Windstream makes big fiber network bet

Windsream's plan to invest about $20 million to expand its fiber network this year is proof positive that Tier 2 ILECs are just as savvy about building multi-purpose fiber networks to serve both business services and wireless backhaul.

First to benefit from the new fiber network will be business customers. Through this new network build out, business customers that reside in Windstream's 16-state territory will provide expanded access to new fiber-based Ethernet services.

Following the lead of its tier 2 ILEC counterpart CenturyLink and large RBOCs wholesale divisions (AT&T, Qwest and Verizon), Windstream is tapping into what could be described as an emerging wholesale wireless backhaul bonanza. While the press release did not reveal how many cell sites or how many potential wireless customers have expressed interest, the new program comes at a time when large wireless operators (AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless and Sprint) are not only seeing their traditional 3G wireless backhaul capacity method (T1) swelter but are also readying their respective migrations to LTE and WiMAX.

For more:
- see the release here

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