By Paige Nash
Webster Parish will soon have another option when it comes to the internet. Brightspeed, a broadband and telecommunications services company headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, announced earlier this month they are beginning their first phase of fiber optics network build by the end of 2023.
Using funds made available by Louisiana’s Granting Unserved Municipalities Broadband Opportunities (GUMBO) program, Brightspeed will be expanding this fiber-based internet availability to multiple parishes in the state, including portions of Acadia, Calcasieu, Evangeline, Franklin, Jefferson Davis and Webster parishes.
“We are pleased to share our initial fiber build locations for Louisiana,” said Sherry Hessenthaler, Operation Strategy Lead for Brightspeed. “Brightspeed’s mission is to expand and accelerate the availability of high-quality broadband that will enable our communities to grow and thrive. We are looking forward to offering a new choice in internet and extending the full capabilities of our advanced fiber technology to residents and businesses in our Louisiana footprint.”
They will be working with local government officials throughout the build process, from planning to build completion. The fiber-based service will have the capacity to exceed 1Gbps, which will be an improvement over the current copper-based digital subscriber line (DSL) service that is offered.
During the first phase of this network build, they plan to deliver up to 14,000 new fiber passings bringing faster, more reliable internet and Wi-Fi to residential and commercial locations across these parishes by the end of 2023. They will then plan to build on another 14,000 additional passings in the following years, for a total of up to 28,000 fiber-enabled locations in Louisiana.
Brightspeed mission is to bridge the digital divide by building this state-of-the-art fiber network that will make staying connected simple and easy. They plan to reach up to 3 million homes and businesses over the next five years, including many rural and suburban locations where this type of technology has yet to be offered.
The company has been ramping up its network design and construction planning as it prepares for day one operations across its multistate operating territory, which so far will include Ohio, Alabama, Texas, Virginia and North Carolina in addition to our state.