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Zayo builds long-haul Nevada-Oregon dark fiber route

Zayo has gotten out its network backhoe again, announcing plans to build a new long-haul dark fiber network between Reno, Nevada, and Umatilla, Oregon.

But this is not a speculative build.

The route is anchored by a webscale customer and is generating strong demand from additional customers.

Reno is a fast-growing data center hub for webscale companies. Based on its proximity to Silicon Valley, it offers affordable real estate, industrial power and a favorable tax environment.

Upon completion, Zayo will add over 600 route miles along the western U.S. and add to the Portland and Umatilla route announced last year. As a fully underground route, the fiber network route connects the two cities via Prineville, Oregon.

“The expansion, which was anchored by a major web scale customer, creates a diverse underground route between Portland and other major cities and data centers on the West Coast,” said Andrew Crouch, president and COO of Zayo during the fiscal-second-quarter 2018 earnings call, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript.

From a broader company perspective, securing the contract to build the Umatilla-to-Reno long-haul dark fiber route reflected Zayo’s need to raise network investment dollars it spent during the quarter.

“Our bookings quality remains high with total bookings contract value in the quarter that is 2.6x the associated committed CapEx,” Crouch said. “In the quarter, we signed one new major network expansion project, building the Umatilla to Reno long-haul dark fiber route, which is the reason you see sequential increase in the capital committed.”

What’s even more compelling for Zayo is that the expansion creates a diverse route between Portland and other major cities on the West Coast. Expanding the West Coast network presence has been an ongoing effort for Zayo, one that culminated in the service provider purchasing the former Electric Lightwave last year.

By making that purchase, Zayo immediately gained 8,100 route miles of long-haul fiber and 4,000 miles of dense metro fiber in Portland, Oregon; Seattle; Sacramento, California; San Francisco; San Jose, California; Salt Lake City; Spokane, Washington; and Boise, Idaho, with on-net connectivity to more than 3,100 enterprise buildings and 100 data centers.

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