AT&T is king of U.S. on-net fiber buildings: Vertical Systems Group

For the fourth straight year, AT&T ruled the roost for on-net fiber lit buildings in the U.S., according to research by Vertical Systems Group. Rounding out the top five on Vertical System Group's Leaderboard, were, in order, Verizon, Spectrum Enterprise, CenturyLink and Comcast.

Cox, Crown Castle Fiber, Frontier, Zayo, Altice USA, Atlantic Broadband, Windstream and Consolidated Communications followed Comcast on the Leaderboard. In total, 13 retail and wholesale fiber providers made the top tier of the Leaderboard.

Atlantic Broadband, which was ranked 11th, and Consolidated Communications (13th) attained their Leaderboard rankings for the first time while Windstream slid from 11th to 12th.

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In order to qualify for the Leaderboard, service providers needed to have 10,000 or more on-net fiber-lit commercial buildings in the U.S. by the end of last year. 

“The number of on-net fiber lit commercial buildings exceeded one million in 2019 as network providers concentrated on U.S. footprint expansion. New fiber deployments are providing dedicated access to network services, connecting 5G small cells, enabling low latency for edge computing, and supporting the massive bandwidth surge for webscale companies,” said Rosemary Cochran, principal of Vertical Systems Group, in a statement. “Our 2020 outlook is that while essential fiber deployments will proceed, some planned installations will be adjusted due to unanticipated capacity demands caused by the coronavirus crisis."

Additionally, 12 companies made the grade for Vertical Systems Group's 2019 Challenge Tier: Cincinnati Bell, Cleareon, Cogent, Conterra, DQE Communications, Everstream, FirstLight, IFN, Logix Fiber Networks, Segra, Unite Private Networks, and Uniti Fiber. These fiber providers each qualified for the 2019 Challenge Tier by having between 2,000 and 9,999 U.S. fiber-lit commercial buildings.

GTT and FiberLight dropped from the Challenge tier into Vertical System Group's Market Player tier in the latest rankings while Conterra, DQE Communications and Everstream advanced to the Challenge Tier from the Market Player tier.

The Market Player tier included all other fiber providers with fewer than 2,000 U.S. commercial fiber-lit buildings. The 2019 Market Players tier includes more than two hundred metro, regional and other fiber providers, including: Armstrong, C Spire, Centracom, CTS Telecom, Douglas Fast Net, EnTouch Business, ExteNet Systems, Fatbeam, FiberLight, Fusion, Google Fiber, GTT, Hunter Communications, LS Networks, Mediacom Business, MetroNet Business, Midco Business, Pilot Fiber, PS Lightwave, Shentel Business, Silver Star Telecom, Syringa, TDS Telecom, TPX Communications, U.S. Signal, Veracity, WOW Business and others.

For the rankings, a fiber lit building was defined as a commercial site or data center that has on-net optical fiber connectivity to a network provider’s infrastructure, plus active service termination equipment onsite. It doesn't include standalone cell towers, small cells not located in fiber lit buildings, near net buildings, buildings classified as coiled at curb or coiled in building, HFC-connected buildings, carrier central offices, residential buildings, and private or dark fiber installations.