All Points Broadband could be a metaphor for the unserved locations that are the focus of the company with that name. With a goal of connecting over 80,000 unserved rural locations by the end of 2025, All Points is bringing Fiber to the Home (FTTH) to parts of rural Kentucky, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia that are on the unconnected side of the digital divide. With $300M in public financing, partnerships with electric utilities, and strategic investment from a seasoned private equity firm, All Points has the necessary backing to make its goal happen.
It also has a team with deep experience in building and operating telecom networks. In the above interview, filmed at Calix’s 2022 ConneXions, Tom Whitaker, All Points Broadband’s Chief Operating Officer, provides an overview of All Points Broadband’s evolution from wireless internet to FTTH operator. With an operations background that encompasses cable television to cellular architectures, Whitaker brings the perspective of someone who understands the trade-offs between different network approaches.
FTTH = Resilient
As Whitaker says, “It [FTTH] is a much more stable, much more resilient platform than HFC.” He lauds Calix for the software that simplifies the operation and marketing of their all-fiber network. He alludes to the biggest challenge being the tight construction timeline. With 40,000 to 50,000 pole attachments, the engineering and make-ready is a huge challenge.
It is their partnerships with electric utilities that are one of their other strategic advantages. The middle-mile networks of these electric utilities are helping All Points reach communities that are hundreds of miles away from each other. At the local level, its partnerships with counties are helping All Points reach unserved residents and businesses.
Finally, the 2021 investment by Searchlight Capital Partners, also an investor in Consolidated Communications and Ziply Fiber, is a major endorsement of All Point’s approach. As Searchlight Partner and former FCC Chair Ajit Pai stated in a press release about their investment in All Point.
“Searchlight’s investment will help APB meaningfully bridge that divide for many thousands of consumers in Virginia and the mid-Atlantic. More generally, this transaction highlights how a unique partnership among governments at all levels, electric utilities, ISPs, and private capital can deliver major benefits for consumers.”Searchlight Capital Partners Makes Strategic Investment in All Points Broadband, July 6th, 2021