Windstream extends fiber to 50-plus carrier neutral hotels, plans further expansions in 2016

Windstream may have previously sold off its data center assets, but its wholesale unit's ongoing fiber build out to more data centers push shows that it is finding a growing niche in the interconnection business.

Jeff Brown, director of product marketing and product management for Windstream Carrier Solutions, told FierceTelecom in an interview that Windstream is currently connected to dozens of data centers. 

Windstream is planning on further expansions of fiber to more data centers throughout the rest of 2016 and into 2017.

"We're currently connected to 50-plus data centers and counting to major carrier neutral data centers," Brown said. "This is in addition to some carrier hotels and that program and we'll probably announce more partnerships with other providers as the year goes on."  

Through its partnership with QTS, Windstream will provide QTS's customers with a broad range of Ethernet and optical wavelength services with speeds ranging from 1G to 100G.

Brown said that its move to partner with QTS and other data center providers reflects its customers' needs to connect to the cloud.

"As traffic moves to the cloud, there's importance in connecting to these third party data centers to handle the transport needs for customers in different business units so that's why that will continue to be an area of focus for us," said Brown.

By partnering with data center providers like 365 Data Centers, Windstream can further its fiber reach into secondary markets like Buffalo, New York and Tampa, Florida.

"These aren't the top peering markets, but they are areas where you have a lot of traffic in both enterprise and wholesale," Brown said. "It makes sense for both of us."

As the wholesale group builds out to more data centers, Windstream is equipping the centers to be able to offer higher bandwidth services.

"In a lot of these data centers, we're equipping them for higher speed bandwidth services, including wavelength services that customers are starting to order more commonly on the enterprise side," Brown said.

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