Metro Fiber Providers: Relative Size

March 30th, 2009 by · 8 Comments

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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Categories: Metro fiber

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8 Comments So Far

  • Dave Rusin says:

    I think some of the private companies are yanking your chain on “on-net” buildings.

    They may be counting “near net” as on-net.

    Some of these private companies should go public – even in this market with those numbers!

    If I count buildings less than 500 feet from our backbone – we instantly have 3000+ buildings!!!

    Passing by a building and having built in to a building are different.

  • Ben Hilborn says:

    When EasyTEL in Tulsa says “lit” we mean LIT! Not only do we install our own fiber optic lines into every building, we then go on to built out new voice, data, and video lines inside the building so we don’t touch the old “house wiring”. Deliveryting 40mbs – 100mbs to every customer won’t work on the old wiring. We are at 998 buildings in Tulsa and have 25 open construction projects going on right now.

  • Dave Rusin says:

    Then there is the quality of the building … single tenant, multi-tenant or FTTB — Fiber To The Barn …

    Then there is quality of the market — Mayberry is not a market, for example … ranked MSA’s are a better measure of presence and quality of opportunity.

    Anyone casting they are in 300+ markets — thin the Podunk towns and see what you really have …

    • Ben Hilborn says:

      Tulsa is ranked number 45 in the US. Certainly not a major market but there is plenty of business here. EasyTEL is in one market, Tulsa. Not many barns here that want fiber optics installed. PS – Ask TW Telecom how many buildings in Tulsa they have lit. We are hitting 1000 tomorrow morning!

  • Rob Powell says:

    Hey, I thought you guys were in this together against the ILECs? 🙂

  • Dave Rusin says:

    ILECs really don’t care much about CLECs … they are more consumed with Cable Companies, FCC and related litigation …

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