It has been almost six months since I last revisited my list of metro fiber operators, large and small. For those new to the list, I collect statistics on metro route miles, on-net buildings, and related data, in order to maintain a better picture of the actual competitive fiber footprint available out there. The larger players are easy of course, but there are many smaller providers out there that fly under the radar – I’m sure I only get a fraction of those and am always looking for more. For companies that publish public data, if you are already on the list then don’t worry I’ll find it. Anyone else can send me an update privately or just leave a comment.
The intent of this list is not to rank providers by raw on-net buildings or fiber miles, because despite owning and operating similar assets the companies in this sector vary dramatically in their business models and favored geographies. Most of these companies do not compete with each other, the exception being the national providers of course. Putting them side by side with a few statistics merely gives us a rough guide to where each fits into the sector as a whole.
For the purposes of this list, an on-net building is any structure with a unique address at which a company provides services directly over a fiber connection, whether lit or dark. That includes enterprise buildings, carrier hotels, wireless towers, etc. It is a very inclusive number, but we should remember that other factors that I cannot track are more important when it comes to the economics: size of the building, the potential bandwidth it does or may someday require, actual ownership of the fiber sheath, physical diversity, and how many carriers have fiber inside or nearby.
I expect to update the list in the first week of June, when I will also look at who has been actively expanding their footprint lately.
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