Windstream Ramps Up Zayo Fight with CoreSite Expansion


Fiber Optics

Windstream has deployed two new network points of presence (PoP) at CoreSite’s Los Angeles and Denver data-center campuses, expanding the reach of Windstream’s 150,000 mile, coast-to-coast fiber-optic network to two highly interconnected markets.

Jeff Brown, Windstream Wholesale’s director of product management and marketing, tells Channel Partners the continued expansion gives his company an advantage over competitors, such as Zayo, which recently purchased Electric Lightwave, the Pacific Northwest-based fiber network provider serving 35 western U.S. markets.

“We’ve strategically invested in connecting carrier-neutral data centers to our network,” he said. “Some of [Windstream’s competitors] own and operate their own colocation facilities that obviously are not really carrier neutral. Quite a bit of the traffic is moving to the cloud and to carrier-neutral data centers, and so we have invested a lot of capital in connecting to those so that customers that are tenants of those data-center operators will have a wide variety of choices to use for network connectivity. So we’re positioned there being colocated at those locations and not necessarily forcing the customer to choose our colocation plus our connectivity services. Windstream divested its hosted solution data centers, so we’re strictly interested in providing cloud and connectivity to carrier-neutral data centers.”

In addition, a number of the major players are focused exclusively on tier 1 markets, while Windstream “has a great niche in that we have quite a bit of connectivity down to lower-tier markets,” Brown said.

The expansion into these two markets brings Windstream’s presence with CoreSite to a total of six, including its deployments in Silicon Valley, Chicago, Northern Virginia/D.C., and New York. CoreSite’s communities, combined, feature more than 1,000 customers, including domestic and international carriers, enterprises, cloud computing providers, SIs, media and entertainment firms, social networking sites, and gaming companies.

“Our big initiative has been to expand our core backbone network all the way to the West Coast with our own owned assets, so we are now truly a national provider of transport services,” Brown said. “That puts us into a very exclusive category of a small number of providers. Customers who need national services, they previously told us, ‘Hey, we only want to do business with people who are nationwide,’ so we were being left out of opportunities. Now that we are national, we’re seeing our business pick up significantly in that respect. So this is part of that expansion. The long-haul expansion will continue. We’re proceeding on from Los Angeles to Phoenix; that will happen next year, and we’re actually now up and have been taking orders in Los Angeles.”

In addition to allowing direct connectivity to Windstream’s nationwide transport network, the expansion will provide CoreSite customers with …

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