FiberLight Sees a Bright Future

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Article Originally Published in Inside Towers

FiberLight, headquartered in Alpharetta, GA, is a fast-growing fiber transport company. The company’s network currently spans more than 19,000 fiber route miles, predominantly in Texas, and extends into Southeast and mid-Atlantic states providing connectivity to over 180 serviceable data centers and 1,560 towers.

“The vision for FiberLight has changed in the last 10 months,” comments Bill Major, FiberLight CEO. He says the team has shifted to a more customer-centric approach. Its go-to-market strategy is to “get into the big shiny buildings” in target segments like Enterprises, Hyperscalers and data centers, Wholesale service providers, and mobile network operators.

The account management and inside sales teams have been proactive in identifying near-net buildings, that is, buildings close to its core networks, in cities such as Atlanta, Baltimore, Dallas, Northern Virginia, Tampa, and Washington, D.C. According to Major, these teams “have been executing,” resulting in increased bookings and new installations.

Connecting Cross-Border Technology Hubs

Texas is FiberLight’s biggest market with roughly 14,000 route-miles. The company is expanding rapidly with new routes in various planning and deployment stages, intended to connect data centers in priority markets.

 In partnership with MDC, a carrier-neutral colocation services provider along the U.S. border with Mexico, and Neulink, a new telecom operator based in Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico, FiberLight announced new routes from Dallas to Querétaro and Dallas to Monterrey. FiberLight provides fiber connectivity services into MDC’s data center in Eagle Pass, TX, and bridges major data centers in the U.S. and Mexico.

“Our partnership with NeuLink strengthens our offering for businesses by providing a secure, diverse pathway from Dallas to Querétaro and Dallas to Monterrey,” says Jay Anderson, FiberLight CTO.

According to the companies, Querétaro and Monterrey are two of the fastest-growing technology hubs in Mexico, where the demand for cloud services and over-the-top media is creating a data center boom. This data center growth is spurring cross-border enterprise trade that requires a secure fiber infrastructure and diverse interconnectivity at strategic crossing points along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The new routes represent FiberLight’s focus on expanding its network across Texas and builds on its partnership with MDC Data Centers to diversify pathways into the Mexican market. FiberLight has previously announced connectivity and border crossings through El Paso, Laredo, McAllen, and Brownsville.

FiberLight is also developing key routes between major data center markets along the eastern seaboard. It is in the planning stages for a route between Ashburn in Northern Virginia and Charlotte, NC. The route will extend from Charlotte to the major Atlanta market. Lit wavelength services are already available. Going west, the company is planning a route from Dallas to Los Angeles.

A Full Range of Dark & Lit Services

FiberLight offers a full range of lit services and dark fiber. Enterprises can use Ethernet networking. Data centers can take advantage of high capacity 100G and 400G wavelength connections. FiberLight also provides fiber-to-the-tower backhaul connections for MNOs like Verizon and AT&T, typically with 10G, and some sites with 100G connections. Certainly, dark fiber is available on markets with the ability to handle unlimited scalable bandwidth.

It’s also investing around $5 million for hardening the 1,300 route-mile DASH (Dallas-Austin-San Antonio-Houston) network that is delivering 100G and 400G wavelength services to high priority customers. Major says that the company will invest in its network “where it makes sense.”

FiberLight’s Flourishing Footprint

Major pointed out that besides organic growth, the company has potential for acquisitions of smaller, local fiber operators to expand the company’s footprint. With numerous smaller operators struggling to gain traction, he sees what he refers to as “a CLEC-equivalent consolidation” taking place among fiber companies in the next 12-18 months. “That is the opportunity for FiberLight,” he says.

Certainly, FiberLight has the financial backing it needs to grow. The company was acquired by a consortium led by H.R.L. Morrison & Co, a New York-based global infrastructure investment firm. The consortium also includes the Australian Retirement Trust and a managed client of UBS Asset Management. This investor group provides a perpetual fund that positions FiberLight to accelerate its network expansion and capitalize on the growing demand for high-capacity fiber infrastructure.