Fastwyre Broadband is looking to drastically expand its fiber footprint, plotting builds in nine new markets across Louisiana, Missouri and Nebraska over the coming months. All told, CEO Chris Eldredge told Fierce it is targeting around 40,000 new households passed.
The company, formerly known as American Broadband, passed around 60,000 homes as of September 2021 (an updated figure was not immediately available). That means the 40,000 new passings would represent a substantial addition to its footprint.
Target markets include DeRidder, Leesville and Oakdale in Louisiana; Knob Noster, La Monte, Nevada, Sedalia and Warrensburg in Missouri; and Bellevue in Nebraska. Eldredge said construction should be complete within 75 to 90 days, with service expected to be available in these areas in early Q1 2023.
According to Eldredge, there will be no other fiber competitors “that will have the coverage or network capabilities” Fastwyre is planning to provide in the markets it is building. In a press release, the operator noted it will provide residential service tiers up to 1 Gbps.
Data from BroadbandNow shows AT&T Internet, Altice USA’s Optimum cable service, Viasat and T-Mobile fixed wireless access (FWA) are currently available in DeRidder and Leesville, while Oakdale is mostly served by T-Mobile FWA, AT&T Internet and Viasat. In Missouri, competitors vary by market but include Charter’s Spectrum brand, CenturyLink, T-Mobile FWA and AT&T. In Bellevue, rivals include Cox Communications, CenturyLink and T-Mobile. In several of the markets, available service options top out at 100 Mbps, though there are pockets of 1 Gbps and 5 Gbps offerings.
Asked whether inflation would impact the expected costs associated with the projects, the CEO stated “We identified these markets early and were able to anticipate potential supply chain issues. As such, we took steps to insulate ourselves from the current economic environment.”
The announcement comes after Fastwyre inked a deal in September to expand into Alabama via the acquisition of Moundville Communications. Moundville offers fiber and DSL broadband service to approximately 6,000 customers.
In the aforementioned release, Eldredge said Fastwyre is “committed to expansion and will extend our coverage areas in addition to entering new markets through adding locations in the near future.”