FirstLight acquires Finger Lakes Technologies, expands New York, Pennsylvania fiber reach

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FirstLight expects to close the acquisition in the third quarter of 2017.

FirstLight Fiber is on the acquisition trail again, reaching a deal to acquire Finger Lakes Technologies Group (FLTG), a subsidiary of Trumansburg Telephone Company, furthering its fiber network reach for business customers in New York.

After meeting customary regulatory and shareholder approvals, FirstLight said it expects to close the acquisition in the third quarter of 2017. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

FLTG provides data, internet and voice solutions to business customers in New York and Pennsylvania through its fiber network.

RELATED: FirstLight Fiber completes Oxford acquisition, boosts network to 415K fiber miles

Fiber is again a big part of this acquisition. Through this deal, FirstLight will merge FLTG’s privately owned fiber network, which spans nearly 2,500 route miles in New York state and Pennsylvania, with FirstLight’s more than 9,500 route mile fiber network and portfolio of data, internet, data center, cloud, and voice services. Upon completing this deal, FirstLight will offer increased fiber density in the Upstate New York area and expand its services in the Northern Pennsylvania region.

“This transaction is another exciting and strategic step forward for FirstLight, as it directly supports our long-term growth objectives to increase fiber density and continually enhance our capabilities to the benefit of our enterprise and carrier customers,” said Kurt Van Wagenen, president and CEO of FirstLight, in a release.

Complementing the fiber assets, FLTG established interconnection agreements with nearby competitive fiber providers and telcos such as Frontier, Sprint, Verizon, Level 3, Lightower and several others. These interconnection agreements will allow FirstLight to be more responsive to local New York and other multisite businesses in its Northeast territory.

Enhancing its network reach through acquisitions of other regional fiber-centric providers has been a focus of FirstLight Fiber’s expansion strategy. Following Oxford Networks and Sovernet Communications, FLTG is the third acquisition FirstLight will have made over the past year.   

Interestingly, FirstLight itself is the product of acquisition. After Oak Hill Capital purchased Oxford, it combined the Maine-based company’s operations with FirstLight Fiber. Previously, Oak Hill signed an agreement to acquire FirstLight from its current owner, Riverside Partners, in March 2016.

Besides FirstLight, Oak Hill Capital Partners signed an agreement to acquire Sovernet Communications, a middle-mile fiber provider that serves Vermont, New York and southwest New Hampshire, creating a larger Northeast fiber provider.

Oak Hill and FirstLight’s actions reflect the ongoing regional fiber consolidation trend taking shape.

Regional telco and growing fiber provider Lumos Networks was recently acquired by private equity firm EQT for $950 million, for example. This deal caps off Lumos’ months-long efforts to sell itself and also represents the end of the company’s previous plan to spin out its fiber business.