Competitive telecom XO Holdings (news, filings) announced today that it has expanded its network again in North Carolina, this time with services in Raleigh. This move follows closely on last year's expansion to Charlotte, and implies that the previous expansion went well enough for an encore performance. They seem to be fully operational in Raleigh already, offering both data and voice services to the enterprise.
Is this the beginning of a more detailed focus on North Carolina by XO? Are Winston Salem and Rocky Mount on deck? Perhaps, but it could also be simply a focus on the largest markets along XO's new fiber backbone that haven't been part of its traditional footprint. By that logic, the next targets for any XO expansion might be Cincinnati or Kansas City - each of which have only a transport node on XO's network map at the moment.
XO's continued expansion reflects the easing of pressure on their balance sheet after last July's refinancing, for many years they were focused internally but lately have been making more aggressive noises. It does also suggest that whatever effect the economy may be having on the telecom sector, it doesn't seem to be bad enough to force XO to stop spending money opening new markets. That can't be a bad thing.
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