Level 3 Opens the Year With a Refi

January 5th, 2010
 

Level 3 Communications (NYSE:LVLT, news, filings) this morning announced that it plans to issue $640M in new senior notes due 2018 to qualified institutional buyers.  They will use the money to tender for their 12.25% debt due 2013, of which they have $550M outstanding.  There will be some left over, even if they were to get all of the 12.25%'s.  It is a while yet before 2013 rolls around, but the company has a large pile of debt due that year and is clearly not going to wait to chip away at it.  Early refi action has been their policy for so many years now that this move probably doesn't surprise anyone.  The amount the debt markets are apparently willing to let them refinance, however, is quite [Read more →]

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Final Metro Maps Installment: Virginia & the Carolinas, and the Rockies

January 5th, 2010
 

It's taken a few months, but I have finally filled in the rest of the continental US map with pages of metro map links for Virginia and the Carolinas and for the Rockies.  Of course, two states are still unaccounted for, I will add a page for metro maps in Hawaii and Alaska if I ever find any.  It has been quite a job, but now that it is in place I hope that the full collection of US metro fiber maps will serve as a resource for anyone researching or just hoping to browse available fiber networks by market. [Read more →]

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Forbes and the Bandwidth Problem

January 4th, 2010
 

In an article on Forbes.com entitled Solving the Bandwidth Problem just before the new year, Ed Sperling caught my attention by repeatedly declaring that there is a bandwidth shortage in progress.  In the category of exhausted synonyms for our apparently overwhelmed infrastructure, there was bottleneck, traffic congestion, slowdown, overcrowding, and of course log jam.  And the solution?  Private networks apparently, paid for at a premium from the same providers supposedly unable to handle congestion in the first place.  It's the exaflood story all over again with existing fiber capacity soon to be maxed out worldwide, but without the need for video apparently since doomsday is already nigh.  Really?  Could have fooled me... [Read more →]

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5 Predictions for Telecom, Fiber, and Data in 2010

January 3rd, 2010
 

Looking forward into 2010 is far more enjoyable than looking backward into 2009.  What can we expect from the new year?  As always, technology will obviously advance and traffic will grow.  But beyond that, here are a few thematic predictions I saw floating in my Crystal Ball: [Read more →]

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Tidbits From Around the Web

January 3rd, 2010
 

News may have been slow over the past week, but there were quite a few very interesting posts to the many telecom and data blogs out there.  Here are a few I think shouldn't be missed: [Read more →]

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More Metro Fiber: Appalachia and the Gulf Coast

January 2nd, 2010
 

As I promised, I have been using the slow news cycle of the holidays to hunt down more US metro fiber maps.  Today I have rolled out two pages for areas that in internet terms are largely well off the beaten path:  Appalachia and the Gulf Coast. Neither has all that much fiber outside of a few metro areas of course and there is quite a bit that I don't have maps for, but overall I actually found more than I expected.   [Read more →]

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Digital Realty Buys New England Facilities, To Raise $400M,

December 31st, 2009
 

As the year draws to a close, datacenter developer Digital Realty Trust (NYSE:DLR, news, filings) has made an aggressive move on the New England market.  In a filing today, the company revealed that it is buying three properties from several unrelated sellers for $375M. Two of the facilities are in Massachusetts:  most of 128 First Avenue in Needham and 55 Middlesex Turnpike in Bedford.  The third facility is in Connecticut at 60-80 Merritt Boulevard in Trumbull, north of Bridgeport.   All told, the purchase will add 550,290 square feet to the company's footprint, which is a substantial move by any measure but especially [Read more →]

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Colocation Sector Performance in 2009

December 30th, 2009
 

This is a guest post by Paolo Gorgò, who blogs over at Nortia Research.  Anyone else who might be interested in a guest post may contact the webmaster.

How has the year 2009 been for the colocation sector?

From an investor point of view, not too bad (slight understatement, here).  Two charts say it all:  for clarity we will divide the sector into a) Companies who were priced for bankruptcy at the beginning of the year (whose performance was obviously outstanding), and b) everyone else (whose performance was still in the triple digits, with only one exception reaching a “poor” +50%…) [Read more →]

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The AT&T Mystery? Oh Come On…

December 29th, 2009
 

This one gets classified in the 'You know nothing is happening when...'  folder.  Here I am scanning the meager news and blog articles out there, and what do I find?  Article after article about a mysterious gap of a few hours in the ability to buy an iPhone in New York City via AT&T's website.  The instant conclusion?  That AT&T's network in NYC must be being crushed under the weight of data traffic so badly that the company had to stop selling them.  The evidence?  None of any sort. [Read more →]

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10 Things That Didn’t Happen in 2009

December 28th, 2009
 

Brace yourself, the flood of top 10 lists reminiscing the best and worst things that happened in 2009 has only just begun.  They're a lot more fun to read when life has been easy than they are this year.  While there were a few bright spots like colocation and metro fiber, most of the telecom and internet infrastructure sector remains solidly in a defensive posture.  But remember how dark everything looked when the year started?  Rather than dwell on the discouraging events that I wish hadn't happened, or try to fluff up the rather meager list of wonderful things, I thought I'd think back to the things that didn't happen, whether good or bad.  Think of it as a list of loose ends: [Read more →]

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Telefonica Snaps Up Jajah

December 24th, 2009
 

Spanish based telecommunications giant Telefonica (NYSE:TEF, news, filings) announced yesterday its intention to purchase Jajah for €145M in cash, which amounts to about $207M.  That's about 6 times what Jajah's investors had originally raised, which means at least someone out there is already having a very Merry Christmas.  While the deal is subject to approval by regulators in Spain, I find it hard to believe there will be any major hurdles.  As deals go, this one is simultaneously tiny and huge.   [Read more →]

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Genband Takes Swing at Nortel’s Carrier VoIP

December 23rd, 2009
 

In this week's installment of As Nortel Liquidates, the company has now found a bidder for its carrier VoIP business.  Genband will take its turn in the hot seat as stalking horse with a $282M bid.  It probably won't go for that little of course, but at least the process is still moving steadily onward.  [Read more →]

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Was the iPhone Too Big a Bite for AT&T?

