FiberTower ftwr is embarking on a major expansion of its fiber footprint using dark fiber from metro fiber specialist FiberLight. The transaction covers some 4000 miles of fiber right now across eight markets, with options for 8000 more miles over the next 6 years. Fibertower combines metro loops with its spectrum holdings to develop hybrid wireless backhaul systems.
It has been only a month or so since FiberTower’s restructuring plan took effect, and I will be interested to see the details of the company’s current balance sheet. When the credit markets dried up in late 2008, FiberTower was nearly left high and dry – not yet large enough to support themselves but without access to new capital for expansion. They cut capex to the bone, and in the fall of 2009 came up with a restructuring plan in which they converted a pile of debt into equity. While dilution is never fun, with this move they are clearly opening 2010 by turning the capex spigot back on so they seem to have accomplished what was needed.
As for FiberLight, this is exactly the kind of wholesale contract like. Fiberlight seems to be expanding on multiple fronts right now. They continue the Texas expansion they started last year, and they are also known to be building fiber around Baltimore. Additionally, they seem to have added Nashville and Birmingham to their maps.
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