TW Telecom rides public fiber; more to come

TW Telecom (NASDAQ:TWTC) has signed an agreement to use the public wholesale fiber network being constructed in Ontario County, New York, joining Verizon Wireless as another customer of the five-city, 180-mile, 144-strand fiberoptic network that local government officials hope to complete early next year.

Ontario County’s network is being built without the aid of federal broadband stimulus financing. Much of the funding for the $7.5-million project begun in late 2005 was made possible thanks to a natural gas company, Empire State Pipeline, whose pipeline goes through the area.

But as federal stimulus funds pour into public/private wholesale middle-mile projects across the country, service providers like TW Telecom that are used to building out their own fiber may be able to expand their reach into areas that were previously economically prohibitive.

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