Windstream is putting Infinera's DTN-X and its 500G super-channels to work on a new long-haul backbone deployment. The expanded intercity capacity will help Windstream keep pace with growth in mobile data, cloud services, and of course all that video traffic hitting broadband networks.
Despite all the metro and regional fiber Windstream acquired east of the Rockies, they had really tried to stitch it all together with their own fiber and DWDM backbone until now. The former fiber footprints of KDL, McLeodUSA, Intellifiber, and the rest cover a lot of mostly adjacent ground though, and now they'll come closer to reaching their full potential.
Windstream's aspirations to complete its footprint with some west coast assets is well known, but they haven't seemed to be in much of a hurry. Integra or TelePacific would be logical ways to do that. But with former XO CTO Randy Nicklas driving the buildout at Windstream and using the same gear to do it that he did at XO, a bid for XO makes more and more sense.