Birch Communications on Monday completed the last phase of its multi-year network upgrade and expansion project during which it added 43 central office (CO) colocations, for a total of 290 COs, and 15 wireless towers for its wireless local loop services in five states.
This network upgrade is the latest phase of what Birch said is a larger upgrade and expansion project which will extend its IP network into two new states--North Carolina and South Carolina--and add wireless local loop (WLL) capabilities in several new markets in Florida.
Over the past three years, the CLEC has spent more than $50 million to expand its IP-based network presence in a number of key markets including Dallas, South Florida, Georgia, Kansas, St. Louis, Mo., and Tennessee. These network expansions were complemented by various acquisitions of other smaller CLECs such as AstroTel and Covista.
With this latest expansion effort complete, Birch will have an even larger platform to deliver its growing portfolio of IP-based services such as SIP trunking and extend its emerging wholesale services business to more carrier customers. Last February, the service provider launched its wholesale operation, Birch Carrier Solutions. The wholesale group will offer a series of POTS, T1 and ADSL2+ services to other local competitive service providers.
Currently reaching nine states with 290 COs, the service provider said it plans to "grow to 13 states and 500 COs by the end of 2015." The CLEC's ongoing expansion effort will be conducted via a mix of organic buildout efforts and targeted "tuck-in" acquisitions that add new service capabilities and expand the company's footprint.
Vincent Oddo, president and CEO, said in a recent interview with FierceTelecom that Birch received $12 million in new funding the company got from CoBank and is evaluating other deals.
"We're on the lookout for additional accretive acquisitions in our area focused on SMB customers and there will be a couple additional announcements this year as we pick up a couple more acquisitions this year," he said.
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