Here's some news from fiber operators out there that deserves a look:
Out west, 360Networks followed up last month's introduction of a Layer 2 Ethernet service and a recent upgrade to their IP backbone with a Virtual Internet Exchange offering. What that means is that rather than selling simple IP transit, they are selling a direct Ethernet connection to various internet exchanges. That make sense since nobody makes oodles of cash off of basic IP transit anymore, so why not help their customers with the bypass they might build anyway? Especially for 360Networks, whose footprint pretty much specializes with hooking up some hard to reach places with the major nodes.
In a move that slipped past my radar late last week, Texas operator Alpheus Communications made a deal with regional fiber builder and operator FiberLight. Alpheus purchased dark fiber rings in east Dallas County and in downtown Fort Worth, adding to their already dense Texas fiber network. Last year there were rumors that Alpheus was for sale, even in exclusive talks with a strategic buyer. But nothing has materialized yet. This deal probably doesn't affect that possibility, though I have wondered in the past if FiberLight might be that strategic buyer -- they do have a strong interest in the Texas market.
And in the midwest, US Signal continued to steadily build out its regional fiber network by adding connectivity to central offices in Warsaw, Indiana and in Lima, Akron, Cleveland, and Columbus Ohio, as well as a datacenter in Worthington, Ohio. The data center in question is DataCenter.BZ, which I learned to my surprise operates its own metro dark fiber rings in the Columbus area. I've added them to my maps pages.
And on the financial front, Spread Networks followed up its metro fiber build into Secaucus by extending their Ethernet Wave service there as well. They now offer 15.75ms SLA'd Ethernet connectivity between 360 East Cermak in Chicago to Equinix's NY4 facility, in addition to their flagship 13.33ms dark fiber service. I suppose they will continue adding metro endpoints for a while now, but I wonder if they have any new longhaul builds in mind. A special purpose transatlantic cable aimed at the financial markets would certainly shake things up, for instance... 🙂