Zayo has finalized its acquisition of FiberGate for $117 million. The company has added 779 fiber route miles to its network in Washington, D.C., northern Virginia, Baltimore and suburban Maryland. FiberGate exclusively offered dark fiber and Zayo plans to continue to offer dark fiber and expand the service portfolio to include bandwidth infrastructure services like wavelengths, Ethernet, IP and SONET.
FiberGate’s network connects to hundreds of government, data center and enterprise locations, Matt Erickson, president, Zayo fiber & transport infrastructure, told the Backhaul Bulletin. “The combination of Zayo’s existing 65,000-plus route mile network and FiberGate’s deep D.C. network is compelling; we expect great opportunity for growth in that area for both lit and dark fiber services,” he said.
“The FiberGate and Zayo networks are very complementary,” said Dan Caruso, chief executive officer of Zayo Group, in a company statement. “As a result of the acquisition, we will have one of the most comprehensive fiber networks in the DC area of any provider.”
Cross River Fiber will support infrastructure and dark fiber solutions for radio-frequency (RF) wireless communication technologies that are being deployed in New Jersey. The company offers solutions to RF wireless providers, enterprise financial users, and high-frequency trading firms that require the shortest, most direct physical connection into key financial data centers in New Jersey.
Cross River’s dark fiber network and the combination of ultra-low-latency RF technologies will complement one another with redundancy and reliability that support the competitive nature of high-speed trading.
“By identifying innovative connectivity solutions, Cross River Fiber is able to deliver best-of-breed technology and communication solutions to companies that want secondary and tertiary connections that are as fast as their primary connections,” said Vincenzo Clemente, CEO of Cross River Fiber, in a press release. “Supporting the ultra-low-latency RF initiative in New Jersey is new for Cross River as we continue to develop unique solutions for our end users. This often requires thinking outside of the box and using our niche expertise in design and construction to deploy physical layer network solutions.”
Zayo Group plans to acquire FiberGate for $117 million. The dark fiber provider has 650 route miles of fiber in the Washington, D.C., metro area. The acquisition will add 130,000 fiber miles to Zayo’s metro network in and around the nation’s capital metro area. The FiberGate network also includes 315 on-net buildings and two recently completed expansions to Frederick and Baltimore, Md. Dark fiber is FiberGate’s only product and the network covers one geographic region – Baltimore, suburban Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Northern Virginia.
The acquisition is important to Zayo because FiberGate has deep metro fiber assets in the greater Washington, D.C.. area, Glenn Russo, executive vice president of corporate strategy and development, told Backhaul Bulletin. “Also, they have a business model that aligns well with Zayo,” he said. “FiberGate focuses on selling only dark fiber, a business and product Zayo has been a big proponent of, and has created a lot of momentum selling.”
Russo also told the Bulletin that Zayo will gain deep fiber assets in a key market and customer relationships in the nation’s capital that are typically hard to penetrate. “We feel we will be able to effectively serve the government vertical,” he said.
“The Washington, D.C./Northern Virginia area is a uniquely important geography for government, data centers and Internet connectivity,” said Dan Caruso, chief executive officer of Zayo Group, in a company release. “The combination of AboveNet’s and FiberGate’s networks will create an extensive fiber footprint in this strategic bandwidth corridor.”
The transaction is subject to customary approvals and will be funded from cash on hand. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the third quarter in 2012.
Allied Fiber has completed funding for phase one of its nationwide fiber-optic network. Construction of the first phase linking New York City, Chicago and Ashburn, Va., is under way and expected to be completed by May 2011.
The 1,300 route-mile network is the first phase of an 11,500 route-mile, five-phase plan to ring the nation with a carrier-neutral, dark-fiber network, which will address the needs for national broadband demand by providing access to new dark fiber, collocation facilities and fiber-fed wireless towers on a network-neutral, open-access basis throughout the United States.
“In what has been a very challenging financing market, we have been able to prove the merits of the Allied Fiber system,” Hunter Newby, CEO of Allied Fiber, said in a press release. “In response to the proven demand from our customers and the industry, we will be able to complete the phase one build and deliver the physical, long-haul and short-haul dark fiber, collocation and interconnection capabilities that are so critical for the next generation of network requirements in our country.”
Allied Fiber has implemented a new, multi-duct design for intermediate access to the long-haul fiber duct through a parallel short-haul fiber duct all along the route. This enables all points between the major cities, including data centers, wireless towers and rural networks, to gain access to the dark fiber. In addition, the Allied Fiber neutral collocation facilities, located approximately every 60 miles along the route, accommodate a multi-tenant interconnection environment integrated with fiber.
The first phase of the system will provide access for hundreds of tower sites, all integrated into one system from one provider. The new 528-count, long-haul cable coupled with the 216-count, short-haul cable will be a composite of single-mode and non-zero dispersion-shifted fibers. By having a high-fiber count and being network-neutral, Allied Fiber is able to offer dark fiber and collocation at lower unit costs.
In other fiber-optic news, FiberLight has launched a $20 million, 104-mile fiber-optic network to augment its existing 123-mile Baltimore network and 299-mile Virginia and Washington, D.C., networks. The new network extends the 100-percent underground optical backbone past the downtown Baltimore business district to connect to the growing cities of Laurel, Columbia, Elkridge and Greenbelt, while providing greater diversity to the MD/D.C./VA region.
Patrick Mitchell, president and CEO of the Maryland Broadband Cooperative public/private partnership to support technology infrastructure deployment, noted the importance of connecting networks with fiber optics in order to get broadband out to the rural areas of Maryland.
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