To borrow and mangle a phrase, Tulsa built it and TW Telecom came. According to an article in Tulsa World, the city took advantage of other construction in 2007 to install 4.5 miles of downtown conduit that reaches 85% of businesses in the area - something I wish happened more often. Sensing an opportunity, competitive fiberoptic network operator TW Telecom (TWTC) has leased space in the conduit system and seems to have entered the Tulsa metro fiber market in force. It's not entirely a surprise, while the company hasn't been very public about their intentions, they have been known to be hiring personnel in Tulsa. What wasn't clear was whether they were just testing the waters or not, but it is becoming obvious that they mean business and are gearing up for a major effort.
It just goes to show you though, if your business is healthy and grounded in solid assets, a recession is an opportunity. After all, with the rest of the industry battening down their economic hatches and reducing staff, who else is likely to follow TW Telecom into this newly competitive market? If one has the firepower in times like these, it can be used more effectively when the others are low on bullets than it could otherwise. TW Telecom should have a few years head start in Tulsa, which will help them entrench their position as a viable alternative to the ILEC.
Opportunities abound right now for those few with the resources to seek them out. While the financial markets have punished the sector almost uniformly across the board, competitive advantages are being won and lost on the ground. If we watch carefully, we may see the future telecom landscape taking shape.
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