Windstream's longhaul expansion continued this week with a new route in the southeast. According to an announcement today, they have rolled out the Miami leg of their Infinera-powered 500G core network. Two weeks ago, they did the same thing out to Denver.
Windstream's fiber network derives from a series of acquisition, many of which had themselves expanded via acquisition. It has taken a while for Windstream to unify all those routes and systems, but over the past year they have been making a bigger dent than they ever have in the wholesale/carrier marketplace. If anything, having CS&L own the actual assets in a REIT via a triple net lease has given their underlying network a shot in the arm.
And that begs the question: just when will Windstream complete that national fiber map? The western intercity loops to and metro access on the west coast are the one missing piece of that puzzle, and one that in the past has been the subject of M&A speculation. Seems like in 2016 they might finally be ready to move on something like, say, Integra.