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European fibre prices ‘lower than US’, RBC analysts tell Metro Connect event

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Tougher competition – and lack of consolidation – means European fibre prices are below those in the US, a Capacity conference heard today.

Analysts from RBC Capital Markets told Capacity Media’s Metro Connect Europe conference in Amsterdam that there are lower prices for metro dark fibre, suburban dark fibre and long-haul dark fibre compared with equivalent services in the US.

“A lot of it is because there’s been so much consolidation in the US,” Jonathan Atkin told the conference. “There’s more choice of vendor in Europe and therefore prices are more competitive.”

The US market “is more focused as there is more uniformity”, he added, saying that “Europe may be more target-rich from an M&A perspective”.

His colleague Jonathan Dann said that many Wall Street analysts have a “misperception of fibre in Europe”, because of their experience of companies that went bankrupt. “If you are an American analyst you understand Zayo and [the former] Level 3,” said Dann – but the fibre business in Europe is far more disparate and carriers do not have the same profile.

But Dann suggested that the route to consolidation would be better within national boundaries, rather than by trying to create cross-border carriers. “Single-country operators look a lot more valuable [in Europe] than a few years ago,” he said

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