. It builds and owns complete networks; leverages municipal-owned backbone fiber to build last mile connections to residential customers; partners with municipalities and utilities as an anchor tenant on the networks those entities build; and does the same with private partners.

Naik said Ting is “actively engaged” in discussions with partners “all over the place,” but noted the conversations are all different. In some cases, municipalities looking for tenants approach Ting and in others Ting brings ideas for a project to municipal officials. He added one thing it’s seen more of recently is municipal officials issuing requests for information (RFIs), requests for proposals (RFPs) or requests for expressions of interest. This has especially been the case in Colorado, Naik said.

“We generally like those approaches. It really gives some structure and transparency to the process. Everything is sort of out in the open,” he said.

In areas not using the RFP process, construction license agreements are usually just granted through a municipal official, such as a mayor or town administrator, he said.

Naik declined to say how many municipalities Ting is having discussions with or provide a figure for how many passings it’s targeting in 2023. However, it’s clear the operator has plenty of work on its plate.

He pointed to Ting’s build in Alexandria, Virginia, where it just lit service to the first of 90,000 serviceable addresses there, and work covering 200,000 locations in Colorado Springs which is being completed by a utility partner as focal points.