AT&T and BlackRock are teaming up to bring fiber Internet to more people in the United States


This story is part of Crossing the broadband divideCNET’s coverage of how the country is working to make broadband access universal.

AT&T and investment giant BlackRock formed a partnership to expand fiber Internet service beyond its current cable networks, the telecommunications giant said in a press release Friday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The joint venture, called Gigapower, will serve customers outside AT&T’s 21-state network that covers primarily the southern and midwestern United States, as well as California, Florida and Texas. The multifunction fiber network will be rolled out to about 1.5 million initial customers and is expected to reach more than 30 million locations by the end of 2025. The press release did not say which states or communities Gigapower’s service would be expanding to.

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“We believe Gigapower’s fiber infrastructure designed as an open-access commercial platform will more efficiently connect U.S. communities with critical broadband services,” Mark Florian, BlackRock’s global head of diversified infrastructure, said in a statement.

AT&T did not provide additional comment. BlackRock declined to comment further.

Gigapower’s formation comes as fiber internet continues to expand across the US. last year, President Joe Biden signed the Jobs and Infrastructure Investment Act into law in law, which included $65 billion for broadband and was praised by industry trade groups such as the Fiber Broadband Association.

It is also a necessary step crossing the broadband divide, which left millions of Americans in more rural areas without access to high-speed internet. This includes ISPs have historically targeted low-income neighborhoods, high costs she removal of tribal lands.

AT&T Fiber, which can deliver speeds of up to 5 gigabits per second, is becoming a major revenue stream for the telco. At the beginning of this year, AT&T said it had 6.6 million fiber subscribers with consumer cable revenue of $3.2 billion in the second quarter of 2022. AT&T Fiber’s 1 Gbps service it costs $80 a monthbut there are lower speed options for less.

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