Lightower completes fiber network extension in D.C., Virginia

Lightower has put the finishing touches on a new 1,500-route mile network extension of its fiber network that has routes throughout Virginia and the Washington, D.C., metro region.

The new network, which is part of the service provider's ongoing expansion strategy, began last May via its predecessor Sidera Networks before the two merged earlier this year.

In Virginia, the fiber network extends along the southern the part of the state from Chantilly to other major cities including Richmond, Newport News, Roanoke and various points in between.

Last May, Lightower began building out 1,100 route miles of fiber covering most of Virginia and part of North Carolina. In addition, the network build includes nearly 400 miles in the Washington, D.C., metro region, including parts of northern Virginia and southern Maryland.

"This expansion dramatically increases the number of customers Lightower can serve in the Washington, D.C., metro and Virginia markets," said Rob Shanahan, CEO of Lightower, in a release.

A key element of this network build is that the segment between Washington, D.C.. and New York rides over the Transcom Route, or what is called the D.C. bypass, which has become a protection route for many government customers

Beginning this fall, the service provider said it will bring customers onto the new network. To support this expansion, Lightower is also hiring additional sales and support staff.

However compelling this new network is, Lightower is hardly alone in its southern network desires. It will face competition from a number of incumbent telcos and fiber-centric competitive players, including Lumos Networks (Nasdaq: LMOS), Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), and DukeNet.

Lumos is in the process of completing its network connection in Richmond, while Windstream is leveraging the fiber assets it purchased from Kentucky Data Link (KDL) to provide the Richmond school district a private 87-mile 1 Gbps fiber-based wide area network.

No less compelling, DukeNet is expanding its North Carolina-based network further North, while FiberLight has already built out its own Culpeper route before it began a network buildout project in Charlottesville.

For more:
- see the release

Special report: The top wireline mergers & acquisitions in 2012

Related articles:
Lightower completes its $2 billion merger with Sidera
Sidera starts building out Va. statewide network
Lightower establishes low-latency route to New Jersey data center
Lightower raises glass ceiling in Central and Northern New Jersey

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