The northeastern fiber operator Lightower announced a major metro expansion on its western frontier. That's Chicago of course, the Midwestern footprint it picked up with the Sidera acquisition earlier this year.
Lightower will be building out multiple new fiber rings both downtown and through the nearby suburbs of Oak Brook, Elk Grove and Franklin Park. It will also hit key locations like O'Hare International Airport and Lacey Road, and bring hundreds of commercial buildings into range of the company's services if not on-net right off the bat. They'll hitting the ground running, with extra sales and support staff coming in to hit the streets and the first customers online in early 2014.
Lightower is also busy with an expansion down in Virginia that Sidera had started earlier. Combined with the integration work since closing the deal last Spring, they've had their hands full. The decision to undertake another significant expansion which happens to be in the one market they have that lies outside the northeastern corridor suggests they are ready to move back to an offensive stance already.
Of course, recent history has Lightower and the private equity guys behind them as a significant consolidator in the fiber space, so as soon as they're ready I think another deal is a likely next step. DukeNet would have made sense but obviously TWC won that auction. But for Lightower the best target would be one that would help bridge the fiber gap to Chicago. Lumos perhaps?