I have spent part of my December harvesting updated data for my metro fiber and on-net buildings list. There are still a few data points that are playing hard to get, but for the most part the numbers are in. A few new faces have been added to the list, and of course a few faces are missing having now merged with others on the list during this year's metro fiber M&A frenzy. In addition to the overall list, which you can look at any time, I'll spend a few posts this week taking a closer look at interesting spots in the data. First, let's look at single market leaders.
The more national players get the most press the press, but in terms of raw depth in specific markets it is often the regional specialists that lead the pack. Obviously, a few large wholesale sites dominate the revenue in each market, but for now think of each metro market like a Christmas tree with each building representing a light. Who lists the most fiber-fed buildings in a single contiguous metro market, i.e. who has the brightest Christmas tree?
|Company||Metro Market||Fiber-fed Buildings||Comments|
|Optimum Lightpath||NY/NJ||4000||Way out in front|
|EasyTel Communications||Tulsa||1346||They update their public count almost daily|
|Black Rock Cable||North of Seattle||885||Not even in a central business district|
|Sidera Networks||NY/NJ||672||Before the LIFE acquisition's +500|
|DQE Communications||Pittsburgh||628||Easily the most buildings for an Energy Utility|
Of course, the size of the market means a lot, which is part of why two from the NY/NJ Metro area are here and Optimum Lightpath's footprint there is just huge. But who would have reckoned regional operators in Tulsa, the northern Seattle suburbs, and Pittsburgh would place so high? The other of course is Zayo in Philadelphia, where they have hooked up hundreds of towers alone with more to come.
Lightower's 2100 buildings probably give them a spot on the above list for NYC and perhaps in Boston too, but I don't yet know the breakdown (anyone?). TW Telecom might be this deep in a market or two, but they don't offer any per market data, at least publicly. Cox Business and Comcast Business may also be there (especially Cox in Omaha for instance), but I have no public data to work with for them.
There are also a few footprints in smaller cities that have impressive depth, such as that of Arialink which has 359 in Lansing MI alone. And Southern Light Fiber claims 2200 buildings spread across just six smaller metro markets on the Gulf Coast, which works out to over 350 in each on average. Level 3's deepest markets are in the smaller cities of Burlington VT and Harrisburg PA, former Telcove strongholds with nearly 500 lit buildings each nowadays. Hmmm, it might be interesting (though perhaps not totally feasible) to redo the list and correct it for population density of each MSA.
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