Colorado-based tw telecom is filling in one of the last, biggest holes in its national metro fiber coverage. Boston will be their first market in New England, as part of the market expansion they announced in the fourth quarter of last year. Meanwhile, their intended acquirer, Level 3 is expanding down in Georgia.
Along with Pennsylvania, the lack of a presence in much of the northeast was perhaps the single weak point in the tw telecom's 20,000+ on-net building coverage. It's one I always figured they would fill by inorganic means, e.g. by acquiring XO. But in the end they are entering both organically via dark fiber supplied by Zayo. They are working with the Markley Group at the key carrier hotel at One Summer Street, and have an agreement with ColoSpace in Waltham as well.
For its part, Level 3 is adding fiber in the key Atlanta metro data hub of Alpharetta, increasing reach, capacity, and diversity. The buildout will bring their coverage to more than 265 metro route miles and 300 on-net buildings in the Atlanta metro area. An improved financial position and enterprise growth prospects are making it easier for Level 3 to justify spending capex on such expansion projects.
As both companies plug away at their expansion projects, the close of the company's acquisition by Level 3 has been drawing nearer. They have said Q4, but if regulators don't get in the way I'd be surprised if Level 3 didn't try real hard to get it done in October. I figure the Level 3/Zayo speculation will then get started by New Year's.