FiberLight, Union Pacific reach truce over rights-of-way dispute in Texas

FiberLight can now proceed with its 8,000-mile fiber build in Texas as the service provider completed an out-of-court settlement with Union Pacific so it can continue installing cable over or under the railroad company's tracks.

The service provider's move to complete its fiber network build in Texas was stalled last year after Union Pacific got a court injunction that mandated FiberLight could not install cable on the railroad company's tracks without gaining permission first.

Both companies had different issues at stake. FiberLight argued that the dispute was related to fees the railroad company wanted to charge to access the tracks, while Union Pacific said the service provider's construction created safety issues.

With this dispute now behind them, FiberLight plans to resume network construction in the next few weeks.

This portion of the network is part of a broader network expansion effort it is conducting in the state.

Previously, FiberLight said it planned to complete 6,500 miles of its planned 8,000-mile expansion project, bring fiber to an additional 275 cell towers, giving it a total of 900 sites. It will also finish construction on its layer-one high-speed transport circuit and connect Austin's Data Foundry data center to FiberLight's DASH network.

Railroads were only one part of the challenges FiberLight has faced to gain necessary rights-of-way to build out its fiber network in the state. Given the size of the network build it was conducting in west Texas, FiberLight faced a challenging permitting process because local permitting offices became overwhelmed with requests from them and the state's traditional oil and gas utility companies.

Disputes between service providers and other land holders like railroad companies and utility companies is a common problem in the service provider industry, particularly for any telco or competitive carrier building out fiber in new markets.

For more:
- mySA has this article

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