RealTime IT News

SBC, MFN Sign Long-Term Dark Fiber Lease

Global fiber city-dweller Metromedia Fiber Network Inc. Tuesday announced it struck a $432 million dark fiber leasing deal with SBC Communications Inc.

The 20-year agreement enables SBC to expand its local presence in 30 major markets outside of its regional footprint. SBC plans to obtain dark fiber from MFN for the majority of the markets in its national expansion, giving the company high-speed last-mile connectivity in otherwise untapped metro markets.

Nick Tanzi, MFN president and chief operating officer, said markets include its previously announced U.S. network expansion to Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

"This contract underscores the inherent value of MFN's expansive, carrier-neutral fiber network and will enable SBC to expand its reach to new markets in the most highly populated metropolitan areas of America," Tanzi said.

Ron Blake, SBC president said the agreement with MFN is a major step for its ability to provide broadband communication to millions of businesses and consumers across the nation.

"MFN's global leadership in optical Internet infrastructure will provide us with the fiber network we need to expand our footprint, with exceptional speed to market, into a number of out-of-region geographic areas," Blake said.

Through its subsidiaries in the U.S., SBC currently operates 90.4 million voice grade equivalent lines, serves wireless telecom services to 11.2 million customers and is undertaking a national expansion program that will deploy its service to an additional 30 markets.

MFN is working to deploy an end-to-end optical network solution designed to revolutionize the fiber optic industry. By offering unlimited, unmetered bandwidth at a fixed cost, the firm intends to eliminate bandwidth barriers and redefine the way broadband capacity is sold.

The company is currently extending its fiber optic infrastructure to the end users in strategic top-tier markets enabling its customers to deploy high-bandwidth Internet, video and multimedia applications. In addition to its current expansion in 51 cities in North America, MFN is working to establish its international presence with planned fiber optic network buildouts in 16 cities throughout Europe.