In the second such transaction to land this week, Unite Private Networks has announced an agreement to buy the former Level 3 metro footprint in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The deal adds a substantial footprint in the city spanning several hundred route miles and several hundred on-net buildings to UPN’s reach.
For UPN, this marks a major expansion of its efforts in both Albuquerque and New Mexico as a whole. Last year the company won an E-Rate deal with the Albuquerque Public School District, and has been building out that network. When it’s all said and done, the company anticipates having almost 500 route miles in the metro area.
Moving west into the state was clearly opportunistic in this case, but reflects UPN’s ongoing appetite for expansion. The opportunity to complement the investments they have made further to the east in Texas and Oklahoma and to the north in Colorado was irresistible. UPN’s infrastructure now spans over 8,500 metro route miles across 20 states. UPN’s majority owner these days is of course Cox Communications, but Cox doesn’t have a footprint in New Mexico itself.
The deal is one of several that derive from CenturyLink’s acquisition of Level 3, as in order to gain clearance from the FCC and DOJ CenturyLink agreed to divest some assets. Like Boise, Albuquerque doesn’t have many fiber competitors, and thus regulators were hesitant to let the two footprints be combined. The core of the assets came to Level 3 from tw telecom of course, as did the Boise assets that Syringa just bought in a similar deal yesterday.
Financial terms were not disclosed. Some employees will be making the jump from CenturyLink to UPN, bringing their headcount in the city to 21. Customers will be able to choose to either stay with CenturyLink or move over to UPN directly.
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