TW Telecom (NASDAQ:TWTC, news, filings) is expanding its national metro fiber footprint into a new metro area. They’ve built out fiber in Coeur d’Alene and Post Falls up in the Idaho Panhandle, stretching to the east from their existing Spokane market presence across the border in Washington. The expansion will bring tw telecom’s core Business Ethernet offering to the doors of hundreds of businesses in Coeur d’Alene’s business district. And in Maryland, they’ve moved into the suburbs from DC and Baltimore, building fiber in Montgomery County.
tw has been adding buildings to their network at a sustained pace faster than any competitive provider over the last few months, but has focused much more on depth in existing markets than breadth by entering new ones. Of course many see Coeur d’Alene as part of the Spokane market, so whether they’re doing so here or not depends on your point of view. In the DC metro area, it’s Northern Virginia that often comes first, and suburban Maryland second. It’s never been one of tw telecom’s biggest markets, but it’s getting bigger apparently.
tw will finish 2012 with more than 17,000 on-net buildings and 22,000 metro fiber route miles. They have been tightly focused on organic expansion, and have not participated in consolidation since the Xspedius deal six years ago. In October there were rumors of an impending deal with CenturyLink, but there has been nothing since. However, I suspect that rumor will resurface in some form when the ice thaws in Spring.
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