Metro Route Mileage Leaders for Competitive Fiber Operators

December 29th, 2010 by · 2 Comments

Following up on my recent update to the metro fiber and lit building statistics page, here is another quick snapshot taken from the raw data.  Looking at lit buildings neglects different business models, as not all fiber operators chase smaller enterprises or towers.  But a mile of fiber is a mile of fiber, so of those metro fiber operators who list their total route mileage, who has the most?  Here we're excluding longhaul and regional intercity fiber where possible, just looking at the mileage for metro loops and laterals although I know there is some ambiguity there.  Here are the top twenty, with the data including those M&A's from 2010 which have already closed:

Company Metro Route Miles
Level 3 27,000
TW Telecom 21,000
Cogent 12,500
PAETEC 10,600
XO Communications (estimated) 9,000
Zayo (estimated) 8,000
Sidera Networks 7,500
Abovenet 7,000
Lightower 5,500
Fibertech 5,380
Optimum Lightpath 4,000
Edison Carrier Solutions 3,900
FiberLight 3,620
Enventis 3,100
Alpheus Communications 3,000
Integra Telecom 2,800
Southern Light Fiber 2,000
SRPNet Telecom 1,600
FPL Fibernet 1,350
DQE Communications 1,150


Some of these have many more fiber miles than others, but that's a topic for another post.  This list of course does not including those who don't offer such data publicly such as the incumbents and most cable operators - many of whom would obviously be at the top.  Hence, this should be thought of as competitive metro fiber, whereas we know AT&T Verizon have piles and piles of it and that the cable MSOs aren't too far behind.

There are obviously a few missing from this list, mainly because of a lack of data.  Unite Private Networks might make it, as might some regional fiber operators depending on how one classifies things - DukeNet and Grande for instance.  I welcome any suggestions or corrections!

Categories: Metro fiber

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2 Comments So Far


  • mhammett says:

    AboveNet’s low ranking shocks me, but perhaps my Chicago viewpoint distorts things. Other than incumbents, I’d say Level(3) and AboveNet top Chicago.

    • Rob Powell says:

      AboveNet has lots of fiber but in many fewer markets than Level 3 and TW Telecom. Their fiber is highly focused on those Tier 1 markets like Chicago, whereas Level 3 has lots of mileage in places like Winchester VA.

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