Infrastructure News

News and announcements from all sectors in digital infrastructure

Equinix Boosts 5G And Edge Ecosystem Innovation With Nokia

Source: Equinix

 Equinix, Inc. (Nasdaq: EQIX), the world’s digital infrastructure company™, today announced it has deployed a first-of-its-kind, fully functional 5G and Edge Technology Development Center which includes a fully operational, non-standalone 5G network from Nokia to test and validate various 5G services and use cases. Equinix is investing in helping service providers and network operators bring innovative concepts to market by providing an agile production framework for assessing, incubating and testing 5G and edge solutions for end-to-end secure applications.

The 5G and Edge Technology Development Center—located at the Equinix DA11 International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data center in Dallas—brings together select ecosystem participants to develop end-to-end edge solutions by providing a production-ready interconnection sandbox environment from the radio network to the cloud. Mobile network operators (MNOs), cloud platforms, technology vendors and enterprises come together at Equinix to test, demonstrate and accelerate complex 5G and edge scenarios—key activities that will make 5G deployments available to enterprises in the future. Equinix Fabric™ directly, securely and dynamically connects distributed infrastructure and digital ecosystems on Platform Equinix®. Customers can establish data center-to-data center network connections on demand between any two Equinix Fabric locations within a metro or globally via software-defined interconnection.

“As we look to a future where 5G is ubiquitous, the way that IP traffic moves between networks around the world will change completely, and interconnected data centers will play a crucial role in this new 5G-dominated future,” said Sean Hemphill, VP Webscale Business at Nokia. “Equinix’s approach to digital infrastructure enables access to a large ecosystem of end users and service providers. Nokia IP solutions underpin Equinix Fabric, providing seamless interconnection between its global data centers. We’re pleased that Equinix Fabric will bring the power of interconnection to help customers test real-world 5G and edge deployments.”

The Dallas-based 5G and Edge Technology Development Center will initially focus on the following use cases:

  • Mobile Hybrid Multicloud Connectivity: Assessing strategies for ensuring that 5G user traffic can reach multiple clouds and hybrid edge computing resources, effectively and efficiently.
  • Network Slicing: Aiming to facilitate private wireless enterprise networks supporting secure, predictable, end-to-end quality of experience.
  • Distributed Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: Investigating the optimization of AI/ML applications and infrastructure distributed across the edge, directly connected to 5G, and interconnected to clouds for enabling data-dense capabilities, such as scene and video analytics.
  • Enablement and Orchestration of Infrastructure: Exploring optimal deployment strategies for 5G RAN, fronthaul, core and edge computing infrastructure and functions management across domains.
  • Augmented and Virtual Reality: Validating a uniform experience, consistent quality and anywhere usage with high mobility and high motion.
  • Gaming: Demonstrating responsive hosted-gaming, low-latency peripherals leveraging the metro edge for delivery.

Equinix is actively standing up novel 5G use cases. The first use case is Secure Edge from Exium, which enables highly secure, seamless multi-access edge compute functionality with tightly integrated security and network functions from the cloud, to edge locations, to the devices themselves. With Exium deployed at Equinix data centers, customers get close to on-prem performance with the benefits of cloud aggregation and also manage enterprise-grade traffic breakout in real time.

“Applications and artificial intelligence are moving to the edge, whether we’re ready or not,” said Farooq Muzaffar, COO, Exium. “As enterprises embrace digital transformation, automation and intelligence at the edge, it’s crucial to have a partner like Equinix. The 5G and Edge Technology Development Center has been an incredible resource for us and our customers as we incubate, develop and deploy secure edge AI services with 5G access.”

The Equinix 2020-21 Global Tech Trends Survey—which surveyed 2,600 IT decision makers—uncovered a crucial need for infrastructure technology exploration in this area. While most respondents agreed that the biggest impact of 5G is the ability it gives businesses to take advantage of new technologies, more than a third worried about the need to re-architect infrastructure to take advantage of 5G capabilities.

“As companies develop new 5G technologies and services, they need a real-world environment to test and bring their concepts to life,” said Justin Dustzadeh, CTO, Equinix. “With Equinix’s rich ecosystem of service providers, partners and clouds, the 5G and Edge Technology Development Center is an ideal place to fully test their concepts in a real way, enabling them to bring new capabilities to market, accelerate adoption and deliver new revenue streams faster.”

