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Meridiam Breaks Ground in Selma, Alabama, on Transformative Fiber Infrastructure Project
[March 02, 2024]

Meridiam Breaks Ground in Selma, Alabama, on Transformative Fiber Infrastructure Project


Meridiam, a leading sustainable infrastructure investment firm, today broke ground on a transformative fiber project that will provide broadband access in the underserved Black Belt region of Alabama. The firm will develop, build, finance, and manage a high-speed fiber-optic network that, upon completion, will enable fiber broadband to 53,000 households and businesses across more than 300 miles.

The fiber network is being developed and deployed at no cost to local governments or their taxpayers. Yellowhammer Networks, a fiber-to-the-premises network developer owned and financed by Meridiam, has committed to fund 100% of the project, totaling $230 million in investment across the region. Yellowhammer will additionally provide strategic, technical, and operational support to ensure the project's success.

Omnipoint will serve as the open access network's initial ISP partner, bringing new, high-quality, and affordable fiber broadband service to schools, businesses, and households across Selma, Demopolis, and the Alabama Black Belt. The network will extend to Bibb, Dallas, Greene, Hale, Marengo, Perry, Sumter, and Wilcox counties.

"Meridiam is dedicated to filling critical fiber infrastructure gaps and helping eliminate the divide that excludes millions of people from our digital society and compromises economic growth for all," said Nicolas Rubio, CEO for the Americas, Meridiam. "Yellowhammer Networks is determined to make high-speed fiber broadband accessible to residents throughout Selma and the region regardless of their income levels."

"High-speed reliable broadband is no longer nice to have. Today, it's as important as gas, water, and electricity. In our increasingly digital society, cities without access to fiber broadband risk falling behind," said Mayor James Perkins. "It's critical that the City of Selma makes fiber broadband accessible citywide by building utility-like infrastructure that serves our residents' needs today and for generations to come." /p>



This project is part of a series of Meridiam-led investments, totaling more than $2.7 billion, into digital infrastructure that will connect over 1.3 million homes, many in rural and underserved areas. Meridiam is convinced that access to high-speed internet is critical to bridge the digital divide and aims to contribute to a society where anyone, regardless of income level, can communicate instantly with others, benefit equally from essential services like education and healthcare, or develop businesses. This includes projects already underway in Bloomington and Central Indiana; Memphis, Tennessee; Alberta, Canada; and across Europe in Austria, Germany and Romania.

Since 2005, Meridiam has been committed to providing sustainable and transformational infrastructure to communities across the globe, in alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Meridiam currently manages 120+ projects focused on low-carbon solutions, sustainable mobility, and critical public services across Europe, Africa, and the Americas, including Latin America.


About Meridiam

Meridiam is a leading infrastructure developer, investor, and manager, committed to delivering sustainable and resilient infrastructure that delivers positive impact for communities for the long term. Meridiam is an independent investment Certified B Corporation™ and an asset manager that specializes in development, financing, and long-term management of sustainable infrastructure assets in three core sectors: sustainable mobility, critical public services, and innovative low-carbon solutions. With offices in Addis Ababa, Amman, Dakar, Istanbul, Johannesburg, Libreville, Luxembourg, Washington D.C., Paris, and Vienna, Meridiam's current global aggregate capital investment is US$80 billion across more than 120 assets to date. Meridiam is a partner of choice to the public sector in North America with a diversified investment and project portfolio, extensive track record, and deep industry expertise. At present, Meridiam manages 24 infrastructure assets in the US, Canada, and Chile with an aggregate capital investment of more than US$27.5 billion. Meridiam is certified ISO 9001: 2015, Advanced Sustainability Rating by VigeoEiris (Moody's), ISO 37001 Anti-Corruption certification by AFNOR and applies a proprietary methodology in relation to ESG and impact based on the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

About Yellowhammer Networks

Yellowhammer Networks is a Selma-based Fiber-To-The-Premises network developer that aspires to serve every resident, business, and institution in Selma, Demopolis, and 15 other western Central Alabama towns with a high-speed fiber broadband network. The company and its partners are experts in designing, building, deploying, operating, and maintaining fiber optic facilities; designing, delivering, and managing projects within Alabama; and implementing Digital Equity programs. Delivering accessible and affordable fiber internet to each community we serve is central to Yellowhammer Networks' operation. The company's fiber network will pass more than 75% of the region's premises. To ensure access, affordability, and adoption, Yellowhammer Networks is partnering with local leaders and non-profit organizations to enroll eligible low-income households in federal broadband benefits; create access to tablets and laptops; deliver computer and digital literacy training; and offer specialized technical support. Yellowhammer Networks is financed by Meridiam, a global leader in long-term infrastructure investment.


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