Midwestern operator US Signal did more than join the Telx Ethernet Exchange yesterday, they also announced a new expansion that takes them beyond their traditional territory and into the Great Plains. They have apparently added a new regional loop westward from Green Bay to Minneapolis, then south to Des Moines, and back to their existing turf in Chicago. Along the way they also added off-ramps in Wausau, Eau Claire, Hampton, Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, and Davenport.
I presume they have leased some dark fiber to power this buildout, which happens to be the third successive expansion-related announcements this year. In January they finished another longhaul buildout southwest through Illinois to St. Louis, and in February they added density in Ohio and a bit in Indiana. That’s quite a burst of activity for a company that has been rather quiet for some time.
Last year I speculated that US Signal might be a target in the metro and regional fiber M&A frenzy. But apparently their backers weren’t amongst those looking to cash in, and instead have decided to fund the company’s expansion efforts. Now I’m wondering if they might not show up as a buyer at some point. Although thus far they appear to be following the lead of Cogent – why bother with M&A when there’s plenty of dark fiber available to lease…
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