Gigabit Squared, a startup that will focus on providing wireline-based fiber broadband connections to six communities located near research universities around the United States, has secured $200 million in funding.
However, it's not going it alone.
The Cleveland Heights, Ohio-based provider will work with Gig.U, a consortium of public and private universities set on driving economic development by building high speed fiber-based networks that will support education, health care and scientific research.
Although it has yet to name the six communities where it will launch the service, the company did say it negotiating an agreement with one university and will reveal the rest of its plans before the end of 2012.
Mark Ansboury, Gigabit Squared's president and co-founder, said that it believes it can fulfill a need for high speed wireline-based networks as traditional telcos like AT&T (NYSE: T) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ) have diverted their respective investments in their last mile networks towards wireless services.
"The big carriers built their fiber-to-the-home systems, but we have really seen them pull back in recent years," he said.
While large service providers dial down their broadband network expansion efforts, a number of municipal and competitive providers in Louisiana, Tennessee and Northern California are taking matters into their own hands and deploying 1 Gbps-capable Fiber to the Premises (FTTP) networks of their own.
In Chattanooga, EPB Fiber, the municipal broadband arm of Chattanooga-based EPB Power, delivers a 1 Gbps Fiber to the Premises service. Interestingly, the service provider reported in February that it had 35,000 FTTP customers, 9,000 more than its initial goal of 26,000 customers by the third year in operation.
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