M&A ‘Driving’ U.S. Fiber Landscape

Driving (landscape)
AT&T leads in the number of fiber connections in the U.S.

AT&T leads in the number of fiber connections in the U.S.

AT&T has made the most fiber connections in the U.S., according to a new study.

Vertical Systems Group compiled its first ranking of U.S. fiber providers, listing them in order of in how many buildings they have installed on-net fiber. The results show AT&T in the top spot, followed by Verizon, Spectrum Enterprise and CenturyLink. The leaderboard includes fiber providers that have 10,000 or more lit fiber buildings in the U.S.

Rosemary Cochran, principal at Vertical Systems Group, says acquisitions have made a major impact on domestic fiber. CenturyLink and Level 3, Zayo and Electric Lightwave, and Verizon and XO are good examples of consolidation in the fiber industry.

“18 of the 28 Fiber leaderboard and challenge tier companies have fiber-related transactions just completed or pending,” she said.

Eleven companies made the list: AT&T, Verizon, Spectrum Enterprise, CenturyLink, Comcast, Level 3, Cox, Lightowerl, Zayo, Altice USA and Frontier. The challenge tier, containing 2,000 to 9,999 lit buildings, has 17 companies.

“On-net fiber lit buildings are valued strategic assets that give retail and wholesale providers a competitive edge in profitably delivering services to business customers. A major benefit of a fiber lit building is ready connectivity with provisioning through service orchestration, without the construction cost and extensive lead time required to light a building,” Cochran said.
Read Vertical’s brief report yourself. The market research company wrote earlier this year that U.S. fiber penetration has reached 50.4 percent as of 2016; in other words, half of commercial buildings have a connection to optical fiber facilities.

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