Monday, July 17, 2017

FirstLight to acquire 186 Communications, operator of New England fibre network

Albany-based FirstLight, a fibre bandwidth infrastructure services provider operating in U.S. northeast and a company of Oak Hill Capital Partners, announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire 186 Communications, operator of a high-capacity fibre network in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont.

The transaction will combine 186 Communications' network infrastructure with FirstLight's expansive fibre network and portfolio of data, Internet, data centre, cloud and voice services.

Upon completion of the transaction, together with FirstLight's pending acquisition of Finger Lakes Technologies Group, the company will operate approximately 14,000 route miles of high-capacity optical network connecting nearly 8,000 locations and twelve data centres across the northeast region. The transaction is expected to close at the end of 2017.

FirstLight announced in March that it intended to acquire Finger Lakes Technologies Group (FLTG), a subsidiary of Trumansburg Telephone Company (TTC) that provides data, Internet and voice solutions to business customers across New York and Pennsylvania. The transaction was designed to strengthen FirstLight's position as a major fibre communications provider in the northeast region.

The transaction was to combine FLTG's privately owned fibre network, spanning nearly 2,500 route miles in New York state and Pennsylvania, with FirstLight's 9,500-plus route mile fibre network and data, Internet, data centre, cloud and voice services.

Previously, in January 2017 FirstLight completed similar transactions with Oxford Networks and Sovernet Communications. Under the agreement, Oak Hill Capital acquired Oxford Networks and combined the operations with FirstLight, with Novacap, Bank Street Capital Partners and Riverside Partners continuing as minority investors in the combined company. The Sovernet transaction closed in May 2017.

FirstLight provides fibre-based data, Internet, data centre, cloud and voice services to enterprise and carrier customers in the Northeast, connecting more than 5,500 locations in service and over 20,000 locations serviceable via its 10,000 route mile network. FirstLight offers a portfolio of high bandwidth connectivity solutions including Ethernet, wavelength and dark fibre services.

Headquartered in Nashua, New Hampshire, 186 Communications operates a network with 1,900 route miles of fibre and serves local, national and global broadband providers and enterprise customers. 186 is a member of the Joint Trench Partnership (JTP) in Boston and has a fibre ring in each of the A, B, and E loops, interconnected with fibre routes from points in New Hampshire to Boston. It also manages three colocation facilities, including at its Nashua facility.