Searchlight Capital Partners, L.P. (“Searchlight” or “the Firm”), a leading global private investment firm, and Simple Broadband LLC today announced their initial strategic investment in All Points Broadband, a leading Virginia-based Internet Service Provider (“ISP”) employing a unique model of public-private and electric-utility partnerships to provide universal high-speed broadband access across the Commonwealth of Virginia and in adjacent markets.
Founded in 2014, All Points Broadband (“APB” or “the Company”) is the leading rural-facing ISP in the mid-Atlantic, currently serving approximately 25,000 end-users through a combination of fiber-to-the-home (“FttH”) and fixed wireless networks in markets throughout Virginia and Kentucky. Over the past 18 months, APB has transitioned its business model to focus on building a rural FttH platform, both in the markets the Company currently serves and in expansion areas. The Company is executing an aggressive strategy to leverage partnerships with electric utilities and underserved communities to bridge the digital divide. Searchlight’s investment will accelerate and expand this initiative.
“Investing in our country’s digital and technology infrastructure is the equivalent of investing in the traditional forms of infrastructure from a century ago, such as electricity and clean water systems,” said Darren Glatt, Partner at Searchlight. “It is essential to the country’s ability to drive long term growth and economic development. Searchlight has made development of FttH and expanding access to this service a central focus of our investment strategy. We are excited to partner with APB, its electric utility partners and communities who want FttH for all of their residents. By building out best-in-class and scalable next generation fiber networks throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia and adjacent markets, APB is positioned to help hundreds of thousands of underserved homes and businesses gain access to quality, high-speed broadband.”
Jimmy Carr, the Company’s Founder and CEO added: “All Points’ mission is bridging the digital divide for all homes and businesses in all the communities we serve. We have pioneered a new model for connecting rural America through public-private and electric utility partnerships. Searchlight is one of North America’s premier investors in broadband networks, and the investment by Searchlight and Simple Broadband will support our continued and aggressive expansion into new jurisdictions seeking a partner that can deliver FttH for all of their underserved homes and businesses.”
“The coronavirus pandemic has ended any debate about the need to expand Internet access to all Americans. Today, broadband is not a luxury. It is a necessity in modern American life. But too many Americans still find themselves on the wrong side of the digital divide,” said Ajit Pai, Partner at Searchlight and former Chairman of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission. “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 has a well-established track record of deploying its resources to enable the expansion of resilient next-generation networks around the country. It will continue to seek out public-private partnerships, like this one, that will bring even more Americans fully into the digital age.”
The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals and is expected to close in the third quarter.
About Searchlight Capital Partners, L.P.
Searchlight is a global private investment firm with nearly $9 billion in assets under management and offices in New York, London and Toronto. Searchlight seeks to invest in businesses where its long-term capital and strategic support accelerate value creation for all stakeholders. For more information, please visit www.searchlightcap.com.
About All Points Broadband
All Points Broadband empowers communities by bringing utility grade broadband to underserved markets, deploying state-of-the-art fiber-to-the-home and fixed-wireless technology to homes and businesses in communities throughout Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Kentucky, and is focused on leveraging partnerships with electric utilities and underserved jurisdictions to bridge the digital divide. Since October of 2020, All Points has secured more than $51 million in state and federal grants, and stakeholder partner contributions, to deploy broadband networks in its partner communities. More information is available at fiber.allpointsbroadband.com.
About Simple Broadband LLC
Simple Broadband LLC is a platform established by Simple Networks LLC and Armavir Partners LLC to invest in broadband related opportunities. Simple Broadband’s principals have decades of experience investing in and operating broadband businesses in the US, Europe and Latin America, with a particular focus on growing small operators to scale. For more information please visit www.simplenetworks.com and www.armavirpartners.com.