Lightower Fiber networks is once again moving to expand its metro fiber network presence by singing a long-term agreement to license all of NSTAR Communications remaining fiber network capacity. NSTAR Communications is a subsidiary of energy delivery company NSTAR (NYSE:NST).
Through this agreement, Lightower will gain exclusive rights to all of NSTAR Communications available fiber optic capacity, including its fiber backbone routes and access into Boston, Mass.-area buildings.
By establishing this agreement with NSTAR Communications, Lightower will be able to enhance the reach and density of its fiber network in both Boston and the Route 128 business district with an additional 280 fiber route miles and access to over 225 commercial buildings.
This latest move is one element of a broader plan that includes a number of acquisitions of other fiber providers and agreements to expand its fiber service footprint into major metro areas in and around Boston, while connecting its fiber network up and down the Northeast market.
Over the past three years, Lightower has aggressively built out its Boston-area metro network footprint through a number of acquisitions.
With the acquisition of Lexent Metro Connect and Open Access, Lightower expanded the company's network and customer base in the New York City region. To bolster its Northeast network presence (including Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York) and national long-haul network presence, Lightower acquired Veroxity Technology Partners. Lightower began its acquisition spree in 2008 when it purchased DataNet Communications and Keyspan Communications.
From a competitive carrier industry trend perspective, Lightower's aggressive M&A strategy illustrates a resurging interest in the fiber network space-one that crashed with the burst of the .com bubble in the late 1990s.
Lightower is certainly not alone, however. Investment banking firm Cowen & Co. said in a recent Wall Street Journal article that there "have been 14 acquisitions in the industry this year alone and 45 since the fiber market began its turnaround in 2006." With a growing demand for higher bandwidth enterprise services like Ethernet and a need from the wireless industry for alternative sources of wireless backhaul, these networks will be put to good use.
- the Wall Street Journal has this article
- see the release
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