CenturyLink (NYSE:CTL, news, filings) announced an expansion of its fiber in the Charlotte metro area, adding a ring with connectivity into five data centers and bringing products such as wavelengths, IP transit, and IPVPN directly to more customers there.
The Qwest fiber network , which makes up most of CenturyLink's current assets on the east coast, was not strong on metro assets in the region and did not have anything much in Charlotte. CenturyLink's buildout of metro connectivity in Charlotte gives them greater depth there, and may reflect the company's intention to do what Qwest was unable to do - add on/off ramps in quantity to improve the company's wholesale bandwidth margins.
There remains the possibility that CenturyLink might make a metro fiber M&A move of its own over the next year or two, although they have downplayed their interest in the past. A bid for XO, for instance could make a lot of sense on paper.