Did you know that at least five US competitive fiber operators are reporting 1,000 or more buildings on-net than they did last year at this time? As promised, I have updated my metro fiber and on-net building statistics page to reflect all the fiber buildouts and M&A activity that have taken us through 2011. You can check the full list of course, but here is a look at some incremental numbers.
The following table details net building additions since my update of this list one year ago for those fiber operators adding 100 or more. It's not a perfect snapshot, as the data comes from various points in the fourth quarter depending on how it was reported. Also, the numbers include both inorganic and organic activity, with inorganic events noted to help make sense of the data. But it does tell us where the activity has been - with a surprise or two.
Since 12/2010 Update
|Sidera Networks||+1384||Long Island Fiber +550|
|FPL Fibernet||+727||Grande assets|
|Lightower||+700||Open Access, NSTAR|
|Unite Private Networks||+488||Only since June, may be more|
|Sunesys||+200||Through June, may be more.|
It's no surprise that TW Telecom (NASDAQ:TWTC, news, filings) is on top, they have been building out organically at a torrid rate all year. But until compiling this list I didn't realize that smaller, privately held Fibertech has been keeping a similarly torrid pace in its primarily Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic markets. I have only 6 months or so of data for Unite Private Networks, so they have been very busy as well.
Optimum Lightpath managed to add about a thousand buildings organically over the last year, which is amazing for a single metro area. Two other single-metro-area providers added more than a hundred buildings as well: EasyTEL and DQE - which is also quite an impressive pace given that their home territories of Tulsa and Pittsburgh have a much smaller pool of potential buildings than the NYC Metro area.
Sidera, Lightower, FPL Fibernet, and Zayo boosted their building count via a combination of inorganic and organic activity. Most of Zayo's was organic though (think towers), as 360networks didn't have a large building count. I'm not sure how how many buildings the Grande purchase added to FPL Fibernet, but I tend to think it was also not very significant.
abvt, FiberLight (news), Cogent Communications (NASDAQ:CCOI, news, filings), and Sunesys (news) made their usual steady organic progress, with more tightly focused targeting on particular building types than those at the head of this table. Sunesys's data here is probably half of reality, as the numbers I have didn't change since June.
And it's very nice to see Integra on this list for once, reflecting their renewed interest in their fiber assets this year. Hopefully that will continue into 2012!
As you may know, it is impossible to get data from *all* providers, especially from the largest incumbent providers and cable operators. Also obviously missing from this list are Level 3 Communications (NYSE:LVLT, news, filings), which has not yet reported post-GLBC details except for a metro route mile count of about 30K, and Windstream (NYSE:WIN, news, filings), which similarly isn't ready with data post-PAETEC. I expect that Level 3's number is near 9,000 now with the added buildings in the UK and South America plus some organic adds. I don't have any idea what Windstream/PAETEC have ben up to.
However, while M&A kept these two busy, nearly all competitive fiber operators are willing to share a few details on their progress. Thank you to everyone who has contributed data for my metro fiber and on-net building statistics!