Windstream says new subsea cable systems are good targets for southern fiber expansion

Windstream’s integration of the fiber routes the service provider purchased from EarthLink is in full force, enabling it to offer network diversity and connections to an array of new submarine cable landing stations.

These new routes provide carrier and enterprise customer’s connectivity between major interconnection points in Tier 1 cities, as well as Tier 2 and Tier 3 markets across the United States.

By purchasing EarthLink, the service provider will be able to take advantage of routes it did not have in Florida.

Prior to being purchased by Windstream, EarthLink was beginning to develop a long-haul fiber network, one that included a route between Miami, Tampa to Tallahassee.  

RELATED: Windstream Wholesale adds 5 fiber routes to 100G network, extends EarthLink capabilities

Jeff Brown, director product management and product marketing at Windstream, told FierceTelecom that the EarthLink acquisition gave it a number of new routes in the southern U.S. that more of its customers are demanding

“As a result of the EarthLink assets, we’re able to get some unique routes in the southern part of the country,” Brown said. “We have a high degree of interest from people who buy a lot of high bandwidth transport and are looking for diversity from their current provider or from us.”

Landing station connectivity

Besides offering customers the option to connect from Tier 1 to Tier 2 and Tier 3 markets, the new routes will be able to accommodate content providers and service providers that need connectivity from submarine cable landing stations.

These landing stations are providing connections from various points in Florida from a number of new cable systems.

One of the key points of its southern reach is being to have connectivity in Miami. In 2015, Windstream extended the long-haul core network into Miami to fulfill greater demands from its cloud and content provider customers. Windstream currently offers 10G wavelength services more than 60 Point-of-Presence (POP) locations throughout Florida, including nearly 40 in the greater Miami metropolitan area. 

The EarthLink acquisition gives Windstream an additional route out of Miami.

“The other real advantage the new network connections gives us is the ability to market full speed ahead to carriers coming off the landing stations in Miami,” Brown said. “Previously we only had the single route going from Miami to the East Coast, which limited our ability to do business with those customers, but with the EarthLink network we can provide a full set of solutions for content providers or carriers coming into Miami from Latin America.”

Brown said that while it has seen growing demand from the Miami route, the ongoing buildout of new submarine cables throughout the East Coast is opening new potential opportunities for its wholesale group.   

“The Olympics spurred a lot of demand in Miami and there are a lot of new cables going in, not just in southern Florida, but other parts of Florida and up and down the East Coast,” Brown said. “We’re trying to take advantage of that so we’re seeing a lot of demand in the subsea cable space.”

Western expansion opportunities

Windstream will also be able to pursue additional long-haul opportunities in the western United States, which it expanded into October 2016.

By establishing a presence in the West, the service provider puts itself in a similar situation to take advantage of new long-haul and metro fiber opportunities. Set to be completed later this year, Windstream will carry out the network build in two phases.

While Windstream has yet to build out to the emerging set of new cable landing stations in Southern California and Hillsboro, Oregon, the company is weighing its options to potentially serve those areas.

“We don’t have quite the dense network in the West to be able to do that, but we’re examining it and taking a look at those business cases,” Brown said. “There’s a little more leg work involved for us to connect to it.”

Windstream’s competitors like Zayo can now play in this arena as its acquisition of Electric Lightwave includes routes into Hillsboro and Southern California, for example.