As promised, I have updated my list of metro fiber providers, their on-net building count, and other statistics. The previous update was in December, and many of the providers on the list have clearly been very busy since then, adding more and more depth to their networks. While most of the increases in fiber miles and building counts over the past 6 months are from expansions, there were some related to the inclusion of towers as buildings on a more consistent basis. Inconsistent terminology across the industry has always been a hurdle with this list.
There was only one brand new name on the list this month - I finally found enough data for Southern Telecom. That is the telecom division of Southern Company, an energy utility in - you guessed it - the south. There are surely other small fiber operators that I have yet to discover, but the biggest block of missing data is from the business services divisions of the cable companies Comcast, Cox, and TW Telecom. If anyone has any suggestions on how to cajole such information out of those guys, let me know!
I am now considering adding a related list of tower backhaul providers by category and region. Outside of the ILECs, the segment is highly fragmented and difficult to get a firm handle on. While the Fiber-to-the-Tower movement is just barely getting started, it will surely grow over time whether it is now or in a few years. To make it sufficiently comprehensive, though, I'll be needing some help from readers.
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