The western regional network operator Integra is expanding its metro presence on its eastern frontier, i.e. in the upper Midwestern city of Minneapolis. Integra is building out 1,600 fiber miles focused on the the central business district, with completion targeted in the fourth quarter of this year.
Integra has been in Minneapolis for a long time of course, but had not had the same level of underlying fiber infrastructure they enjoy out west, where they acquired the Electric Lightwave assets back in 2006. The company described this expansion in the Minneapolis metro area as their largest single network investment in the last eight years, and will bring on-net access to over 225 downtown locations.
The deeper infrastructure will surely help Integra improve long term costs for its Minneapolis market, and thus help those overall EBITDA margins to keep on rising. Since bringing in Kevin O’Hara as CEO, Integra has been moving quickly from its more CLEC, small business roots to a pro-fiber, multi-location, larger enterprise customer orientation.
In most markets, that has meant incremental buildouts to make better use of their existing fiber rings. So it’s nice to see a larger project take the stage, demonstrating the growing confidence they have in building and operating a deeper infrastructure.
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