Fiber Maps, Lit Buildings, and Disclosure

September 12th, 2008 by · 6 Comments

After his return from a trip, Dan Caruso found my Zayo Lit Buildings post and kindly offered avenues for more information should I be interested.  Who knows, I might!  He also asked how Zayo's public maps and data stack up compared to others, and I thought about it and voila it turned into a blog post.  After all, I've looked at all of them, all I had to do was put them side by side - so I took the data I had on companies with metro fiber in multiple markets (sorry single market companies, another time) and threw together this table:

So to answer Dan's question:  Zayo offers more information about their footprint than pretty much any of their peers.  Not included in the above table is their very cool interactive Google Maps format and other maps with key near-net buildings and such, which is far more data than I can personally use right now since I'm not actually hooking up buildings or anything like that - just blogging.  RCN provides the casual onlooker a lot of data as well.  And Cogent, Level 3, and FiberLight each provide quite a bit - all three have added more detailed information recently it seems - certainly nothing to complain about.   On the other end of the spectrum there are XO, TW Telecom, and Integra, which give customers a longhaul map and a building count (sometimes approximate) and nothing else, and Global Crossing which gives only the longhaul map.  I'm sure the information is available to potential customers obviously, with an NDA perhaps - it's just not on their website or in their filings for the rest of us.

What I can't say is what they *ought* to provide, because it isn't always clear what benefit each derives from putting out such information publicly.  Why should they give out any data at all?  You want actual customers to call so you can talk to them, make a contact, a sales lead, whatever, yes?  And competitors could perhaps use that information to improve their own lists and targets.  On the other hand, easier access to data may bring in those who wouldn't call to find that information out, and may help the market to better understand your company, help you build a brand.  I don't know where the line ought to be drawn or even what all the various motivations might be, only that I love messing around with these maps and such - so of course I prefer as much disclosure as I can find.="

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Categories: Metro fiber

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