Wednesday Bytes: Bluebird, Pilot, Netrality, Zayo, Arvig, Fusion

Telecom Ramblings
May 9th, 2018
Rob Powell

I have been out at ITW this week, having just returned this morning.  And of course, there’s a pile of things to cover, many of which I learned more about at the event.  Here’s a quick look at a few bits of that, with one network expansion, three network deployments with data center partners, and two M&A items worth noting. 

Bluebird has unveiled a network expansion project out in Missouri. The regional provider is adding 45 route miles to its footprint in and around the St. Louis metro area, specifically within Clayton, Wentzville, and Weldon Springs. The new fiber hooks up several industrial areas as part of an effort to upgrade the region’s underlying infrastructure, offering the capability to reach directly over to Bluebird’s underground data center in Springfield and the disaster recovery and backup options offered there.

The upstart metro fiber player Pilot has a new data center partner at the edge. They announced plans yesterday to extend the company’s IP backbone into six EdgeConneX facilities around the country: Atlanta, Denver, Miami, Minneapolis, Portland, and Santa Clara. Pilot is expanding its IP footprint to complement the company’s northeastern US metro depth to better serve the business community.

Netrality has teamed up with Megaport to improve its connectivity ecosystem. Megaport’s platform is now available at 1102 Grand in Kansas City and at 401 North Broad in Philadelphia, and soon will be at 1301 Fannin in Houston. Deployments at Netrality’s other facilities are also in the works. The partnership will enable hybrid cloud and multicloud capabilities with access to AWS, Azure, Google, Oracle, IBM, Alibaba, and Salesforce.

Zayo has a new partner for its CloudLink solutions. TierPoint Data Centers will be offering Zayo’s cloud connectivity product in 22 data centers across 12 markets nationally. The cloud connectivity space continues to be one of the most dynamic infrastructure topics, as both network and colo providers look to tweak things to better service what has become the most important segment to be in.

Arvig has made an M&A move up in Minnesota with the purchase of Palmer Wireless.  Palmer offers fixed wireless services to 1500 customers in the St. Cloud metro area and has 24 route miles of fiber in the area as well.  Palmer also has Border-to-Border Broadband development grants, which Arvig will use to continue expanding last mile services in southern Benton County and Sherburne County.  Palmer’s former owners will be staying on with the combined company.

And Fusion has finally closed its $600M merger with Birch, spending 50M shares and refinancing $444M of Birch’s debt after closing a $680M senior secured credit facility late last week. The combined cloud and business services company will trade under the ticker FSNN, and has undergone a 1:1.5 stock split, and has also announced the divestiture of its carrier business unit. Now we get to see what the new ownership has planned for the $500M revenue business.