I’ve noted a few times Integra Telecom’s increased focus on fiber connectivity as opposed to its more traditional CLEC business, but as a private company we don’t get to see many actual data points along the way. Today though, the company revealed the extent of that acceleration by announcing that it has increased its on-net building count by 300 since the beginning of the year, giving them more than 1600 – up 20%. The additional buildings were mostly in the company’s main metro markets of Seattle, Phoenix, Portland, Salt Lake City, Boise, Sacramento, and Spokane.
I have updated my metro fiber and on-net building statistics to account for that boost. There are only a few competitive fiber operators that are adding fiber to buildings at a rate of more than 100 per quarter consistently, (TW Telecom and Zayo for instance) and it will definitely be interesting to see if this was a one time surge or more of a sustained project. The company budgeted $52M this year to better leverage its fiber while targeting larger customers than they have in the past.
Integra has historically focused on smaller customers, for whom fiber was not economical. But its fiber footprint, which derives mostly from the Electric Lightwave purchase, has been in the background for some time. With their renewed focus on larger customers, Integra is busy out there hooking up both wholesale sites like data centers and multi-tenant enterprise buildings. That should help them increase EBITDA margins, and could help them catch the eye of the M&A market if they so choose.
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