Jim Poole, VP Business Development, Equinix added, “We’re excited to invite private enterprises, commercial organizations and researchers across industries to Dallas to test, validate and accelerate complex 5G deployments and interoperability scenarios.”

SDC Capital Partners Closes Investment in IQ Fiber

Source: PRNewswire

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–SDC Capital Partners, LLC (“SDC”) announced today that funds managed by SDC have acquired a majority interest in IQ Fiber, LLC, a new residential fiber-optic internet provider headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. The transaction provides IQ Fiber with significant equity funding to complete the first phase of its all-fiber network build, passing more than 60,000 homes in the Jacksonville area.

“We are thrilled to partner with IQ Fiber in its initial launch in Jacksonville and are excited about the larger opportunity in Northeast Florida and beyond”Tweet this

“Consumers deserve a smarter internet choice,” said IQ Fiber CEO Ted Schremp. “High-speed internet has become a necessity and is truly the heartbeat of the modern home. With the launch of IQ Fiber, Jacksonville residents will soon have access to a state-of-the-art, 100% fiber-optic network with gigabit upload and download speeds, simple subscription plans and service experts who live and work in our community.”

“We are thrilled to partner with IQ Fiber in its initial launch in Jacksonville and are excited about the larger opportunity in Northeast Florida and beyond,” said Clinton Karcher, partner at SDC. “IQ Fiber’s commitment to providing exceptional customer service, coupled with state-of-the-art fiber network infrastructure in an underserved market, creates a formula for success.”

IQ Fiber plans to offer simple month-to-month rates with no hidden fees, surcharges or surprise price increases. IQ Fiber’s three service plans will deliver symmetrical internet speeds between 250 and 1,000 Mbps, with whole-home Wi-Fi service always included.

Fiber to the home represents the state-of-the-art for the delivery of broadband services, yet it is accessible to only 36% of the U.S. population. Compounding the consumer challenge, approximately 83 million Americans can only access broadband through a single provider. With today’s announcement, Jacksonville will soon have the freedom to choose a 100% fiber-optic network with simple, no-hassle plans, supported by local experts.

About IQ Fiber

IQ Fiber, LLC, headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, is a private equity-backed fiber-optic internet service provider. IQ Fiber is transforming the residential broadband market by offering a 100% fiber-optic network; stress-free plans with no data caps, contracts or hidden fees; and live, local experts to solve any problem that may arise. IQ Fiber plans to rapidly expand its residential fiber network throughout Northeast Florida. For more information, visit iqfiber.com.

About SDC Capital Partners

SDC Capital Partners, LLC is a global digital infrastructure investment firm. SDC invests in data centers, fiber networks, wireless infrastructure and associated businesses, with a focus on opportunities to leverage its deep operational expertise in partnership with exceptional teams to create value. For more information, please visit www.sdccapitalpartners.com.

DigitalBridge Announces Partnership With ImpactData to Deliver Digital Learning Infrastructure to Underserved Communities

BOCA RATON, Fla., September 13, 2021–(BUSINESS WIRE)–DigitalBridge Group, Inc. (NYSE: DBRG) (“DigitalBridge”) today announced a partnership with ImpactData, which partners with colleges and universities to build secure colocation data centers that give enterprises better access to their workloads while encouraging digital expansion in underserved communities.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, ImpactData is launching a first-of-its-kind network of distributed, edge data centers built exclusively on an inclusion-based delivery model. With DigitalBridge, ImpactData initially partners alongside Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to deliver proximate, high-powered data center capacity in any deployment, size, or scale. This connected ecosystem will enable enterprises to leverage their “Data for Good” to advance student learning, sustain HBCUs, and transform historically disinvested communities.

“In today’s world, digital connectivity is a critical resource that is not fully accessible to everyone. As a result, the digital divide is becoming wider, and our personal and professional lives increasingly rely on better, faster, and more dependable digital infrastructure,” said Marc Ganzi, Chief Executive Officer of DigitalBridge. “We’re excited to be a part of ImpactData’s vision to create ‘mini-cloud’ regions and digital learning hubs on the campuses of HBCUs, giving diverse communities better access to the resources they so desperately need.”

