Here's a set of quick-takes looking at news from the metro sector this week from Alpheus, DukeNet, Comcast Business, UNSi, MetTel, and Zayo.
Texas-based Alpheus Communications is expanding its capabilities south of the border. This week they extended their reach into Mexico via an optical NNI with Marcatel down in McAllen. The deal allows the two companies to more easily reach customers on the other's network, offering better coverage for customers with cross-border bandwidth needs.
In the Carolinas, DukeNet has been actively building out and upgrading its regional and metro networks. This week they announced a core upgrade to 100G, deploying a Cisco ONS 15454-powerd solution. DukeNet is one of a dwindling number of independent, large regional fiber operators out there that haven't participated in M&A in any form. I still think they and their private equity backers are a natural fit for some sort of combination with Lightower following the Sidera deal.
Comcast Business picked up another Metro Ethernet contract, with a win at Raymond Management Company. Ramond is using both Comcast's connectivity and content to power bandwidth at its seven hotel properties, five in greater Chicago and two in Ann Arbor. Comcast still has plenty of room to run with its Metro Ethernet product line before looking upstream.
UNSi has closed its purchase of Airband Communications, a deal that was announced just last week. That means they're now a substantial player in fixed wireless across 16 markets, their MPLS/Ethernet reach spans 29 core PoPs, and they have national VoIP reach. However, I suspect this isn't the endgame, UNSi may have further consolidation plans to complement these assets.
MetTel has expanded to Chicago, opening a new network node there to go with their presence in NYC, Dallas, and Silicon Valley. The new PoP is in Zayo's zColo facility at 600 South Federal, and will help MetTel reduce latency for its clients in the MidWest.
And speaking of Zayo, I missed this expansion from last week up in Minneapolis. They've extended their IP backbone into the city, which is one of their biggest markets with some 615 on-net buildings and 1,300 route miles of fiber. Zayo's IP backbone came mostly in the AboveNet deal, and I note that in yesterday's earnings release they broke out some numbers for just this segment: $13M in EBITDA on $23M in revenue - not bad for a commoditized business.
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