A fund managed by the diversified infrastructure arm of BlackRock Alternatives has teamed up with US telecommunications company AT&T to provide wholesale fibre network services.

The unnamed BlackRock infrastructure fund and the telecoms firm have agreed to form Gigapower, a joint venture expected to provide fibre network to internet service providers and other businesses across the US.

The companies said Gigapower will serve customers outside of AT&T’s traditional 21-state wireline service footprint. Gigapower plans to deploy a fibre network to an initial 1.5m customer locations across the nation using a commercial open-access platform.

John Stankey, CEO of AT&T, said: “Now more than ever, people are recognising that connecting changes everything. With this joint venture, more customers and communities outside of our traditional service areas will receive the social and economic benefits of the world’s most durable and capable technology to access all the internet has to offer.”

Mark Florian, the global head of diversified infrastructure at BlackRock, said: “We are excited to form the Gigapower joint venture in partnership with AT&T, which will be serving as not only a joint owner but also the first wholesale tenant.

“We believe Gigapower’s fibre infrastructure designed as a commercial open access platform will more efficiently connect communities across the United States with critical broadband services.”

Bill Hogg, CEO of Gigapower, said: “We have a proven team of professionals building this scalable, commercial open access wireline fibre network.

“Our goal is to help local service providers provide fibre connectivity, create the communications infrastructure needed to power the next generation of services and bring multi-gig capabilities to help close the gap for those who currently are without multi-gig service.”

To read the latest edition of the latest IPE Real Assets magazine click here.