“The DigitalBridge team’s 25+ years of converged network-building experience will be invaluable as we create a new class of integrated digital learning infrastructure that fosters more interconnected campuses and communities,” said Terry Comer, Chief Executive Officer of ImpactData. “We look forward to collaborating with DigitalBridge and our other valued partners to offer a cost-effective, yet secure, hybrid cloud solution that extends digital connectivity to the edge while giving enterprises access to a more diverse, ‘career-ready’ pipeline of talent.”

ImpactData is currently exploring several attractive markets, including Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Nashville, Birmingham, and Charlotte, to pilot its cloud center model. “Our partnership with DigitalBridge provides a unique opportunity to establish high-speed connectivity and data infrastructure on HBCU campuses nationwide, sparking digital transformation in underserved communities that need it the most,” said David Calloway, ImpactData’s Chief Operating Officer. In addition, the company expects its innovative concept will deliver participating HBCU institutions value spanning recurring revenue streams, research level connectivity, on-campus innovation & entrepreneurship labs, commercial partnerships, as well as community-based workforce training programming, ultimately, ensuring everyone the opportunity to take part in the New Digital Economy.

About DigitalBridge

DigitalBridge (NYSE: DBRG) is a leading global digital infrastructure REIT. With a heritage of over 25 years investing in and operating businesses across the digital ecosystem including cell towers, data centers, fiber, small cells, and edge infrastructure, the DigitalBridge team manages a $35 billion portfolio of digital infrastructure assets on behalf of its limited partners and shareholders. Headquartered in Boca Raton, DigitalBridge has key offices in Los Angeles, New York, London, and Singapore.

About ImpactData

ImpactData designs, builds, and operates secure, purpose-built colocation data centers on the campuses of colleges and universities using an inclusion-based delivery model. Anchored in hybrid, multi-cloud technology, ImpactData is building a network of distributed, mini-cloud regions that integrate data infrastructure with academic, innovation & workforce training space to foster more interconnected campuses and communities. Through its “Data Centers Empowered” initiative, the Company expects to deploy over $1 billion in digital “learning” infrastructure over the next decade, the largest technology investment in the history of higher education.

WOW! Completes $1.125 Billion Sale of its Ohio Service Areas to Atlantic Broadband

Source: WOW

ENGLEWOOD, Colo., Sept. 1, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — WOW! Internet, Cable & Phone (NYSE: WOW), a leading broadband service provider, today announced the completion of the sale of its Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio service areas to Atlantic Broadband, a U.S. cable operator and subsidiary of Cogeco Communications Inc. (TSE: CCA) (“Cogeco”) for $1.125 billion. From this sale, WOW! expects to use approximately $1.0 billion in net proceeds to pay down a portion of the company’s debt.

The transaction with Atlantic Broadband is one of two separate, previously announced agreements for WOW! to sell a total of five service areas for gross proceeds of $1.8 billion. WOW!’s other agreement to sell its Chicago, Evansville, Indiana, and Anne Arundel, Maryland, service areas for $661 million to Astound Broadband (dba RCN, Grande Communications and Wave Broadband) remains on track to close in the fourth quarter of 2021. The divestitures will strengthen WOW!’s financial position and help accelerate WOW!’s broadband-first strategy, which includes additional investments in edge-outs, greenfield strategies and commercial services.

“The closing of this deal with Atlantic Broadband is a significant step in the execution of our broadband-first strategy, at a critical time in our industry,” said Teresa Elder, CEO of WOW!. “Our strengthened balance sheet bolsters our ability to invest in key growth areas as we continue to provide reliable, accessible and fast broadband solutions to our customers across our remaining service areas. And we are confident that Atlantic Broadband will be a good steward for our Ohio service area employees and customers.”

Since the transaction was initially announced in June of 2021, WOW! has been preparing to transition employees and customers in its Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio, service areas to Atlantic Broadband. WOW! has entered into a Transition Services Agreement with Atlantic Broadband to support post-transaction continuity of service during a transition period.

