Lightpath Makes 3 Deals, Enters Boston

June 16th, 2021 by · 5 Comments

The Boston metro area has a new competitor when it comes to metro fiber infrastructure.  This morning Lightpath has announced three acquisitions that will take it into the major northeastern market in force, taking it beyond the New York/New Jersey metro area for the first time.

Lightpath is now 50.01% owned by Altice USA with the balance owned by Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners, a state of affairs that came about over this past winter.  The company became less visible when Altice bought its parent, Cablevision, four or five years ago, but now with Morgan Stanley in the mix and Chris Morley on board as CEO that is changing quickly.  Last week they announced plans to reinvent themselves with new branding and plans to invest in network upgrades.  But apparently they also now see themselves as a consolidator, not necessarily bound to the territory of the parent cable MSO.

Lightpath is acquiring Cambridge Network Solutions, another regional network operator, and fiber network assets from Hub Fiber.  The first two deals have closed, while the third will be completed within the next month or so.  Combined the deals give Lightpath a starter set of 80 route miles of fiber connecting 100 locations.  That includes connectivity into 12 area data centers as well as network both in downtown Boston and out to key suburbs north and west of the city: Cambridge, Somerville, Waltham, Billerica, Bedford, and Lowell. 

That initial network footprint and the customers already on it will give Lightpath several legs up as it takes on a market completely new to the company.  They also already have connectivity in place back to the NY metro area, in which the company has 18,000 route miles of fiber connecting 12,000 locations.

So the followup question is whether or not this is a one-off deal opportunity, or whether Lightpath might have an appetite for entering other northeastern markets in similar fashion.  There is plenty of territory between the two markets they might find interesting, as well as further south on the I-95 corridor.  I suppose it depends on whether there are any similar assets available to accelerate such an entry.

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Categories: Cable · Mergers and Acquisitions · Metro fiber

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5 Comments So Far

  • Foleman says:

    I noticed that just about all of the Former Crown Castle Sales Mgt that was legacy Lightower in NY/NJ/Boston bolted the Company for Lightpath where former CC and Lightower VP Doug Turtz is running the show. Looks like Jay Brown made a big mistake by letting Turtz go as the massive talent drain continues at Crown Castle.

  • Dollar Bucks says:

    Congrats to the green machine Lightpath, hope they have a lot more money coming in from Morgan Stanley Infrastructure partners and Drahai at mothership Altice. The Lightpath management team sure did upset a company with very very deep pockets specifically targeting and poaching talent away from Crown Castle. Seems like cutting off the nose to spite the face as they will now be in massive bidding wars against Crown for any companies of substance.

  • Luis says:

    Congrats to Lightpath, rumors Lightpath is looking at NYC providers ZenFi and Stealth. Someone confirm this?

    • BlueHorseshoe says:

      Stealth not for sale, ZenFi’s books have been out for quite sometime so definitely available to the highest bidder. Pilot also could theoretically be in play if you want to make a hunch, UFD also could be sold at some point.

  • mhammett says:

    I don’t understand why infrastructure companies own other infrastructure companies and operate them separately. IE: Why was LightPath separate from Altice in the first place? Different marketing brands for carrier\enterprise and mass-market, I get, but to operate the underlying infrastructure differently… makes no sense.

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