Windstream has wrapped up the expansion of its metro fiber network in the Charlotte, N.C., area, enabling it to address business service opportunities with connections into more buildings and data centers.
The service provider is creating a meshed network around the five existing network rings it has in place and will build laterals off those rings to create last mile access.
Windstream will connect its national fiber network to several of Charlotte's major data center complexes and commercial buildings in the SouthPark, Uptown and University areas.
The service provider said that the expansion will give Charlotte companies direct connectivity to major markets across the country while enabling business customers to utilize its portfolio of data, voice, network and cloud services.
Charlotte is part of a broader initiative Windstream has embarked on to increase the reach of its local metro fiber footprint, one that will enable it to address two goals: serve more businesses and reduce the cost of renting special access circuits from local ILECs like AT&T (NYSE: T) and Verizon.
Tony Thomas, CEO of Windstream, told investors in September 2015 that by adding more on-net buildings the provider will be able to remove $1 billion in additional costs it pays on wholesale access to deliver services to its multisite business customers.
In 2016, the service provider plans to replicate what it's doing in Charlotte in other markets including Nashville, Tenn., and Richmond, Va..
This expansion comes at a key time for Windstream.
Besides advocating for competitive carriers in the FCC's special access review process, Windstream recently gained the Metro Ethernet Forum's Carrier Ethernet 2.0 certification. The provider is building 100G express optical networking routes in major markets like Ashburn, Va. Windstream has been also extending its 500G network with new routes in other key markets, including Miami and from Denver to Chicago and Dallas.
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