Also in this roundup: Indiana commits $51 million to expand broadband; Iliad reports Q2 broadband growth; Three taps CityFibre for fiber backhaul build.
SpaceX's Starlink made more progress toward its FCC-approved plan to launch 12,000 high-speed Internet satellites, with another 60 entering the stratosphere this week. The launch was Starlink's 12th in total, with 715 Starlink satellites now in orbit. If you're so inclined, you can kick off your weekend by watching the latest Falcon 9 flight below:
The state of Indiana announced a $51 million commitment to improving access to high-speed Internet, with contracts awarded for 50 broadband infrastructure expansion projects across the region. This marks round two of the state's $100 million Next Level Broadband Grant Program. According to a statement, this second round of funding will build infrastructure to more than 10,590 homes and commercial locations across 32 counties. It will also be helped by $53 million in matching funds from utility companies and ISPs. Among the 50 contracted companies that will provide broadband service in unserved areas throughout Indiana in the second round are: Orange County Rural Electric Membership Corporation, South Central Indiana Rural Electric Membership Corporation, Comcast, Eastern Indiana WIFI and others.
French ISP Iliad reported some cheery Q2 numbers for its broadband and fiber businesses. According to an earnings report, Iliad added 243,000 new fiber subscribers, for a total subscriber base of over 2 million. This allows Iliad to retain its standing of having the highest quarterly net adds in France for the fifth consecutive quarter. Meanwhile, the company also noted that "for the first time in seven years the Group returned to being no. 1" in quarterly broadband and ultra-fast broadband net adds. The company further outlined its goals in France, to have 2.8 million fiber subscribers by end-2020 and more than 5 million by the end of 2024, as well as 22 million connectible fiber sockets by the end of 2022 and 30 million by the end of 2024. For its Italy business, Iliad intends to launch fixed broadband by summer 2021.
Everyone's favorite third-national-digital-infrastructure platform in the UK, CityFibre, announced today that it had received a "multi-million-pound" contract from Three to provide full-fiber backhaul infrastructure to connect 1,300 mobile masts across 59 cities and towns. In a press release, CityFibre said that the partnership is part of Three's strategy to deliver the UK's fastest 5G network. Further: "The partnership will also mean Three has access to small cell access points throughout each of CityFibre's dense city-wide networks" ensuring there is full fiber in place to support anticipated demand for 5G services in busy, urban areas.
Charter has sparked RDOF work in all 24 states where it won bids. The cable op booked about $19 million in RDOF revenues in Q1, and expects to have about $9 million per month come in over the next ten years.
Launch of 2-Gig and 5-Gig FTTP tiers in 70-plus markets puts more pressure on cable ops to enhance their existing DOCSIS 3.1 network or accelerate their upgrade activity centered on the new DOCSIS 4.0 specs.
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