BofA Securities is acting as financial advisor to WOW!, and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, as well as Honigman LLP, are serving as legal counsel.

About WOW! Internet, Cable & Phone
WOW! is one of the nation’s leading broadband providers, with an efficient, high-performing network that passes 2.5 million residential, business and wholesale consumers. WOW! provides services in 17 markets, primarily in the Midwest and Southeast, including Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Maryland, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, Florida and Georgia. With an expansive portfolio of advanced services, including high-speed Internet services, cable TV, phone, business data, voice, and cloud services, the company is dedicated to providing outstanding service at affordable prices. WOW! also serves as a leader in exceptional human resources practices, having been recognized seven times by the National Association for Business Resources as a Best & Brightest Company to Work For, winning the award for the last three consecutive years. Visitwowway.com for more information.

Digital Colony acquires Landmark Dividend for $972 million

Source: DataCenter Dynamics

Infrastructure investment firm Digital Colony has announced plans to acquire Landmark Dividend LLC.

Affiliates of Digital Colony this week entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the real estate and infrastructure acquisition and development company, including its Landmark Infrastructure Partners LP subsidiary, for $972 million.

“The acquisition of Landmark Dividend is our first strategic step to secure a stronger future for Landmark Dividend and its various affiliated entities, including Landmark Infrastructure Partners,” said Steven M. Sonnenstein, senior managing director at Digital Colony.

“We look forward to working with the Landmark Dividend team to advance our shared mission of acquiring and managing critical digital infrastructure assets that deliver quick, reliable and responsive service for customers.”

The deal is expected to close in the coming weeks. TAP Advisors, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, RBC Capital Markets, Latham & Watkins LLP, and Regions Securities LLC assisted in the transaction.

“As a recognized leader in the digital infrastructure space with a proven track record, we believe the Digital Colony team’s expertise is crucial to advancing our strategy in today’s rapidly evolving market,” said Tim Brazy, Landmark Dividend CEO. “We are confident this acquisition by Digital Colony will position us to accelerate our pursuit of strategic consolidation in our fragmented industry and drive growth over the long-term.”

Digital Colony, Colony Capital’s digital infrastructure investment arm, recently raised $4.1 billion for its second fund.

Landmark Dividend’s most recent data center deal saw it acquire a third data center from Chirisa Investments in March.

The company and its affiliates have acquired 17 data center assets in the last 12 months in deals totaling more than $400 million.

American Tower: Edge computing worth ‘billions of dollars annually’

Source: LightReading

American Tower’s CEO believes the edge computing market could eventually grow into an opportunity worth billions of dollars every year. And he said his company is well positioned to take advantage of that situation.

“Given that our attractively located tower sites have existing access to fiber and power while already hosting multiple communications providers, they are a natural candidate to represent hub locations for these low latency wireless edge data centers,” Tom Bartlett said Thursday during American Tower’s quarterly conference call, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript of his remarks.

Further, he hinted at his company’s interest in pursuing the market through a number of avenues, including potentially major partnerships.

“The early data points we are seeing throughout the industry all suggest that this can be a meaningful, scalable opportunity that can represent solid upside for us in due time,” he said. “We intend to explore global joint ventures or partnerships to effectively leverage these inherent opportunities, and we continue to work through a number of different scenarios on that front.”

The open RAN driver

Bartlett also suggested that the trend toward open RAN technology in the wireless market is helping to drive the edge computing opportunity by separating the elements of a wireless network into pieces that could benefit from edge computing capabilities at the base of a cell tower.

“It’s different types of equipment that our customers are able to put together to be able to load onto the site, and at the base level, at the baseband unit, which is where the data center element comes in,” he said.

However, he cautioned that it’s a market that is still in its infancy. “We really are at the beginning of it,” he said.

American Tower is one of the nation’s three big cell tower owners. As a result, it’s among the companies that stand to benefit from network operators’ increased 5G spending for midband spectrum like 2.5GHz and C-band.

Rising revenues

“By all accounts, 2022 should be a good year for the domestic tower leasing industry,” argued the financial analysts at MoffettNathanson in a recent note to investors. “Between initial C-band deployments, T-Mobile making progress with its 2.5GHz rollout, and Dish Network entering the early stages of its greenfield network build, there is reason for optimism that growth will accelerate for all players.”

