PEG Bandwidth nabs W.L. Gore's fiber network, enhances Mid-Atlantic on-net building reach

PEG Bandwidth has acquired W.L. Gore & Associates' 48-mile fiber network, a deal that will deepen its network reach in Delaware and Maryland to address a mix of enterprise and service provider wholesale opportunities.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The company expects the integration process to be quick since they are only buying fiber assets and not a whole business. 

Well known for GORE-TEX fabric, W.L. Gore & Associates built the fiber network 10 years ago for themselves when it could not find an area provider to fulfill their own service needs.

Greg Ortyl, senior VP of sales and marketing, said in an interview with FierceTelecom, said that W.L. Gore decided to sell the asset so they could focus their attention on their core business and assets that are complementary to it.

"This 50 mile network was one that W.L Gore and Associates built themselves about 10-12 years ago or for themselves really out of necessity," Ortyl said. "They're headquartered there and have several buildings in the area and they were having trouble finding the transport and obviously they are not in the business, but once they built the network they started having folks knock on their door and acquired a couple of customers over time and it got to the point where it made more sense to sell the asset and not get distracted by it and focus on their core business."

This high fiber-count network spans an area spanning Newark, Del., to the north, Elkton, Md., to the south and Fair Hill, Md., to the west and was built with high-strand counts of fiber totaling almost 3,500 fiber miles.

Ortyl said that Gore's network fits in well with the areas where PEG Bandwidth has built out its network.

"It is complementary to our existing footprint and it actually crossed our own network in two different locations and we believe it's been underutilized because Gore did not actively market the asset," Ortyl said. "It's an opportunity for us to come in, and it is heavy strand count fiber, and parts of that network are very rural and other parts are in growing areas with a big biotech move in and around the University of Delaware and several data centers that JP Morgan and Barclays have built."

By acquiring this network, PEG will also be able to connect existing and new customers in these areas to its broader 15,000-route mile network throughout an 18-state footprint, including the Mid-Atlantic region.

Another big piece of the network it is acquiring is the on-net and near-net reach of the fiber network. The Gore network currently has 22 on-net buildings, including a mix of data centers, enterprise buildings and government facilities.

"There are 22 buildings on-net and there's significant opportunity for what we call near-net," Ortyl said. "There are about five or six data centers in the area, a couple of which are on-net so there's dozens of opportunities to splice access points that we can tap into to build out to new customers."

Ortyl added because the fiber network has a large strand count, they can pursue a large mix of enterprise and wholesale opportunities, including selling wireless backhaul services to wireless operators or other carriers looking for entry into these markets.

"It is heavy strand count fiber so we're going to offer a full suite of products, including dark fiber, Ethernet, and wavelengths to any of the surrounding enterprises or wholesale opportunities," Ortyl said.  

PEG Bandwidth mid-Atlantic network

PEG Bandwidth network coverage map for the Maryland-Delaware area, including Gore assets. (Source: PEG)

For more:
- see the release

Related articles:
Middle mile, dark fiber networks are needed to drive more rural broadband
PEG Bandwidth: Wireless operators are pulling back on rural dark fiber backhaul initiatives
PEG Bandwidth lights 2,000 wireless cell sites with fiber
Dark fiber, small cells represent the next stage of the wireless backhaul land grab
Global Capacity, PEG Bandwidth target the rural market interconnection gap