Today XO Holdings (news, filings) unexpectedly announced an expansion of its broadband wireless offerings in the Washington DC area, including a new hub in Tyson’s Corner. I say ‘unexpectedly’ because since last summer when XO reabsorbed Nextlink into the rest of its business, we haven’t heard a peep about it. The implication was that Nextlink had served its purpose, which was to satisfy usage requirements in order to renew the spectrum licenses, and was being de-emphasized. However, apparently Nextlink still lives somewhere in there, at least in the DC area.
According to the release, the DC expansion is targeted at businesses and enterprises seeking either connectivity or redundancy from 10Mbps to 1Gbps anywhere in the DC metro area, roughly in a polygon bounded by Dulles International Airport, Lanham MD, Rockville and Beltsville MD, and Mount Vernon, Virginia. Curiously, what they didn’t mention at all (yet?) was wireless backhaul, which might seem an obvious target given the currently incessant drumbeat of smartphone and now iPad news.
So does this mean Nextlink is about to be reborn? Is LMDS spectrum finally ready to blossom from a footnote into a revenue generating asset? Hmmm, that is probably premature at best but stranger things have happened. My guess is that this is one of those few markets in which they made some inroads in their earlier roll-out, and they are testing the waters to see if they are a little less chilly yet. Perhaps they’ve picked up a few customers in the past year as well, anybody know?
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