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Negotiating Gigapower Fiber Distribution Hub Leases In 2024

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Who is Gigapower?

Gigapower is a joint venture between AT&T and BlackRock, formed to operate a commercial fiber platform known as Gigapower, LLC. The company aims to provide a best-in-class fiber network to internet service providers (ISPs) and other businesses across the United States, particularly in areas outside of AT&T’s traditional 21-state wireline service footprint. Gigapower’s business model is based on deploying a reliable, multi-gig fiber network using a commercial open-access platform, allowing multiple companies to rent or lease its fiber network. This approach is expected to increase competition in the broadband industry and lower prices for fiber access, ultimately helping to bridge the digital divide and stimulate local economies​​​​​​.  (Please note that Steel in the Air is not affiliated with Gigapower- if you have found this article while searching for Gigapower, you can find the Gigapower website here.)

If Gigapower has approached you to lease part of your land for a fiber distribution hub, this guide is for you. Here, we address common concerns and questions landowners may have about these leases.

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    How can we help?

    Why Gigapower Wants Your Land:

    Gigapower aims to expand its high-speed internet service nationwide, requiring a network of strategically placed fiber distribution huts. In some cases, Gigapower is installing equipment near existing AT&T cell sites, perhaps adjacent to their equipment area under a tower owned by Crown Castle, American Tower, or SBA Communications.  In other cases, the site is a standalone location near a public right of way that already has fiber optic cable routed in it.  In some cases, Gigapower is offering to rent land directly from landowners.  In other situations, a tower company plans on subleasing part of their ground space to Gigapower or expanding their tower ground lease area to accommodate Gigapower.  The typical Gigapower installation is 900 square feet to 1000 square feet.  It includes a 10’x20’ shelter and a generator.

    Gigapower Lease Rates and Negotiation:

    As compared to cell towers, Gigapower may have more flexibility in terms of picking site locations. There may be fewer zoning restrictions for placement of a fiber distribution hub as compared to the placement of a 100’ to 200’ tower.  Thus, you may have less flexibility in negotiating.

    What to Look Out for in a Gigapower Lease:

    1. Term: Optimally, the lease for Gigapower should not extend beyond the underlying tower ground lease.  If there is no tower, the term should be 25 years.
    2. Lease Restrictions: The lease shouldn’t impact your ability to use the rest of the property nor should it limit your ability to sell your property.
    3. Utilities and Access: It is critical that the lease defines clearly who can and cannot access your property and where utilities can be located.
    Gigapower Fiber Distribution Hut

    How We Can Help:

    Our expertise in telecommunications leasing can help you navigate negotiations with Gigapower, ensuring you get the best possible terms for your lease. We can help you review the proposed lease and ascertain whether there is anything unique (or not) in the chosen location.  From evaluating your property’s value in the network to understanding the nuances of lease agreements, we’re here to assist every step of the way.

    Ready to Negotiate Your Gigapower Lease?

    Contact us for expert guidance and support throughout the negotiation process.

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