FirstLight Fiber combines operations with Sovernet

15 March 2017 | James Pearce


FirstLight Fiber has combined its operations with Sovernet Communications after owner Oak Hill Capital Partners completed its acquisition of the latter.

The deal will see FirstLight’s fibre bandwidth infrastructure in north eastern United States combined with Sovernet’s high-capacity network transport, broadband Internet, data centre and voice services in Vermont and New York.

Oak Hill acquired FirstLight in September of last year, and has since bought a number of US carriers, including Oxford Networks and Finger Lakes Technologies Group.

This latest acquisition will add around 3,300 fibre route miles in New York, 1,300 miles through Vermont, and Sovernet’s tier III data centre in the same state.

“The successful acquisition of Sovernet, which includes its New York ION network, substantially increases our fiber density and reach allowing us to better serve our existing customers while expanding into new markets as well,” said Kurt Van Wagenen, president and CEO of FirstLight. 

“We expect this to be a seamless integration in which our customers will quickly reap the benefits of our enhanced operating platform and capabilities.

Once all of the acquisitions are completely integrated, FirstLight will own a regional network of around 12,000 route fibre miles across six states and Canada. That will include more than 7,000 on-net locations and 12 data centres across its footprint.

Oak Hill claimed the spate of acquisitions are “strategically significant” for FirstLight and demonstrate Oak Hill’s “vision of creating the most extensive fibre-based communications services provider operating in the Northeast.”

The US has seen a number of tie-ups recently across its fibre providers. CenturyLink is set to merge with Level 3 Communications in a $34 billion deal expected to close in Q3 of this year. Windstream has also merged with EarthLink in an all stock deal valued at $1.1 billion.

Cross River also announced a partnership with ZenFi at the recent Metro Connect event in Miami.