Ranked by the number of fiber lit buildings, Verizon placed second, followed by Spectrum Enterprise, CenturyLink, Comcast, Cox, Crown Castle Fiber, Zayo, Frontier Communications and Altice USA. These retail and wholesale fiber providers each qualified for this leaderboard with 10,000 or more on-net U.S. fiber lit commercial buildings as of year-end 2017.
For this analysis, a fiber lit building is defined as a commercial site or data center that has on-net optical fiber connectivity to a network provider’s infrastructure, plus active service termination equipment onsite.
“With fiber footprint expansion in the strategic plans of every major network service provider, we’re seeing a significant ramp up in new lit building deployments,” said Rosemary Cochran, VSG principal. “Merger, acquisition and rebranding activity across the fiber provider landscape is so intense that it takes a scorecard to keep track. Nearly every one of this year’s fiber leaderboard and challenge-tier companies has been impacted by one or more fiber-related transactions in the past year.”
Verizon acquired XO Communications, a 2016 challenge tier company, and CenturyLink merged with Level 3 Communications, No. 6 on the 2016 leaderboard, Crown Castle acquired Lightower, No. 8 on the 2016 leaderboard, Zayo acquired Electric Lightwave, a 2016 challenge-tier company, and Frontier advanced from No. 11 in 2016 with fiber assets acquired from Verizon.
The 2017 challenge tier includes Cincinnati Bell, Cleareon, Cogent, Consolidated Communications, FiberLight, FirstLight, IFN, Logix Fiber Networks, Lumos Networks, Unite Private Networks, Uniti Fiber and Windstream. These fiber providers each qualified for the challenge tier with 2,000-9,999 U.S. fiber lit commercial buildings.
Consolidated acquired Fairpoint, a 2016 challenge tier company, and Uniti acquired Southern Light, also a 2016 challenge tier company. Logix moved up from the market players tier, which includes such companies as Fusion, Google Fiber and GTT.