AT&T and private equity firm BlackRock officially closed a deal to form a new fiber-focused joint venture called Gigapower, outlining plans to build in three previously undisclosed states. For those keeping track, that means Gigapower is now looking at projects spanning a total of five states.
The operator had already announced Mesa, Arizona as one of its Gigapower markets. Last month, Fierce uncovered its plans to head to Chandler and Gilbert, Arizona and Las Vegas, Nevada as well.
AT&T confirmed Gigapower is targeting those cities in a press release, adding it will also be heading to parts of Alabama, Florida and Pennsylvania. The operator already serves more than 475,000 locations in Alabama with fiber under its AT&T brand.
While it didn’t name the exact cities it will be building to in Alabama and Florida, AT&T said Gigapower is heading to Scranton and Wilkes-Barre in Pennsylvania.
A BlackRock representative declined to specify where in Alabama and Florida it is looking and Fierce could not immediately identify the markets via public records.
Though the JV deal has only just closed, AT&T CEO John Stankey said last month it had already connected the first Gigapower customer. He didn’t say where, but Gigapower CEO Bill Hogg said in the press release it was in Mesa.
“We have big plans to deploy multi-gig fiber to many more cities across our country,” Hogg said. “Our partnerships with communities like Las Vegas and others are essential to building our fiber network and creating a commercial wholesale open access platform that will benefit consumers and businesses across the U.S.”
Gigapower is aiming to reach an initial target of 1.5 million passings. However, Stankey has indicated that number could grow based on how successful the venture is. AT&T is serving as the anchor tenant on the Gigapower network, but in theory it will also provide open access wholesale connectivity to other ISPs.