Windstream expands Minneapolis fiber network, furthering facilities-based vision

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Windstream is expanding its metro fiber network in Minneapolis, marking yet another step in the telco’s migration to increase its on-net fiber network footprint.

Through this expansion, Windstream will be able to address local businesses with a set of fiber and broadband wireless-based services that will be connected to a greater amount of data centers and commercial buildings.

This is not a "build it and they will come" scenario.

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Chris Nein, regional president for Windstream, said in a release that it has “already started to connect some of our customers directly to the Windstream metro-Minneapolis network and are ready to grow this rapidly.”

One of those customers is St. Paul, Minnesota-based Berger Transfer & Storage, which has 17 service locations located across the country. The company is leveraging the new fiber build to support its fleet of over 600 vehicles that help more than 24,000 customers move each year.

Minneapolis is just one of several markets where Windstream is expanding its metro fiber networks. Outside of Minneapolis, Windstream is conducting similar expansions in Charlotte, Nashville, Richmond, Atlanta, Chicago, Philadelphia and Cleveland.

Overall, the fiber builds are about achieving the telco’s broader goal to increase its facilities-based network reach. By building out more of its own fiber network facilities, Windstream can reduce the costs it pays to third-party wholesale providers like AT&T and CenturyLink to deliver business services to customers that are not connected to its network.

Tony Thomas, CEO of Windstream, told investors during this week’s Goldman Sachs Communacopia 2016 event that reducing spending on special access circuits it can gain more control over its network costs to serve business customers.

“We spend over $1 billion in the enterprise business unit with other carriers for lit services that we think should over time should migrate onto our network or minimize that footprint by having better hygiene about how we manage those costs,” Thomas said.

For more:
- see the release

Related articles:
Windstream’s Thomas: We’re focused on becoming a facilities-based provider
Windstream hints it could sell some unused dark fiber assets
Windstream looks to fiber investments, cloud services to tighten bond with mid-sized businesses
Windstream sheds 16K broadband subs in Q2, but says speed enhancements break decline trend

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