AFS Takes Vegas, But It’s No Gamble

November 23rd, 2009
 

American Fiber Systems has recently hooked up no less than 8 major casinos in Las Vegas, according to a press release today.  The size of those casino hotels on the strip makes them pretty good traffic generators of course, you certainly can't feed one with a few T1 pipes.  AFS is now staking its claim to the top spot amongst alternative fiber networks in the city, and I don't have any reason to doubt the claim.  Vegas hasn't been a hotbed of metro build-outs.  Amongst the more national metro footprints, Level 3 has only [Read more →]

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KPN, IBasis Make Peace at $3

November 23rd, 2009
 

After a dispute that lasted four months, IBasis (news) [a subsidiary of KPN (NYSE:KPN, news)] has come to terms with its majority shareholder KPN (NYSE:KPN, news).  KPN will pay $3 per share to buy the rest of the company, totalling $93.3M.  The special committee of IBasis's board has unanimously approved the new bid, and thus it appears that the soap opera will come to an end. [Read more →]

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Ciena Begins New Era, Outbids Nokia for Nortel Assets

November 23rd, 2009
 

According to various reports over the weekend, Ciena (NASDAQ:CIEN, news, filings) has won the auction for Nortel's optical networking and carrier ethernet businesses.  The company apparently raised its earlier stalking horse offer all the way to $769M, made up of $530M in cash and $239M in convertible notes, just barely edging out the team of Nokia Siemens and One Equity Partners.  Nokia of course felt its offer was fair value, but of course value is in the eye of the beholder and Ciena simply has more [Read more →]

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More Metro Maps: Chicago, Florida

November 22nd, 2009
 

As promised, here is the next update to my collections of links to competitive metro fiber maps.  First we have the major internet hub of Chicago, which has many providers but is not overflowing with publicly available maps.  And second, we have the entire state of Florida - which has many large cities but often with the same companies showing up in many of them which makes it convenient to group them together. [Read more →]

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Selling Backup Service with Firepower?

November 21st, 2009
 

From Rich Miller over at DataCenterKnowledge comes this weekend's entertainment.  How to best visualize the risk of catastrophic damage to the servers and other equipment you are colocating in a datacenter?  Hollywood has taught us so many ways to depict utter devastation, but there's nothing quite like the do-it-yourself nature of YouTube: [Read more →]

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Competitive Telecom Trends: EBITDA Minus Capex

November 20th, 2009
 

Continuing with this week's post-earning season analysis of competitive telecom companies, we look at EBITDA minus Capex, normalized by Revenue.  In other words, something that might be called an adjusted operating cash flow margin.  What we really want is to subtract maintenance capex, which would give us a number that the bond guys weigh heavily because it measures how much cash the business could generate if it weren't re-investing the surplus for growth.  But that's a number we rarely if ever have, so we will make do with what we have and see what we can see: [Read more →]

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XO Charges Into the Inland Empire

November 19th, 2009
 

XO Holdings (news, filings) has expanded operations across the 'Inland Empire' region of southern California.  I must admit, being from the east coast I had to look that one up on Wikipedia.  The inland empire is the area headed by San Bernadino and Riverside, amongst others.  It's a fast growing area of course, which is surely one reason why XO has focused resources there.  [Read more →]

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Plans for 40G? 100G? Packet Optical?

November 19th, 2009
 

We get a lot of PR about 40G and 100G developments and the other next generation technologies like packet-optical systems, but PR does tend to be rather one-sided by its very nature.  What would really help is some independent data to give us a more realistic idea of how badly the industry needs these technologies, when they expect to get it, and how they expect to deploy it.  As it happens, Infonetics is currently running a survey looking into actual carrier plans for deploying such technologies.  Qualified participants will get [Read more →]

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Capex Trends Amongst Competitive Telecoms

November 18th, 2009
 

Yesterday in a comment on my EBITDA Margin Trends post, Raul suggested that I also plot  EBITDA less Capital Expenditures for telecoms.  I will do so, but along the way I thought it might be interesting to look just at capex trends themselves across the sector.  Now it is no secret that fiber-heavy companies spend more capex as a percentage of revenue, but I still found it interesting to see them side by side: [Read more →]

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TDC Buys Fiber Network

November 18th, 2009
 

The Danish telecommunications company TDC has bought itself some more fiber.  The company has agreed to acquire the network assembled by Dong Energy for about US$85M.  What a name this company has, I had to be rather careful writing the title to this post.  Dong was rumored to be looking for a buyer in the late Spring, looks like they finally found one. The purchase will go nicely with TDC's combined wireless and wireline networks, and brings them [Read more →]

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NTT, AT&T Add Cloud Offerings

November 17th, 2009
 

Telecommunications companies are definitely pushing deeper into the nascent cloud computing market.  Today it was NTT Communications (NYSE:NTT, news, filings) and AT&T (NYSE:T, news, filings) who added new cloud-derived products for the enterprise.  As with most new technologies, the cloud is made up of 10% dynamic, revolutionary concept and 90% marketing fluff by people trying to ride the buzzwords to riches.  Nevertheless, we are now seeing real attempts to turn the cloud into actual services people buy, sell, and most of all use.   [Read more →]

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EBITDA Margin Trends for Competitive Fiber Networks 11/2009

November 17th, 2009
 

Since earnings season has officially ended, it is time for my quarterly look at EBITDA margin trends across the whole range of fiber networking companies.  I don't use the word CLECs because some of these companies don't like to think of themselves that way, and frankly the term means less to me than it once did.  The range is all the way from the pure fiber players, to the nearly fiberless - but all of whom specialize in connectivity and compete against the ILECs.  With no further ado, here is [Read more →]

