RealTime IT News

CTC Communications Embarks On Fiber Network Buildout

Integrated Communications Provider CTC Communications Group, Inc. Monday signed agreements totaling more than $190 million to buildout its fiber optic network.

The fiber rollout is fueled in part from proceeds of its recent $200 million convertible preferred stock offering and is expected to take two years to complete.

CTC (CPTL) agreed to purchase more than 8,300 route miles of dark fiber from Williams Communications Inc. The $115 million deal includes co-location and maintenance agreements for 40 Williams (WCG) Points of Presence, as well as and 116 Bell Atlantic Corp. POPs.

The Bell Atlantic (BEL) agreements, combined with the Williams contract, provide a combined total of 316 additional points for business access to CTC's network. CTC intends to expand its current network along the Washington, D.C. to the Boston corridor and into 40 major markets, extending from the central U.S. throughout the East Coast.

CTC will install and operate its optronics at points along the fiber routes. CTC is spending an additional $75 million to purchase the hardware from Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) to complete the network outbuild.

CTC intends to install its fiber optic equipment and light up the new routes in several phases. The first phase is scheduled to start with the Boston to Washington DC route and is anticipated to be operational in the summer of 2000. Part of the phase extends CTC's network south to Virginia, northwest to Ohio, east through New York and scheduled for completion early next year when its loop returns to New England.

The second phase begins in December and will extend coverage from Virginia south to Florida, west to Texas, north to Illinois and then easterly through Indiana and Tennessee to Georgia. CTC expects to be complete the outbuild by January 2002.

Robert J. Fabbricatore, CTC chairman and chief executive officer, said the deals are essential elements of the firm's strategic growth plan.

"The fiber and co-location initiatives are integral to the CTC strategic growth plan and to enabling the company's current and future customers to excel in the rapidly emerging New World of web-based communications and e-commerce," Fabbricatore said.

"The high-quality fiber buildout establishes the future roadmap for ICN Network and provides CTC with the tools to effectively manage network costs while keeping pace with the escalating demand for bandwidth."

Gordon Martin, Williams president of carrier services, said its network would enable CTC to access the bandwidth it needs to fuel its expansion plan.

"The scope, density and advanced architecture of Williams Communications' network provides companies like CTC with the ability to rapidly acquire a world-class telecommunications infrastructure and achieve broad market penetration to enable their successful growth," Martin said.

CTC has been on the move since the beginning of the year when it secured a $225 million deal to fund its base plan for expansion of both its sales offices and ICN network. In March, CTC tapped industry veteran and networking expert Russell Oliver to join the team as vice president of network operations. Oliver is responsible for all fiber transmission, switching, operations and growth of the ICN network.

CTC is an aggressive full-service ICP that offers converged Internet, voice, data, and video solutions to business customers in the robust