Zayo Continues Bulking Up: Closes FTS Deal; Snaps Up Litecast

Hot on the heels of Zayo’s recent 100G high-bandwidth upgrade and an announcement that it will buy Baltimore, Md.-based metro optical provider Litecast for $22 million, Zayo continued its expansion-by-acquisition this week with the completion of its previously announced $110 million purchase of First Telecom Services (FTS), a CLEC in the Northeastern and Midwestern United States. Separately, it announced a customer win with data center operator CoreSite Realty.

For channel partners, Zayo’s rapidly expanding footprint offers the ability to sell high-bandwidth services into multi-location accounts nationwide. For instance, the Litecast acquisition further enhances its fiber network in the greater Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area, and provides Zayo with ownership of fiber routes it had previously operated via long term indefeasible right of usage agreements. Litecast connects more than 110 on-net buildings, including all of Baltimore’s major data centers and carrier hotel facilities. Litecast focuses on providing dark fiber and Ethernet-based services to a concentrated set of enterprises and governmental customers, particularly within the health-care and education segments.

The recently acquired FTS meanwhile manages a network of more than 8,000 route miles of fiber and approximately 500 on-net buildings. It is focused on providing dark fiber and wavelength services on a wholesale basis across its 11 state footprint, with the highest concentration of network and revenue in Pennsylvania and Ohio. FTS also has a strong network and commercial relationship with FirstEnergy Corp., which is one of the largest diversified electric companies in the U.S.

The acquisitions complement the purchases of AboveNet and FiberGate. The FiberGate deal added an additional 399 new route miles and 130,000 fiber miles. The AboveNet transaction, meanwhile, nearly doubled Zayo’s national network reach. Collectively (pre-Litecast integration), Zayo has 67,000-route mile network connects sites with dense metro and intercity fiber assets in 231 markets, 45 states and global connectivity.

The buying spree has resulted in Denver-based Zayo positioning itself as a national business-focused operator, with the ability for its partners to compete with telco giants like Verizon Business or Level 3 for multi-site national business accounts. For instance, it also announced today that it will supply bandwidth in nine markets throughout North America to CoreSite Realty, a national provider of network-rich data centers.

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