Previously I looked at on-net building density as a way to classify metro fiber providers. One of the major features that classification showed was that often smaller metro fiber providers tend to hook up more buildings per mile of fiber. Now size isn't everything, but it does matter. And to get a feel for the sector it is important to keep a feel for relative size of the participants. Once again, this is not a race, just kind of a weigh-in. I looked at two obvious metrics: route miles and lit buildings.
As one would expect, these lists contain mostly the larger public fiber/data providers who serve many markets, with heavyweights Level 3 Communications (NYSE:LVLT, news, filings) and TW Telecom (NASDAQ:TWTC, news, filings) topping both lists. The only private companies to make the top ten on both lists are Fibertech, Zayo, and Lightower. I wonder when those three might go public, they seem the most likely candidates. Surely not now of course, but when the IPO markets open up again why not?
Again, this is nothing more than a weigh-in, perhaps a bit like boxing. It doesn't tell you who is the better fighter pound for pound, it just tells you what division each currently fights in.
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