Last year's flurry of fiber consolidation that began with Verizon's acquisition of XO Communications' fiber business continues unabated into 2017 as recent headlines from a growing number of providers demonstrates.
Along with an expanded customer base, enhanced operating efficiencies and increased purchasing power, these moves give cable companies access to a broader pool of professionals in sales, engineering, deployment and network operations. Demand for fiber continues to grow -- and with it, demand for expanded fiber reach. Big 2016 deals targeting this goal included CenturyLink's pitch for Level 3, Consolidated and FairPoint, Windstream and Earthlink, plus Zayo and Electric Lightwave.
With its recently announced acquisition of Cascade Networks, Wave Broadband gets 350 route miles added to its west coast fiber network. This marks the 15-year-old company's 21st acquisition.
Days earlier, Conterra Ultra Broadband Holdings Inc. disclosed it had purchased two regional optical fiber-based broadband businesses that could expand its fiber footprint to more than 6,200 route miles and 355,000 fiber miles across seven states. Detel and Broadplex will operate as wholly owned subsidiaries.
And FirstLight Fiber started off the year by completing its acquisition of Oxford Networks, combining the two companies' operations to create 5,000 route miles of high-capacity, fiber optic networks over ten data centers and 4,400 locations in five states, FirstLight says. Once the service provider's acquisition of Sovernet closes sometime in early 2017, FirstLight expects to almost double its route miles, expand into Canada and add one data center plus about 600 on-net locations, it says.
For its part, real estate investment trust Communications Sales & Leasing is banking on fiber, Chief Financial Officer Mark Wallace told the audience at the Citi 2017 Internet, Media & Telecommunications Conference this week. In 2016, the company formed the Uniti Fiber division and says approximately 60% of its "pipeline by asset type is in the fiber category." One of CS&L's acquisition strategies will be to focus on fiber business, Wallace says.
On Jan. 23, Broadband World News hosts a Calix-sponsored webinar that explores several ways CSPs can enhance customer experience and find new business opportunities to avoid devolving into a speed race where nobody wins, not even the customer.
As the pool of savvy, fiber-rich operators across the US rural and regional landscape wanes, the financial community will grow even more interested in acquiring or investing in them, a CoBank report says.
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.