If the extent of Integra Telecom’s renewed interest in fiber wasn’t yet obvious, today’s followup to July’s details of their metro buildout progress should clear things up. The western CLEC and network operator added some 40 buildings to its network in July alone, suggesting the acceleration in their buildout is continuing. Their rate lately of over a hundred per quarter places them amongst more aggressive fiber builders out there currently.
Of the 40 new fiber-fed buildings added in July, 17 were cases where they built fiber into a facility in which they already had a presence (e.g. central offices), and 23 were new locations. The buildings were primarily in Portland, Phoenix, Boise, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, and Bellingham (Washington), and are part of the company’s planned $52M investment in its footprint for the year. Integra is making a serious bid to move beyond its traditional SME/CLEC business and address the needs of larger enterprises.
While Integra is often speculated to be a likely target of M&A by one of its larger rivals seeking a western piece to their puzzle, I wonder if as part of their increased interest in fiber Integra might not first turn up on the other side of the ball. While many of the smaller fiber assets on the east coast have been gobbled up in the past few years, there are still several interesting independent assets out west that they might be able to use to add further depth to that footprint.
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