Indeed, American Tower’s rival, Crown Castle, just last week lifted its 2021 expectations for site rental revenues; adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA); and adjusted funds from operations (AFFO) due to those exact reasons.

American Tower, for its part, on Thursday posted first quarter financial results showing EBITDA and AFFO significantly ahead of most financial analysts’ expectations.

“American Tower’s results today confirm that the ramp in carrier activity that we expected is indeed happening: application volumes have increased, which should drive accelerating gross organic revenue growth as the year progresses and into 2022,” wrote the financial analysts at New Street Research in a note to investors.

This growth in its core business makes American Tower’s bet into edge computing even more noteworthy. The company just this week announced it expanded and upgraded the data center it purchased two years ago in Atlanta.

5G players eye the edge

But American Tower isn’t the only tower company eying the edge computing market. For example, SBA Communications has purchased several data centers and is now selling computing services under its new SBA Edge brand.

Meantime, wireless network operators like T-Mobile and Verizon are either building their own edge sites or partnering with companies that do.

However, the financial analysts at MoffettNathanson recently argued that most edge computing services can be supplied by a relatively small number of regional data centers rather than hundreds or thousands of tiny data centers on the edge, as American Tower’s Bartlett suggested.

“We don’t doubt that edge computing is a real trend,” they wrote in a recent report to investors. “Instead, our suspicion is that most edge computing needs can likely be met with regional deployments in locations like traditional data centers rather than deployments at the base of a cell tower.”

Telecom Biden targets $100B for universal broadband access in $2T plan

Source: Fierce Telecom

U.S. President Joe Biden outlined a plan to allocate $100 billion to fund broadband improvements with the goal of achieving 100% coverage by 2030, as part of a newly unveiled $2 trillion infrastructure package.

Among other things, the legislation would prioritize construction of “future proof” broadband infrastructure, as well as networks owned by “providers with less pressure to turn profits,” including local governments, non-profit organizations and co-operatives.

It would also require internet providers to “clearly disclose” pricing, as part of a bid to remove obstacles that prevent municipally-owned providers and co-ops “from competing on an even playing field” with private companies. Finally, it would seek to reduce the cost of broadband to boost adoption in both rural and urban areas.

A press release issued by the White House noted more than 35% of rural citizens in the country lack access to broadband service offering “minimally acceptable speeds,” which the government defines as 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload.

On a background call with media, a senior administration official called the internet “the electricity of the 21st century,” adding Biden’s plan aims to achieve “universal access to affordable broadband in this decade.”

Response

Biden’s proposal elicited praise from the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (WISPA), which said in a statement the president’s focus was “right on target.”

However, analyst Blair Levin with New Street Research, noted much hinges on how the final legislation defines terms such as “future proof” and “affordable.”

For example, Levin said if only fiber is viewed as “future proof,” then wireless technologies such as 5G and satellite could be left ineligible for funding. Similarly, he pointed out implementation could look very different depending on whether “affordable” is used to refer to average broadband costs or entry-level pricing.

The bill must be approved by Congress and signed by the President to become law.

Fastly Stands At The Leading Edge Of Edge Computing

Source: Nasdaq

Fastly, Inc. (FSLY) is literally at the leading edge of an emerging technology called edge computing, which promises to significantly improve the performance of many cloud-based applications such as online gaming and augmented reality. While the concept of edge computing is fairly new, it is based on the mature technology, Content Delivery Networks (CDNs). A CDN consists of a network of hundreds or thousands of points-of-presence (PoP) spread out around the world that are used to cache static images, videos, and data, thus reducing latency and offloading the data center from repetitive tasks.

Edge computing is the next step in the evolution of CDNs. Extremely fast processors and solid-state-disks are placed in the PoPs, resulting in a significant improvement in bandwidth and cloud-based application response time.

Fastly is a pioneer in edge computing and arguably provides one of the best overall solutions. Edge computing competitors include legacy CDN providers such as Akamai Technologies (AKAM) and Cloudflare (NET), as well as large cloud platforms such as Amazon’s (AMZN) Lambda@Edge and Microsoft’s (MSFT) Azure Edge Zones.

