It has been more than a decade since we have seen one of the large European telecommunications companies invest substantially at the fiber level in the USA. But the drought is over, as Teliasonera International Carrier (TSIC) announced today a significant fiber-based expansion.
Alone among its peers TSIC kept its US fiber network intact through the telecom nuclear winter that followed the boom and bust of the tech bubble a decade ago. It was originally built off dark fiber on the WilTel backbone, and last year they upgraded it to 100G with Infinera’s DTN-X superchannels.
Now they’ve gone beyond that original intercity fiber and are lighting another 11,500 fiber miles of additional dark fiber, extending their reach to 44 US markets and into 50 US data centers. They now have a fiber route between Chicago and Atlanta, as well fiber to Miami from broth Atlanta and Ashburn up in Northern Virginia. New markets along the way that they now serve include Indianapolis, Nashville, Tampa, Boca Raton, Jacksonville, Reston, and Manassas.
The new routes will primarily give TSIC better reach, latency, and diversity nationwide for their global IP backbone, although they are also seeing more demand at the transport/Ethernet layers. Better connectivity to the Florida landing stations serving cables to Central and South America was also clearly a big part of this. The expansion brings their fiber into data centers operated by 365main, Cologix, CoreSite, Equinix, and EvoSwitch.
Given Teliasonera’s growing interest in the US market, I wonder if it’s possible that they might look at M&A here as well to further boost their position. The current balance between US and European valuations probably makes that more difficult, but perhaps they might be a viable suitor for a player like Cogent at some point.
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