December 22nd, 2009
 

A couple weeks ago, AT&T Mobility's President Ralph de la Vega made comments at an investor event in response to a question, suggesting that the company is looking at various ways to reign in the data usage of their voracious iPhone users.  After the resulting firestorm of outrage that surprised nobody except perhaps Mr. de la Vega, the company has been seeking to soften the perception of their efforts as seen in this BusinessWeek article today.  I found this particular quote illuminating: [Read more →]

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Limelight Buys EyeWonder

December 21st, 2009
 

In a surprise acquisition, content delivery specialist Limelight Networks (NASDAQ:LLNW, news, filings) announced today the purchase of EyeWonder, a provider of interactive digital advertising, and especially video advertising.  Normally when I see a buy such as this it is a small one, but Limelight is shelling out $110M - $62M in cash and $48M in stock plus more stock if financial targets are achieved.  That's 40% of the company's cash reserves, which means that this move is a major part of Limelight's strategy as we enter 2010. [Read more →]

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Zayo Delivers Yet More Fiber to the Tower for Xmas

December 21st, 2009
 

On Friday, Zayo Bandwidth announced yet another FTTT initiative, this time in the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene area.  That latter one is definitely a city I never would have known if I weren't writing this blog, maybe next year I'll learn how to pronounce it.  Zayo intends to bring 45 towers in the area on-net for TDM and Ethernet backhaul, no doubt as part of the [Read more →]

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Metro Fiber in the Midwest

December 20th, 2009
 

I have completed two more pages of links to metro fiber maps covering the Midwest.  I split the region into the Rust Belt and the Great Plains, neither of which includes the Chicago Metro Area which already had its own page.  The Rust Belt has quite a bit of competitive fiber across a wide selection of metro areas, whereas the Great Plains cover a very large geographical area but with comparatively little.  I don't have any maps at all for the Dakotas yet for example. The usual national suspects [Read more →]

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Stimulus Awards Finally Beginning to Dribble Out

December 18th, 2009
 

All year we've been hearing about those BTOP and BIP stimulus funds, but there hasn't actually been any money involved yet - just bureaucracy and a whole lot of waiting.  Well, that ended yesterday with the announcement of the first 18 projects and $182M awarded,  just in time for Christmas too!  I'd grumble that now we must likely also wait for the money itself to be passed out, but that would be too cynical.  So who is on the first list?  [Read more →]

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Forget Horseback, Mongolia Rides on Level 3

December 17th, 2009
 

You know, I have noticed that it's not often one gets to write about Mongolia and the internet in the same article, but apparently today is the day.  Level 3 Communications (NYSE:LVLT, news, filings) has announced a contract with GemNet, one of Mongolia's main fiber networks.  Level 3 will be providing one of the company's main IP transit feeds which will bring US internet traffic to and from the country.  It takes a lot of IP transit deals to get anywhere these days, but every little bit counts for Level 3 at the moment.  Of course, Level 3 still doesn't have assets in Asia that I know of, so presumably [Read more →]

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Metro Fiber and On-Net Building Statistics Update

December 17th, 2009
 

I have finally updated my table of metro fiber networks, route miles, and on-net buildings, and have added a column describing the main markets each is in.  The recession didn't slow the industry's investments in metro fiber connectivity very much, but of course it did affect some participants more than others.  I am pleased to welcome several new additions to the list: [Read more →]

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Lightower, Nortel Demonstrate 100G Between Boston and New York

December 16th, 2009
 

Nortel's 100G gear has certainly been making some waves lately.  On Monday its gear went live between Frankfurt in Paris on Verizon's network, and today we have regional fiber provider Lightower successfully testing it between Boston and New York City.  This one isn't live commercially yet, rather it was a 4 day test over a 600 mile span.  Lightower already uses Nortel's 40G solution, and all they had to do for the 100G test was to insert new line cards at each endpoint. [Read more →]

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A Few Equipment Contracts: Infinera, Alcatel, Empirix

December 16th, 2009
 

According to LightReading, Infinera has come out on top at Vodafone UK.    Infinera (NASDAQ:INFN, news, filings) has been doing very well with European carriers this year, from the big guys to the small ones.  Off the top of my head there is DT, Interoute, Colt, Tiscali, and Teliasonera - I'm sure there are more.  Vodafone would of course be a nice addition to that customer list.  Now all they need is for all these customers to start [Read more →]

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Undersea Upgrades Spread Bandwidth Far and Wide

December 15th, 2009
 

It seems like there's so much bandwidth news these days underneath the waves, but perhaps it's just that there was so little for many years.  It's not just the big ones, lots of hard to reach places are getting fiber.  Last week the Asia America Gateway (AAG) came online commercially, bringing the first direct connection between North America and the southeast Asian nations of Philippines, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, Singapore, and Malaysia.    No more routing everything through [Read more →]

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Hibernia Atlantic Buys MediaXstream, Enters Video Business

December 15th, 2009
 

Transatlantic cable operator Hibernia Atlantic announced this morning the acquisition of video transport and services provider MediaXstream.  MediaXstream operates a Dynamic Transport Mode (DTM) network across 20 cities on both sides of the Atlantic, specializing in transporting full HD content between site and studio.  Combining their assets with Hibernia's fiber footprint, both undersea and on land, will enable the extension of the video network to another 17 PoPs.  This is not the first time we have seen these two companies together, [Read more →]

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