One of the interesting stories to unfold this year has been the return of intercity fiber construction. Much of the new public buildout plans have been by Zayo and today they followed that up with some additional financial justification.
Zayo says it has now sold dark fiber on its new 1,200 mile southwestern route to a ‘major content company’. The fiber sale will connect Phoenix, Tuscon, El Paso, and Dallas, and is in addition to the original anchor customer they signed up and ‘creates a positive unlevered return’ on the investment. In other words, Zayo is taking the opportunity to demonstrate that the demand really is there for new intercity fiber construction. Zayo’s online network map suggests they’ve got much of the new route built out between Dallas and El Paso, with the western leg still in process.
Zayo also has intercity projects underway between Dallas and Omaha, between Salt Lake City and Sacramento, and between Atlanta and Ashburn. I’m pretty sure they’re looking for a rationale to finish off their national dark fiber footprint with a buildout between Atlanta and Dallas, should an anchor customer appear.
As for who that big content customer might be, Zayo isn’t saying. On the other hand, it’s not exactly a big secret that they do a lot of business with Google, which itself is commonly known to be deeper into the world of fiber than any other big content company has yet gone. Of course, it could be Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, or even Apple or Netflix — but my money would be on the big G, err I mean Alphabet I guess.
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