Regional Fiber Networks

October 19th, 2008 by · 6 Comments

Back in the bubble, longhaul fiber was a darling of the street.  These days, the value of metro fiber gets most of the press.  But regional fiber is a middle child that gets overlooked.  If a market isn’t conveniently on the route between two NFL cities, the number of on-ramps drops amazingly quickly, the alternatives to the ILEC are generally few and come from brand names that don’t get heard much.  In technological terms, this fiber is akin to longhaul fiber because it covers distances greater than a metro loop would and uses basically the same gear.  But in terms of functionality, it often acts more like metro fiber because it mainly provides an on/off ramp to the major data highways.

Of course, larger names like Level 3 have a fair amount of regional fiber, but here I speak of smaller, regionally focused companies who specialize in it.  Zayo has a good sized pile of it, and AFS has a controlling share in US Carrier (below), so it’s not as if they’re unknown – just often ignored by the press.  One major way they get started is as a cooperative effort between small, independent RLECs and ILECs, who depend on such on-ramps and prefer to have some control over their costs, but there are other ways as well.

Often there is little public information about them, if one doesn’t have a great deal of local knowledge one often can’t even tell if their fiber is owned, leased, etc.  But their unique footprints mean less competition, and the increasing need for greater and greater on-ramps of all sorts will raise their profile.  Here’s a quick list to start with, I don’t expect to find all of them right off the bat.

Company State Link
US Carrier GA site
Kentucky Datalink 24 states map
Oregon Fiber Network OR map
Syringa Networks ID map
Vision Net MT map
Advanced Communications Technology WY map
Dakota Carrier ND map
SDN Communications SD map
Aurora Fiber Networks MN map
Pinpoint NE,IA,IL map
Enventis MN site
INS IXC Services IA map
Wisconsin Independent Network WI map
Peninsula Fiber Network MI map
Great Lakes Comnet MI map
ION NY map
Independent Fiber Network OH map
Indiana Fiber Network IN map
Missouri Network Alliance MO site
MBO Corp OK map
Texas Lone Start Network TX map
PalmettoNet NC map
IRIS Networks TN map
DukeNet SC,NC map

See any missing from the list?  Add a comment below and I’ll be sure add it.

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Categories: Internet Backbones · Metro fiber

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6 Comments So Far

  • Jason says:

    Allegheny Communications
    First Energy’s fiber
    East Kentucky Networks (EKN)
    Noel Communications

    to name a few

  • Jason says:

    Cavailer Telephone also…..

  • Rob Powell says:

    Jason, thank you for that list, there are definitely some interesting fiber assets there. A few of them ( FPL Fibernet, Southern Light Fiber, and Cavalier) I have mentioned in my metro fiber posts – I realize there is overlap there of course. Most of the rest are new to me, and I will certainly look them up!

  • Jared says:

    Grande has a regional fiber network covering Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisanna as well as metro fiber networks in NOrth Dallas, Waco, Austin, San Marcos, San Antonio, Midland-Odessa and Corpus Christi, Texas.

  • John says:

    Love the regional Fiber list. I am trying to identify Regional Fiber players in Washington State. Have you been able to identify any of these? I am on the hunt.

    • Rob Powell says:

      Actually John, this is a rather old post. I now keep an up to date and rather more extensive list of regional fiber networks on this dedicated page. Washington-specific regional and metro fiber providers that I know of include LS Networks, Noel Communications, FatBeam, CSS, and Black Rock Cable. Of course many national and trans-regional fiber operators have assets in the state.

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