On-net buildings, further investigation

May 31st, 2008 by · 3 Comments

Following my initial forays into compiling comparative on-net building data for competitive telecoms, more data started coming in.  Some from several very helpful readers, some from a little more elbow grease on my part.

Before showing the updated data, I have come to a conclusion about the data I initially sought.  It turns out that markets served is so inconsistent across the industry that the data is meaningless.  For instance, some companies treat the NYC region as a single market, some cut it into as many as 5 pieces (e.g. manhattan, long island, westchester, north jersey, central jersey) and call those separate markets.  Thus, the metric 'buildings per market' is not terribly useful.  However, the route miles per building metric seems interesting to me, so I'm going to go with that.

Another tidbit - some companies list only enterprise buildings in their 'on net' number, some include central offices and carrier hotels and the like also.  I had assumed the latter for all cases, but it turns out that TW Telecom is in the former camp, and when you add in an estimated 1500-2000 (as I have been told), their on-net number goes over 10K.  Is this true of others?  Anyone who knows, let me know.  Some other additional information was added on both Fiberlight and Optimum Lightpath (a division of Cablevision), and I have clarified Zayo's numbers based on more recent data.

I have sorted again according to route miles per building.  Optimum Lightpath turns out to have amazing density, largely because its sole region, the NYC metro area, is the most compact market in the country.  Fiberlight turns out to have a similar profile to US Signal likely due to a similar lack of an enterprise footprint.  Zayo's number is almost certainly higher it ought to be, because they lump metro and regional fiber miles and I have no current way to isolate the metro miles - but I'm including them anyway, if one were to make a wild guess of a 50/50 split they would come in around 5.5 route miles per building.  I'm still looking for more data on other metro providers, including but not limited to Fibertech, Southern Telecom, and Southern Light Fiber.


Company Route Miles Buildings RtMile/bldg
Optimum Lightpath 2,700 2,500 1.1
American Fiber Systems 1,000 540 1.9
TW Telecom 25,930 10,250 2.5
XO Communications 9,000 3,000 3.0
Level 3 26,000 7,600 3.4
Abovenet 4,500 1,300 3.5
Integra Telecom 2,200 580 3.8
RCN Metro 5,626 1,200 4.7
FiberLight 1,400 250 5.6
US Signal 700 100 7.0
Cogent 10,400 1,240 8.4
Zayo 17,000 1,500 11.3

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Categories: CLEC · Metro fiber

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3 Comments So Far


  • carlk says:

    With the exclusion of calculating investment dollars as well as the added route miles necessary for connections-500 ft. per enterprise building for another 92.4K buildings-LVLT’s density ratio would go to .26 with 100K buildings. How route miles might change to accomplish this herculean task in addition to the capex would be necessary; however, I haven’t heard anyone making this claim except for LVLT. And, overtime, I have noticed certain competing CEOs at various telecom companies begin using Crowe speak and corresponding metrics after the fact.

  • Ben Edmond says:

    The article understates our route miles and number of buildings OnNet, the metric seems to be close, but would be happy to discuss further in your attempts to get the information accurate if you would like.

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