Friday, April 7, 2017

FirstLight Provides Dark Fibre for Wireless Carrier in New England

FirstLight, a fibre bandwidth infrastructure services provider operating in New York and northern New England, announced a long-term dark fibre contract with a major wireless carrier for the implementation of a new metropolitan CRAN ring throughout Manchester, New Hampshire, Biddeford, Maine and Burlington, Vermont.

FirstLight stated that the fibre networks have been designed to support additional small cell deployments across smaller, Tier 2 and 3 markets throughout the region. In addition, the service provider's solutions are also available to enterprise customers along the newly built routes in New England.

The company noted that small cell technology is advancing as wireless carriers seek efficient solutions able to deliver network management and greater network capacity as traffic increases. While noting that mobile carriers have to date focused on expanding infrastructure in metro markets and the rural and remote market for small cells is in its early stages, FirstLight stated that according to industry estimates deployments will increase from around 8,150 units in 2014 to 87,644 units by 2020.

The company believes that the recent deployment in New England demonstrates that wireless carriers are beginning to turn their attention to Tier 2 and 3 markets, where they will build out non-macro cell site network infrastructure to support traffic growth and prepare for the future evolution to 5G.

FirstLight noted that this agreement is the latest in a number of projects completed throughout its footprint that will bring fibre-based connectivity to macro and non-macro sites for multiple wireless carriers.

FirstLight recently announced that owner Oak Hill Capital Partners had completed the acquisition of Sovernet Communications and combined the operations of the two companies. Sovernet offers high-capacity network transport, broadband Internet, data centre and voice services in Vermont and New York leveraging a network spanning approximately 3,300 fibre route miles in New York and 1,300 fibre route miles in Vermont.

Combined with the previous acquisitions of Oxford Networks and Finger Lakes Technologies Group, FirstLight has a regional network comprising around 12,000 route miles of fibre across six states and connecting to Montreal, Canada, with more than 5,000 lit locations, 7,000 on-net locations, access to 20,000 near-net locations and 12 data centres.

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