Before everyone goes off for Easter weekend, here's a quick rundown of some recent fiber news:
Northeastern fiber operator Lightower Fiber Networks (news) has completed its buildout up into southern New Hampshire. The fiber buildout was first announced in January of 2010, and spans 65 miles while hooking up sites in Salem, Manchester, Merrimack, Nashua, and other towns along the way. Lightower has been expanding aggressively both organically and inorganically over the past year or two, and they seem likely to continue to continue on that path this year. There are probably fewer obvious M&A targets for them this year, but that's not to say there aren't possibilities.
TW Telecom (NASDAQ:TWTC, news, filings) won a contract close to home, coming out on top in the Colorado Springs in Academy School District 20. They will be providing the whole range of services - fiber, voice, internet, and data - across the district's footprint of more than 30 locations for nearly 30,000 students, teachers, and staff. TW Telecom's on-net footprint is the most extensive of all US competitive operators, now approaching 12,000 locations - and this sort of deal is right in their wheelhouse.
CFN Services announced that it is using ADVA optical gear to power an ultra-low latency route between New York and Washington DC. They claim the fastest available access, 3.7ms RTD, on the route. CFN has definitely been taking aim at the low latency needs of the financial community, as they are also working with Spread Networks on the NYC-Chicago route.
Finally, Tennessee regional fiber operator iRiS Networks joined the Telx Ethernet Exchange, adding links in both Chicago and Atlanta. I expect many regional providers like iRiS will be finding the Ethernet exchange movement to be a valuable way to expand their relationships with far flung carriers. That's both as a seller but also as a buyer, as one can imagine iRiS's regional customer needs might include sites in either city/region.
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