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100Gbps Edges Closer With Multivendor Test

November 16th, 2009
 

For many in the industry commercial 100Gbps can't get here fast enough, but it is coming!  Today at the SC09 conference in Seattle, a coalition of made up of Juniper Networks (NASDAQ:JNPR, news, filings), Infinera (NASDAQ:INFN, news, filings), Level 3 Communications (NYSE:LVLT, news, filings), Internet2, and ESNet demonstrated a multivendor 100Gbps routing and optical network.  This group has been working steadily together since last November.  In this case of course, we are talking about the 10x10Gb version of 100G, which requires fewer technical advances and will probably come first. [Read more →]

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Cisco Takes Another Swing at Tandberg

November 16th, 2009
 

After making dismissive noises for a while in response to videoconferencing provider Tandberg shareholders' resistance to its initial bid, Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO, news, filings) has come back with a new offer.  The new price of $3.41B is a 13.7% increase over its initial bid of $3B.  This time, Cisco seems to have a good number of votes in hand.  Shareholders representing some [Read more →]

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Weekend Roundup 11/15

November 15th, 2009
 

Here's a quick summary of news items that caught my eye this week but for one reason or another I didn't comment on at the time.

Level 3 Communications (NYSE:LVLT, news, filings) unveiled substantial upgrades to its customer portal.  The new portal offers greater visibility into order placement and review, service and network management, invoice management, and reporting and analysis.  It's one more step [Read more →]

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Zayo Expands Fiber to the Tower Effort

November 13th, 2009
 

Zayo Bandwidth has further expanded its fiber to the tower offensive in eastern Pennsylvania.  The company announced today that it will bring another 300 towers on-net in Philadelphia and the Lehigh Valley.   It was a little over a year ago that Zayo won a contract with TMobile for tower backhaul in Philadelphia and Memphis, apparently that effort has been going well enough to justify further investment. [Read more →]

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Terremark Acquires DS3 DataVaulting

November 12th, 2009
 

Terremark (news, filings) [a subsidiary of Verizon (NYSE:VZ, news, filings)] has acquired DS3 DataVaulting, a Virginia based company that as the name suggests specializes in managed off-site backup and restore services.  DS3 will contribute about $6M in annual revenues and $1.5M in EBITDA before synergies.  The $11.5M purchase will further add to the company's expanding managed IT services suite and enhance the company's presence in the federal market.   That's a market the company has been focusing a great deal of resources on, and they seem to have been making some [Read more →]

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Atlanta Next In Line For Level 3’s Local Treatment

November 12th, 2009
 

Continuing its push to decentralize its business markets group and take fuller advantage of its metro fiber assets, Level 3 Communications (NYSE:LVLT, news, filings) has turned its attention to Atlanta.    The company will add capacity throughout the reason and start bringing on net more of the 15,000 businesses its fiber already passes.  Level 3 has long had a major presence in Atlanta, but mainly at the wholesale and network operations level.  However, their metro assets in the area are quite extensive, having been assembled from their own original metro build and additonal assets acquired with Telcove, Progress Telecom, and Looking Glass Networks.  On the other hand, Atlanta has one of the more competitive [Read more →]

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Google, Clearwire, and Subscriber Growth

November 12th, 2009
 

As soon as WiMAX upstart clwr announced its new funding package this week, you could hear the mumbling.  Google didn't pitch in!  Google must not believe in the company any more.  Now, I can't speak for Google directly, but the market consistently misunderstands the companies intentions.  Google didn't invest in Clearwire in order to take over telecom, or even to make a start at it.  They did it because it's worth far more to them to have another last mile alternative in the system than it costs them to help get one started.  If they're not needed to keep it going, then they will [Read more →]

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As XO Turns – Intermission

November 11th, 2009
 

With Carl Icahn's withdrawal of his bid for the 10% of CLEC XO Holdings (news, filings) he doesn't already own, the company and its shareholders have entered into a new stage, but one that is clearly temporary and somewhat contradictory.  I frankly didn't think we would wind up in this position, but when it comes to letting his opponents twist in the wind Carl Icahn is an international grandmaster.  I see his plan more clearly now in hindsight.  Consider the following factors together: [Read more →]

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More Metro Fiber Maps: Atlanta, California

November 11th, 2009
 

Following up on this weekend's addition of metro fiber map resources to the website, I have added pages for the Atlanta Metro Area and for California.  Now one might think that perhaps the largest state in the country might merit more than one page, but for now it seems to work best this way as there actually aren't all that many public maps available for metro fiber in California - that I know of anyway.  I'm sure I have forgotten [Read more →]

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Hibernia’s GFN Rides Into Equinix-2,4 In Secaucus

November 10th, 2009
 

Hibernia Atlantic has extended its Global Financial Network into the NY-2 and NY-4 facilities of Equinix (NASDAQ:EQIX, news, filings) in Secaucus NJ, hooking into the Equinix Financial eXchange.  The Hibernia hybrid longhaul/metro footprint can now connect Secaucus, Chicago, and London without passing through NYC itself.  The more direct routes have the benefit of lower latency, which is all the rage in the financial world right now. [Read more →]

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Sprint to Send Home 2500 for Xmas

November 9th, 2009
 

Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S, news, filings) has announced more layoffs to the tune of 2000-2500 by the end of the year, which includes some reductions mentioned last week or so in the wholesale group and will be from across the company.  They will also be cutting back on outside contractors and other labor costs.  The company is looking to find annual savings of some $350M annually and will take a charge of $60-80M in the fourth quarter for severance and such. [Read more →]

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