Acquisition adds 1,800 route-mile fiber network throughout Pennsylvania

Albany, NY – March 30, 2022 – FirstLight, a leading provider of digital infrastructure services to enterprise and carrier customers throughout the Northeast, and mid-Atlantic announced today that it has completed its acquisition of the majority of the assets of the Pennsylvania-based Keystone Initiative for Network Based Education and Research (“KINBER”).

The transaction includes the acquisition of KINBER’s 1,800-route mile fiber network in Pennsylvania and related customer contracts. KINBER will continue in its mission to provide research and education access, investing in underserved and unserved communities, and positioning Pennsylvania to be a leader in broadband and broadband technology. FirstLight will continue to support KINBER’s networking needs.

FirstLight has invested significantly in the Pennsylvania market over the past 12 months, adding a dedicated Pennsylvania sales team and approximately 1,000 miles of new fiber to its network, including builds in Allentown, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Scranton, Reading and Wilkes-Barre.

“In addition to acquiring an important fiber route in Pennsylvania, we are excited to serve the prestigious, world renowned higher education institutions, K-12, government, and health care customers in Pennsylvania that KINBER so aptly cultivated over the years,” said Kurt Van Wagenen, FirstLight President and CEO.

“Through working with KINBER throughout this acquisition process, we have developed a strong, positive working relationship with the team and have come to consider them partners and teammates with a shared vision of how this network can benefit the institutions it has long supported, the businesses and organizations located within close proximity of this fiber network as well as the community at large. We look forward to enhancing our relationship as we support KINBER’s new mission and focus,” said Patrick Coughlin, FirstLight Chief Business Development Officer.

“KINBER is excited to have successfully concluded this transaction and complete the latest chapter in our organization’s history. Going forward, KINBER remains committed to providing research and education access to all community anchor institutions in the commonwealth. And we are focused on having a positive impact in the communities we serve and the people who live there through the advancement of technology, innovation and collaboration,” said Nathan Flood, CEO of KINBER.

RBC Capital Markets LLC served as financial advisor and McNees Wallace Nurick, LLC served as legal counsel to KINBER for the transaction, while Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP served as legal counsel to FirstLight.


The Keystone Initiative for Network Based Education and Research (KINBER) is Pennsylvania’s statewide research, education, and community network. The nonprofit membership organization is comprised of education, health care, economic development, libraries, public media, government, and other nonprofit organizations devoted to fostering collaboration through technology. Established in 2010, KINBER provides research and education network connectivity and services to more than 130 organizations in Pennsylvania. KINBER is committed to delivering equitable, reliable, and affordable digital infrastructure and tools to inspire tomorrow’s scientific discoveries, enable the exchange of ideas and culture among diverse populations, educate the next generation of citizens, and revitalize Pennsylvania’s economy. For more information, visit

KINBER Media Contact:

Jill Helsel Gingrich

La Torre Communications for KINBER [email protected]