We haven’t heard much from metro fiber builder and operator FiberLight (news) recently, so it was nice to see them kick off a big expansion project yesterday. With anchor customers in hand, they announced a massive metro and regional infrastructure build-out into West Texas.
FiberLight has a big Texas presence already of course, but has been focused on the usual suspects and then to the south. The new buildout will add 3,000 route miles of fiber to the company’s Texas network, adding San Angelo, Odessa, Midland, Abilene, Lubbock, and Amarillo. It will also include another 250 route miles in the Dallas metro area. To be connected for those anchor customers are some 275 wireless towers and 100 buildings for those new anchor customers.
To put it in context, as of December FiberLight’s full asset base across all markets was about 7,300 route miles and 1,200 buildings. In a single stroke, this expansion will increase those metrics by 40% and 30%, respectively. In Dallas they currently have about 200 route miles of fiber, and thus will be increasing their depth in the city by over 100%. A couple of years ago, it was the Virginia/Maryland/DC region that got this sort of general regional buildout by FiberLight. The even larger West Texas project is already underway, and will take about 18 months.
FiberLight was said to be for sale over the summer with the company’s backers looking for an exit, but nothing ever came of it. The new expansion plans mean they have the funding for a substantial capex budget from here, indicating no need to do a deal. But one wonders if the nearly ideal fit with a post-360networks Zayo isn’t something that will eventually draw the two together.
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