Brightspeed announced that it will deliver, by the end of 2023, up to 14,000 new fiber passings in Beaufort County during the first phase of its fiber optics network build in the state of South Carolina. Brightspeed plans to add 36,000 fiber passings in the state in subsequent years of its build plan, for a total of up to 50,000 fiber-enabled locations across its South Carolina footprint.
“Expanding access to faster, more reliable, and user-friendly internet is our number one priority,” said Sherry Hessenthaler, operations strategy lead for Brightspeed. “High-quality broadband has never been more important, whether for work, education, telemedicine, entertainment, or simply staying connected. We are ready to hit the ground running with our deployment in Beaufort County and are looking forward to introducing customers to our state-of-the-art Brightspeed products and services.”
The South Carolina build is part of Brightspeed’s comprehensive plan to invest at least $2 billion in its fiber optics transformation, which is expected to reach up to 3 million homes and businesses over the next five years, including in many locations where fiber and advanced technology have not historically been implemented.
“In addition to our own network investment in South Carolina, we are thrilled for the opportunity to further expand fiber-based internet access through participation in state and federal broadband infrastructure grant programs as they arise,” added Hessenthaler.
“Ensuring that South Carolinians have access to quality broadband has never been more important, but it requires communication, collaboration, and cooperation with partners in the private sector, like Brightspeed,” said Governor Henry McMaster. “We’re grateful for Brightspeed’s investment in Beaufort County and look forward to continuing our work together in this increasingly important endeavor.”
South Carolina is among the 20 states that make up Brightspeed’s service territory, mainly in rural and suburban regions of the country. Brightspeed will initially be comprised of incumbent local exchange carrier (ILEC) assets and associated operations of Lumen Technologies (NYSE: LUMN), which are the subject of a pending acquisition by Apollo-managed funds (NYSE: APO).
Brightspeed’s next-generation FTTP architecture is being engineered to accelerate deployment and market availability. The company is utilizing innovative technologies including XGS-PON, capable of symmetrical internet speeds exceeding 1Gbps, and Wi-Fi 6 for optimal performance and coverage to support the increasing array of connected devices within homes and businesses.