Windstream, STL Enhance Partnership to Drive Fiber Builds

Windstream, a privately held communications and software company, and Sterlite Technologies Ltd., (STL), a fiber optic cable manufacturer, have expanded their partnership to support Windstream’s large-scale fiber construction projects.

The partnership now will support consumer-focused, fiber-to-the-home builds by Kinetic by Windstream as well as high-bandwidth optical long-haul fiber routes developed for content and cloud providers by Windstream Wholesale.

With Windstream as the anchor customer, STL opened in 2022 its first U.S. cable manufacturing plant in Kershaw County, S.C. The plant is located near the southeastern heart of Windstream’s footprint, reducing transportation costs and delivery times while creating jobs for Americans.

Kinetic by Windstream is investing $2 billion in private capital to expand Gigabit internet service to homes and businesses across 18 states.

The BEAD Program and other federal infrastructure projects include domestic manufacturing requirements for certain equipment, including fiber optic cable. STL’s Industry 4.0-certified manufacturing facility in South Carolina produces “Made in America” fiber for Windstream and other service providers.

STL’s on-shore production capacity and its global supply chain management capabilities support its ability to offer shorter-than-average market lead times for its production materials. STL was able to make the investment to establish on-shore production capacity in part due to its partnership with Kinetic and its role in helping Kinetic fulfill its $2 billion fiber-to-the-home expansion program.

“For Windstream Wholesale, it is a top priority to deliver the best reach and experience to our customers, including the world’s largest hyperscalers,” said Buddy Bayer, president of Windstream Wholesale. “And we want to do it fast. Windstream sets the bar high in terms of technology and engineering and we are confident that STL, with nearly 30 years of optical expertise, will ably support our connectivity ambitions.”

Windstream Wholesale, an optical technology leader of fast and flexible advanced solutions, has multiple fiber construction projects underway including an extension of its Tulsa-to-Little Rock, Arkansas, route to Memphis, a new build from Raleigh, North Carolina, to Jacksonville, Florida, and a new build from New York City to Montreal.

STL began providing optical networking solutions to Windstream in February 2021. It has expanded its offering set to provide advanced optical designs like high-fiber count Intelligently Bonded Ribbon and Flat Ribbon, in addition to its loose tube optical cables. These products are designed to ensure faster rollout and high scalability, aligning with Windstream Wholesale’s requirements for metro, and long-haul optical networks that currently provide up to 400G wave services and will support 800G transmission in the future.

STL also provides Kinetic with various sizes of high-quality loose tube fiber optic cable that the company is deploying across its mostly rural footprint. STL’s Intelligently Bonded Ribbon fiber cable, which is smaller in diameter and can be spliced more efficiently than standard fiber, will be key to Kinetic’s future network buildouts.