Lumos reaches over 1,600 fiber-to-the-tower sites

Lumos’ aggressive fiber expansion efforts are getting the attention of wireless operators that need alternative fiber access.

Lumos Networks continues to make progress with its fiber-to-the-cell (FTTC) efforts, installing over 1,663 connections in the first quarter to serve major wireless operators’ current 4G wireless efforts and future 5G plans.

As part of the FTTC build, Lumos reached 1,306 unique FTTC sites, up 4% year over year, reflecting the fact that the service provider’s aggressive fiber expansion efforts are getting the attention of wireless operators that need alternative fiber access.

These FTTC builds also put Lumos in a position to extend fiber to more local businesses, including a mix of businesses that reside in multidwelling units and school districts using E-Rate funding, in the regions it serves. It added 94 enterprise lit buildings in the first quarter to reach 2,125 total lit buildings, up 17% year over year.

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On the wholesale front, Lumos expanded its sales pipeline from prospective carrier customers seeking diverse dark and lit fiber routes from the Virginia Beach undersea cable landing site into Richmond, Virginia, and Ashburn, Virginia, a major data center hub. 

Lumos has also set a path for growth outside of its native Virginia region. The service provider added North Carolina as the 26th Enterprise market following the close of the acquisitions of DC74 Data Centers and Clarity Communications in January 2017.

Here’s a breakdown of Lumos’ key metrics:

Enterprise Data: Driven by its aggressive fiber build-outs, Enterprise Data revenues were $16.5 million, up from $13.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Transport: Transport revenues were a bit mixed, rising sequentially to $8.45 million but down year over year from $9.1 million in the same period last year.

FTTC: FTTC revenues had another strong showing in the first quarter, rising to $9.7 million, up from $8.53 million in the first quarter of 2016.

Residential and Small Business (RS&B): RS&B revenues declined year over year to $15.2 million. During the quarter, Lumos continued to make progress with its FTTH initiative, adding 358 new customers. The service provider ended the quarter with a total of 9,330 FTTH broadband customers while passing 19,983 premises with fiber. Like other traditional telcos, Lumos’ RS&B decline could be attributed to a decline in competitive voice lines. Lumos ended the quarter with a total of 62,972 competitive voice subscribers, down from 71,675 in the same period a year ago.

RLEC Access: RLEC access revenue also declined in the quarter to $5.1 million from $5.34 million as voice lines slid to a total of 22,483.

Financials: Total first-quarter revenue was $54.9 million, up 8% from the prior year period. The company generated an operating loss of $1.6 million for the three months ended March 31, 2017, down from operating income of $3.1 million in the prior-year period.

In February, Lumos announced it was being acquired by EQT Infrastructure for $18.00 per share in an all-cash transaction, resulting in an enterprise value of approximately $950 million. The acquisition is expected to be completed during the third quarter of 2017.