While it's still no giant, Atlantic Broadband is getting too big to fly under the radar anymore. The one-time cable overbuilder took another key step in that direction late last week when it swung a deal to scoop up the entire South Florida fiber network of FiberLight for just over $50 million, fueling its business services drive.
Now, upon the expected closing of the deal with FiberLight LLC in about six months, Atlantic Broadband will add roughly 350 route miles to its existing South Florida fiber footprint, more than doubling its fiber presence in the region. Even more immediately, the cable provider will gain access to an abundance of dark fiber capacity that it can use to start serving more larger enterprises and carriers in the growing commercial corridor running up the Atlantic coast from downtown Miami to North Palm Beach.
In an interview with Broadband World News, Atlantic Broadband President & Chief Revenue Officer David Isenberg said the cableco plans to use the new fiber lines and dark fiber to bulk up its presence in the South Florida business services market. He noted that there are firms and organizations with more than 10 employees collectively spending more than $30 million a year on data communications located within a mile of the fiber network it's buying from FiberLight. While that might seem like small potatoes to a giant MSO like Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) or Charter Communications Inc. , it represents a golden opportunity for a player like Atlantic Broadband, which generated about $70 million in revenue from business services last year, or about 10% of its overall revenue.
"It really is a significant expansion of the [commercial services] opportunity for us," Isenberg said. "It's really all about putting more muscle behind the fastest growing part of our business."
In particular, Atlantic Broadband is looking to build up its share of the enterprise market, where it's now seeing the strongest growth. Although enterprises account for less than half of the provider's business services haul today, that market segment is growing twice as fast as the small-to-medium-sized (SMB) segment, according to Isenberg.
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Prospective targets include many of the usual suspects -- healthcare companies, government agencies, schools and professional services firms. But the list of prospects also includes some businesses more unique to the Miami market, such as major TV network production facilities and large data centers.
Of course, it won't be easy for Atlantic Broadband to make a big impact in a commercial market dominated by such cable and telecom heavyweights as Comcast and AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T). But Isenberg thinks the new fiber network may give his company a heads-up in the route that it covers.
"It's a highly competitive market; all the major telecom brands are there," he acknowledged. "But the [FiberLight] network goes a lot of great locations those other networks may not go."
In a provocative new BBWN webinar, Broadband Success Partners' Jack Burton will delve into cable's next-gen HFC architecture plans and explain why going all-fiber may make more sense for operators right now.
It wasn't long ago that TV was ranked by subscribers as the most important service in the bundle provided by their communications service provider (CSP). Recent research indicates that for nearly three quarters of subscribers, broadband is now the most important service. Broadcast TV is the most important service to only 15% of North American consumers, replaced by OTT video streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+. In addition, many different competitors are moving aggressively to stake a claim in consumers' homes.
In 2020, CSPs need to fight back by transforming their business models, which are becoming more reliant on a single source of revenue: fixed broadband services.
This webinar will focus on helping CSPs transform their business models by placing a firm focus on delivering a sensational subscriber experience and by offering compelling new services that generate value for subscribers. These actions will reinforce the CSP's strategic position in the home network and position themselves for growth in the next decade.
Key topics include:
Being the first to market with WiFi 6 technology, in response to consumer purchases of new devices over the holidays;
Having the insights needed to proactively resolve issues, often before your subscribers even know that there are issues;
Providing help desk agents with the visibility they need to resolve common subscriber issues more quickly;
Delivering a mobile app, in response to consumer demands for the ability to do some things themselves, rather than having to call technical support; and
Addressing consumer concerns around device security, privacy and control with enhanced security and parental controls.
In this insightful Light Reading radio show, Kurt Raaflaub, Head of Strategic Solutions Marketing, will outline the key service provider challenges, deployment considerations, next-gen Gigabit technologies, and service models to win market share in the rapidly growing MDU market.