Fatbeam, a competitive fiber provider focusing on underserved markets in the western United States, recently reached a deal to acquire EMAN Networks' existing fiber assets.
By making the EMAN acquisition, the Post Falls, Idaho-based provider will gain 25 miles of metro fiber network in Tacoma, Wash. EMAN had a particular focus on the education vertical segment, building fiber networks for school districts.
While neither company revealed the terms of the deal, Fatbeam said it will augment the existing EMAN network by adding additional fiber route miles and upgrading the Metro Ethernet backbone to serve the Franklin Pierce School District under a long-term contract for 20 Gbps Ethernet service.
Over the past year, Fatbeam has been expanding outside of Idaho and into nearby Washington state. In Washington, the initial goal for Fatbeam has been to build Greenfield fiber-based networks in Centralia, Yakima, Sunnyside, Cowiche and Medical Lake, but this is its first acquisition to augment its network.
Before Fatbeam came to the area, school districts, businesses and hospitals had no other option than the traditional telcos.
One of Fatbeam's main differentiators is its market focus. The service provider has decided to focus on delivering fiber-based bandwidth speeds from 1 to 320 Gbps and even dark fiber in areas of Washington and other states that have not been properly served by telecom incumbent carriers such as CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) and Frontier (Nasdaq: FTR).
Washington is just one state where Fatbeam is extending its services. Late last month, Fatbeam signed a $2 million, 10-year E-Rate contract with the Butte School District in Montana to deliver lit fiber services. In this project, the service provider said the network route will require over 16 miles of new metro fiber.
Fatbeam's move, while relatively small, reflects the ongoing movement in the competitive telecom market, where service providers are augmenting their own internal buildouts by purchasing other service providers with adjacent network assets.
Map of Fatbeam markets in the Northwest. (Image courtesy of Fatbeam)
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