Every year we ask this question. Ramblings readers are drawn from the most informed in the sector, and it’s always interesting to see what you all are thinking about industry consolidation. 2014 saw less action than in recent years, and 2015 may be similar, but the needle will surely not remain at zero. Which US-based network operators are most likely to get purchased this year? Cast your vote:
Last year XO, tw telecom, Integra, FiberLight, and Fibertech headed the list. Only one of those five was purchased, but it was one of the biggest US internet infrastructure deals of the year. There was only one other network operator on the list that got acquired, and it came in second to last: Enventis was bought by Consolidated Communications. That's mostly due to lack of name recognition though. Missing from the options though was one of the other big deals of the year: TW Cable -- which of course operates a lot of enterprise-focused network as well. I have corrected that oversight this year by including the bigger cable operators, although I find it hard to envision any being bought this year.
Note that to be on this list requires either a fiber or a xLEC business with substantial wholesale or enterprise business focus that has known or estimated revenues of around $100M or so. I may have missed a few (yes it does happen!), just let me know and I’ll correct it.