Zayo is investing in its metro dark fiber and long-haul networks

Zayo Networks is investing in its long-haul and metro dark fiber networks as well as expanding into new areas such as managed services.

Speaking at the Incompas Conference in Denver today, Zayo President Andres Irlando said that since going private 2020, Zayo is laser-focused on optimizing its existing assets. Irlando noted that prior to going public in 2020 Zayo had been on an acquisition spree, snapping up 45 companies in a short time. “It was a rollup machine,” he said.

Zayo’s “next-gen” strategy includes investing in long-haul dark fiber routes. Earlier this year the company rolled out four new high-capacity links between Dallas and Atlanta, Las Vegas and Phoenix, Denver and Salt Lake City, and Cleveland and Columbus. Irlando said it will deliver more routes by year-end.

In addition, the company just announced the expansion of its IP network into the border cities of McAllen and Laredo, Texas with two new 100G IP points of presence (PoPs) and 400G wavelength capabilities. Irlando said that these two new PoPs are very strategically important for commerce to and from Mexico.

Irlando noted that while Zayo continues to support its large customers, which have historically been large hyperscaler and infrastructure companies, the company is also focusing on mid-market enterprise customers. As part of that strategy, Zayo is putting renewed focus on its metropolitan dark fiber network. “We have a very dense metro dark fiber network in 30 to 50 of the top municipalities in North America,” Irlando said. “Historically we haven’t done much with that asset.”

But that is changing. Zayo is in the midst of “re-architecting” that network, and will add five new markets this quarter and into 2023. Irlando said that the company currently has 30,000 on-net buildings enabled and is in the midst of adding more near-net buildings to its portfolio. The goal, according to Irlando, is to improve those metro market networks performance to make them appealing to enterprises and the company’s carrier partners.

When asked about Zayo’s recent acquisition of Education Networks of America, Irlando said that this acquisition is key to Zayo’s goal of expanding its managed services portfolio into vertical markets such as education. “This quadruples the size of our education market,” he said.

In addition, Zayo announced earlier this year its plans to bring Allstream into its fold. Zayo, acquired Allstream in 2017 but until now the company had been operating independently. Zayo is merging Allstream products with the rest of its business and creating a more streamlined approach for mid-size enterprise customers. “We can offer managed services around cloud-based voice and collaboration services,” Irlando said.