Wireless tower operator Crown Castle announced that it will buy broadband infrastructure provider Lightower for $7.1 billion in cash to add to its growing fiber assets.
Houston-based Crown Castle operates one of the largest networks of wireless infrastructure in the US. Telcos including AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Sprint are all major tenants on Crown Castle's cell towers.
More recently, Crown Castle has been buying fiber providers in an effort to boost its fiber footprint.
Lightower owns or has rights to approximately 32,000 route miles of fiber located across top metro markets in the Northeast, including Boston, New York, and Philadelphia. With this deal, Crown Castle will double its fiber footprint, making it one of the largest owners of metro fiber in the US with claim over roughly 60,000 miles of fiber.
"Lightower's dense fiber footprint is well-located in top metro markets in the Northeast and is well-positioned to facilitate small cell deployments by our customers," said Crown Castle CEO Jay Brown in a statement. Following the Transaction, we will have approximately 60,000 route miles of fiber with a presence in all of the top 10 and 23 of the top 25 metro markets."