Lumen announced the win of a significant chunk of state government dollars yesterday. California’s Department of Technology has awarded Lumen more than $400M to build out open-access middle-mile connectivity across the state.
Details on the project were pretty minimal for such a substantial sum of money, but a bit more can be gleaned from the state’s website for the project. California envisions 10,101 route miles of middle mile fiber across the state. Of that total, they plan to lease 4,699 route miles, purchase 474 route miles outright, do joint builds for 1,427 route miles, and construct 3,501 route miles.
The plan is for all this to be complete by December 2026, which is a pretty aggressive timeline for that much infrastructure. Based on the size of the award, presumably Lumen will be running point, and much of the leased fiber will perhaps be on their infrastructure. To meet the timeline, however, I’m sure other providers will be involved and there’s a lot of new routes to be constructed. I’m sure plenty of third parties will see some opportunity there.
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