Despite the competition, Fastly’s annual revenue increased by 45% in 2020. This is a pretty astounding performance considering that TikTok, a major customer representing more than 10% of its business, stopped using Fastly’s platform due to political events in the U.S.

Foray Into Cybersecurity

Fastly provides a best-of-breed edge computing technology, but it offers limited cybersecurity features, an area where competitors such as Akamai have an advantage.

While the Fastly network of PoPs has local Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) protection, it does not have other capabilities such as a Web Application Firewall (WAF), which prevents hackers from injecting malicious code onto a website. However, that changed last summer with the acquisition of WAF supplier Signal Sciences. The deal will not only improve Fastly’s competitive posture, but it will also provide new opportunities for cross-selling between the edge computing and cybersecurity applications.

Is Fastly A Compelling Investment?

There is no question that Fastly is in a good position to grow into its extremely large total addressable market. Fastly should make a great long-term investment, but is now the best time to invest?

The company’s business model is consumption-based, and its recent achievement of 45% revenue growth will be difficult to match as the world emerges from the pandemic. Employees will return to work, students will go back to school, and internet traffic will likely decrease. On the other hand, next generation applications such as autonomous vehicles, virtual reality, and the Internet-of-Things (IoT) are on the horizon and may pick up the slack when it comes to internet traffic.

Another issue, though, is the high valuation that the stock commands, keeping in mind that the company is not profitable. The best financial metric for high-growth companies is the price/sales ratio, and for Fastly, it is 25. The high figure is substantiated by the annual revenue growth of 45%, but one miss-step and the stock price could fall dramatically.

Wall Street’s Take

From Wall Street analysts, Fastly earns a Hold consensus rating, based on 2 Buys, 3 Holds, and 1 Sell. Additionally, the average analyst price target of $81.80 puts the upside potential at 28%.

Summary And Conclusions

Fastly is an industry leader in edge computing, a technology that offloads traffic from data centers and other cloud platforms, while providing significantly improved latency and bandwidth for web applications. The total addressable market is huge, and we are still in the early innings.

Fastly is capturing market share with its strategy and this is evident from its recent financial performance. That said, while promising, investors need to be aware that Fastly might have trouble matching recent performance as the world emerges from the pandemic. The share price is also quite frothy, par for the course for high-growth companies. Expectations are high and if the company does not maintain its 40%-plus growth, the price may fall.

Disclosure: On the date of publication, Steve Auger did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.

Disclaimer: The information contained herein is for informational purposes only. Nothing in this article should be taken as a solicitation to purchase or sell securities.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

InfraTech SPAC Raises $250M in IPO, Plans Digital Infrastructure Deals

Source: Datacenter Frontier

There’s a new public company shopping for a $1 billion acquisition of a digital infrastructure company. InterPrivate IV InfraTech Partners Inc. raised $250 million in its IPO Friday on the NASDAQ market, and will operate as a special purpose acquisition corporation (SPAC), with a large blank check to go shopping.

The InfraTech SPAC’s leadership is packed with veteran executives from the data center, telecom tower and hardware sectors. The CEO of the new company is Kevin Timmons, who led the buildout of hundreds of megawatts of data center capacity for Microsoft and CyrusOne. Former CyrusOne CEO Gary Wojtaszek and data center design pioneer Peter Gross are co-founders and board members for InfraTech, whose leadership also includes co-founders of American Tower Corp. and Barracuda Networks.

In the company’s debut at the NASDAQ, Timmons said the InfraTech fund intends “to change the world by turbocharging the growth of critical technology through a business combination in the ever-expanding digital infrastructure space.”

InterPrivate is an active player in the use of SPACs, investment vehicles that raise capital from investors for the purpose of acquiring a private company. InterPrivate IV InfraTech Partners Inc. is one of four SPACs sponsored by InterPrivate to capitalize on investment trends. It will trade on the NASDAQ under the symbol IPVIU, and its units opened trading Friday at about $10 a share.

