FirstLight Fiber, which provides high-speed data, internet, data center and voice services in New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Maine over a 275,000-mile fiber network, is logging a successful 2016.
In July of 2016, Oak Hill Capital Partners (of which FirstLight Fiber is a portfolio company), announced its intention to acquire Oxford Networks and then combine the operations of FirstLight and Oxford . Oxford is a fiber optic bandwidth infrastructure services provider operating in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. The companies are now set to operate approximately 5,000 route miles of high-capacity fiber optic network, with ten data centers throughout the Northeast.
Oak Hill Capital Partners also announced its intention to acquire Sovernet Communications, another fiber-optic bandwidth infrastructure services provider operating in Vermont, New York and southwest New Hampshire. The transaction will combine Sovernet’s high-capacity network transport, broadband Internet, and voice services with FirstLight’s complete portfolio of data, Internet, data center and voice services.
In addition to strategic growth, FirstLight also continued to grow organically. In 2016, FirstLight continue to build out its fiber network, and add locations. In fact, one notable build added 36,000 fiber miles in Westchester, Rockland and Orange counties of New York in support of a carrier customer. This newly built network is purpose-built to not only meet the exacting needs of that carrier but also intended to serve businesses located along this new fiber route, providing the services and capabilities those companies need to thrive in the digital age.
The company is also logging customer wins. Over the years, FirstLight has successfully served the needs of K-12 and colleges. For example, in 2016 FirstLight announced that Laconia School District in New Hampshire selected FirstLight to provide Internet and voice services to the entire school district – which includes three elementary schools, a middle school, a high school, and a regional technical center. July of 2016 saw Colby-Sawyer College of New Hampshire choose FirstLight over several vendors to upgrade its Internet services to 1Gbps. And, most recently, FirstLight announced that Shenendehowa Central Schools, a New York State School District serving 9,850 students at eight elementary schools, three middle schools and a high school, chose FirstLight over several alternatives to connect its remote schools and upgrade Internet connectivity.
Healthcare has been an important sector for the company. In May 2016, Derry Medical Center, the oldest and largest independent, primary care family practice in New Hampshire, selected FirstLight for a significant network upgrade across its entire facility, spanning five locations. FirstLight then announced in August of 2016 that Visiting Nurse and Hospice for Vermont and New Hampshire (VNH), chose FirstLight for the upgrade of its Internet services in its new location in White River Junction, Vt., as well as West Lebanon, N.H. Finally, in September 2016, leading next gen 911 core services provider, INdigital, selected FirstLight Internet and data center services to support the New Hampshire emergency services network.
FirstLight also serves the key businesses located within the its footprint. Some examples include the Albany Capital Center (ACC), a new meeting and conference facility located in Albany. It chose FirstLight’s high-speed, fiber-based Internet and voice services. Additionally, White Mountain Oil, a New Hampshire-based energy retailer selected FirstLight’s Internet service to improve connectivity and overall business operations.
On the partner front, in April 2016, FirstLight announced the growth of its partner program through a new relationship with Intelisys.