FairPoint eyes Maine, Vermont as next data center targets

FairPoint is looking at a number of new markets to take its data center services, with an eye on Maine and Vermont as its two next targets.

Chris Alberding, VP of product management for FairPoint, told FierceTelecom that Maine is a likely first target given the business density in that state.

Although he could not provide a specific timeline, FairPoint has already done the requisite up-front work to determine the cost of building in these markets.

"The good news is we have already done the site analysis, the cost analysis so we're looking at locations in Maine and Vermont," Alberding said. "Maine is probably the next in line only because the core business opportunities are larger in Maine if you look at putting the data center in a central area you can cover a lot of business in that space."

Alberding added that the trigger to open a new data center is "hitting a revenue threshold and a capacity threshold in the Manchester center and I can say we're pretty close to that."

Unlike its larger service provider counterparts Verizon (NYSE: VZ) and CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL), which made multibillion-dollar acquisitions to build their data center business, FairPoint has been taking a different approach to building out its data centers. It is leveraging its own buildings, including central offices (COs), to provide services.

By doing this it can reduce the costs of expanding its data center footprint while being able to tie into its existing fiber network and upsell other services besides colocation, like its cloud-based hosted PBX service.

While still a small part of its business, the service provider previously projected that data center services could produce between $3 and $4 million in revenues. It currently offers data center services in Laconia, N.H., and its headquarters in Manchester, N.H.

Amidst news from larger ILECs -- specifically, CenturyLink and Verizon -- that are considering the future of their data center businesses, FairPoint says it's committed to the business and envisions a concentration of centers in its Northern New England region.

"I fully envision over the next few years we'll be across all three states with multiple sized data centers, but we're taking that success-based approach of building out a small center, let's get it to a certain capacity threshold and build the next one so we never run out of space, but we're not building it in a build-it-and-they-will-come strategy either," Alberding said.

Providing colocation is only one part of its strategy. The service provider plans to offer a series of infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and Software as a service (SaaS) cloud offerings to business customers later this year.

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