After sharing on Q3 2022 earnings that its Quantum Fiber build isn’t yet coming along as fast as it would like, Lumen provided an update on where it is actually making progress. The announcement indicated deployments are now underway in a total of 14 states, up from 12 in August.
New additions to Lumen’s list include Montana and Wyoming. In the former, the company said it is building out the city of Bozeman, which also happens to be where non-profit operator Yellowstone Fiber (formerly Bozeman Fiber) is building an open access network. In Wyoming, construction is underway in the city of Cheyenne. Rival fiber player Bluepeak announced plans late last year to deploy in Cheyenne as part of a bid to cover 70,000 locations across the state over the coming years. It reportedly lit up service there in January 2022.
Lumen previously said in August Quantum Fiber rollouts were underway in more than 20 markets across 12 states. It said this week its expansion efforts now span more than 30 markets.
Though it named all 12 states in August, Lumen didn’t disclose all of the cities it was targeting. Newly announced markets in those states include Albuquerque, New Mexico; Boise, Idaho; Las Vegas, Nevada; Omaha, Nebraska; Portland, Oregon; and Orlando and Tallahassee, Florida.
As with the other markets its building out, Lumen faces fiber competition in several of these locations. For instance, Lumen will be facing off with Google Fiber in Omaha as well as the previously announced cities of Mesa, Arizona and Des Moines, Iowa. And Metronet already offers fiber service in Tallahassee, having started construction there in December 2019. Meanwhile, Ziply Fiber provides service in the areas surrounding Portland.
Lumen’s overall plan is to reach a total of 12 million locations with Quantum Fiber over the coming years. On the operator’s Q3 2022 earnings call, company executives said it enabled 195,000 new locations in its 16 state footprint, bringing its total to 3 million.
Outgoing CEO Jeff Storey said at the time it was “not yet at the pace of build we expect or want,” pointing to inflationary pressures, supply chain and labor shortages as constraining factors. CFO Chris Stansbury added the company has “all hands on deck right now to see what we can do given permitting and labor issues to get as many enablements in the ground as fast as we can.”
Here’s the entire list of the 32 Quantum Fiber cities Lumen has announced to date: Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale and Tuscon, Arizona; Aurora, Colorado Springs and Denver, Colorado; Cape Coral, Fort Myers, Ocala, Orlando and Tallahassee, Florida; Boise, Idaho; Cedar Rapids, Des Moines and West Des Moines, Iowa; Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota; Bozeman, Montana; Omaha, Nebraska; Las Vegas, Nevada; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Portland, Oregon; Ogden, Salt Lake City and St. George, Utah; Bellingham, Olympia, Seattle, Spokane and Tacoma, Washington; and Cheyenne, Wyoming.