The InfraTech SPAC is the latest example of the huge investment flowing into the data center sector, with global financial players raising billions of dollars in capital to fuel the data economy.  InterPrivate assembled a team of experienced executives to capitalize on this trend.

“We believe that several secular trends exist that will continue to drive a relentless demand for increasing growth of the world’s digital infrastructures,” InterPrivate said in an SEC filing. “We intend to seek digital infrastructure companies that are on what we believe to be a promising growth path, driven by a sustainable competitive advantage, with significant opportunities for acceleration by a partnership with us.”

The InfraTech fund said it will “focus on target companies with an enterprise value of $1 billion or more” in the technology, media and telecom infrastructure sector. But the initial acquisition could be just a first step towards larger M&A ambitions.

“We intend to seek companies that can serve as a platform for future synergistic acquisitions,” InterPrivate says in its SEC filing. “We will actively seek opportunities to combine businesses that can expedite each other’s growth, either through complimentary technology offerings or through geographic scale, as well as businesses that offer the potential to expand services to underserved markets, geographies, and/or demographics.”

More SPACs Means More M&A

SPACs can provide a quick route to the public securities markets for privately-held companies in the digital infrastructure sector. This has been the case in two data center M&A deals:

Successful Cloud Service Providers and Managed Service Providers need to be out in front of everything in their managed data center spaces – ensuring uptime, bandwidth, and operational/cost efficiency today, with the flexibility and scalability to adapt and expand on the fly. Physical layer and  infrastructure is the foundation on which those services are built. Get the new data center ebook from Siemon that explores pro tips and best practices for physical layer strategies for cloud and managed service providers, from zone cabling in the colocation data center to high speed interconnects in the data center

The formation of multiple SPACs appears likely to boost the number of publicly-held companies focused on digital infrastructure. Increased data center M&A was one of the trends DCF highlighted in our annual forecast, Eight Trends That Will Shape the Data Center Industry in 2021.

InterPrivate believes it has lined up a team with the experience and connections will make the InfraTech fund an attractive partner. “We believe that our team’s extensive experience in designing, building, operating, and automating some of the world’s largest digital infrastructures will make us the partner of choice for companies looking to capitalize on this opportunity,” the company said.

Timmons has designed, built, and operated some of the world’s largest technology infrastructures. He led Microsoft’s global data center team as General Manager of Data Center Services, refining the company’s data center network, introducing a lightweight modular data center design. At CyrusOne, he led a “massively modular” design that helped the company win hyperscale deals. Timmons was also employee number four for GeoCities in 1996, serving as Director of Operations for the early web site platform.

Bluebird Network expands fiber access in Midwest to support 5G

Source: RCR Wireless News

Bluebird will deploy fiber to over 500 cell towers

Regional operator Bluebird Network plans to extend fiber access to more than 500 towers in order to support the expansion of 5G networks in a number of markets in Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois, Iowa and Kansas.

“The 5G movement is underway, and Bluebird plans to be a major player in enabling its rollout and subsequent adoption. Our commitment to deploy fiber to over 500 towers will further strengthen Midwest businesses and residents with enhanced network access to leverage the latest technology driving digital transformation,” said the company’s President and CEO Michael Morey in a press release. “We understand these connections are no longer a luxury, they are a necessity for businesses. Many applications require low latency to ensure optimal performance, requiring a concerted effort to move access closer to end-users. Bluebird is stepping up its network capabilities to ensure the communities we serve have the connectivity needed to embrace the digital economy.”

Headquartered in Columbia, MO, Bluebird Network has more than 9,800 fiber route miles in more than 60,000 on-net and near-net buildings and 151 points of presences in the Midwest. Last year, the company completed a 61-mile expansion in Springfield, MO in January, followed by a February fiber expansion in Jefferson City, MO. The following month, Bluebird completed its acquisition of the Illinois Network Alliance (INA).

The carrier, at the end of 2020, also acquired the ColoHub Data Center from Geneseo Communications, located in Bettendorf, Iowa.

“In 2020, we expanded and densified our fiber network infrastructure across several territories throughout the Midwest,” Morey said of the data center acquisition. “Expanding our data center offerings, fortified now with a second facility, is part of our mission to empower businesses and offer a total communications solution.”