2021 U.S. Fiber Lit Buildings LEADERBOARD

AT&T holds #1 rank; LEADERBOARD positions shuffle; Challenge Tier tightens

BOSTON, MA, May 26, 2022 – Vertical Systems Group’s 2021 U.S. Fiber Lit Buildings LEADERBOARD results are as follows (in rank order by number of on-net fiber lit buildings): AT&T, Verizon, Spectrum Enterprise, Lumen, Comcast Business, Cox Business, Crown Castle, Zayo, Breezeline (formerly Atlantic Broadband), Frontier and Altice USA. These eleven retail and wholesale fiber providers qualify for this benchmark with 15,000 or more on-net U.S. fiber lit commercial buildings as of year-end 2021.

Additionally, eight companies attain a 2021 Challenge Tier citation as follows (in alphabetical order): Altafiber (formerly Cincinnati Bell), Consolidated Communications, FirstLight, Great Plains Communications, Segra, Unite Private Networks, Uniti Fiber and Windstream. These fiber providers each qualify for the 2021 Challenge Tier with between 5,000 and 14,999 U.S. fiber lit commercial buildings.

“Fiber providers expanded their U.S. footprints to more than 1.3 million U.S. fiber lit commercial buildings and data centers in 2021. Share growth for most of the top retail and wholesale providers was organic, with few acquisitions impacting market positions,” said Rosemary Cochran, principal of Vertical Systems Group. “Investments in fiber are expected to accelerate, fueled by private and government funding. Fiber is the key strategic asset for delivery of high performance, gigabit-speed connectivity for business applications, 5G and residential broadband.”

U.S. Fiber Lit Buildings LEADERBOARD 2021

YE 2021 Fiber Lit Buildings LEADERBOARD Highlights

  • AT&T secures the #1 rank on the U.S. Fiber Lit Buildings LEADERBOARD. The company attained fourth position on our U.S. Wavelength Services LEADERBOARD, behind Lumen, Zayo and Verizon.
  • Zayo advances to eighth position on the LEADERBOARD, up from tenth with the addition of lit buildings from its acquisition of Intelligent Fiber Network (IFN). IFN was cited in the Fiber Lit Buildings Challenge Tier in 2020.
  • Breezeline (formerly Atlantic Broadband) drops from eighth to ninth position, and Frontier moves down from ninth to tenth.
  • The 2021 the Challenge Tier threshold increases to 5,000 fiber lit buildings as a result of the expanding number of retail and wholesale fiber providers. Previously the minimum figure was 2,000 fiber lit buildings.
  • As a result of the higher threshold, eight companies attain a 2021 Challenge Tier citation as compared to fourteen in 2020.
  • Great Plains Communications debuts in the Challenge Tier based on acquisitions that include USA Communications.
  • Moving from last year’s Challenge Tier into the 2021 Market Player tier are Cleareon, Cogent, Conterra, DQE Communications, Everstream and Logix Fiber Networks.
  • Vertical Systems Group’s latest Fiber Plus STATFlash shows that 24.7% of commercial buildings in the U.S. are lit with optical fiber.

Market Players include all other fiber providers with fewer than 5,000 U.S. commercial fiber lit buildings. The 2021 Market Players tier covers more than two hundred metro, regional and other fiber providers, including the following companies (in alphabetical order): ACD, Alaska Communications, Armstrong Business Solutions, Astound Business, C Spire, Centracom, Cleareon, Cogent, Conterra, DQE Communications, Everstream, Douglas Fast Net, ExteNet Systems, Fatbeam, FiberLight, Flo Networks, Fusion Connect, Google Fiber, GTT, Horizon, Hunter Communications, Logix Fiber Networks, LS Networks, Mediacom Business, MetroNet Business, Midco, Pilot Fiber, PS Lightwave, Shentel Business, Silver Star Telecom, Sonic Business, Sparklight Business, Syringa, T-Mobile, TDS Telecom, TPx, U.S. Signal, Veracity, WOW!Business, Ziply Fiber and others.

Vertical’s Definition: Fiber Lit Building

For this analysis, a fiber lit building is defined as a commercial site or data center that has on-net optical fiber connectivity to a network provider’s infrastructure, plus active service termination equipment onsite. Excluded from this analysis are standalone cell towers, small cells not located in fiber lit buildings, near net buildings, buildings classified as coiled at curb or coiled in building, HFC-connected buildings, carrier central offices, residential buildings, and private or dark fiber installations.

Detailed @Fiber Plus research covering the lit building count detail by provider that powers the 2021 Fiber Lit Buildings LEADERBOARD rankings is available exclusively to ENS Research Program subscribers. Research content also includes Fiber penetration analysis for top providers and a 5-Year view of U.S. Fiber Provider share trends. Analysis of fiber lit buildings covers five size segments (<20, 20–50, 51–100, 101–250, 251+ employees) plus quantification of U.S. fiber market opportunities. Also included is new @Wavelength research with circuit and revenue projections, plus the retail and wholesale circuit counts by network provider that power the U.S. Wavelength Services LEADERBOARD. Contact us for more information and pricing.
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