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What’s a mile of fiber worth?

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What’s a mile of fiber worth?

Across all 34 U.S. deals worth $83.80 billion since 2015, fiber networks are selling for an average of $99,345 per mile, $2,191 per strand mile and a 10.6X cash flow multiple.

Wireless infrastructure heavyweight Crown Castle Inc. was a big buyer in the first few years of our dataset as it ramped up its small cell operations, which are generally married to fiber-optic networks. On average, Crown Castle spent about $184,511 per fiber mile during its 2015-2017 acquisition spree.

In more recent years, buyers have expanded to more traditional fiber broadband providers including Cable One Inc. Cox Communications Inc. and Hawaiian Telecom Holdco Inc.  Cable One's acquisition of Hargray Communications Group Inc. is the most expensive on our list.  ATN International Inc.'s acquisition of Alaska Communications Systems Holdings' mainly mountainous and subsea long-haul route miles coming in the lowest, at just $2,115 per mile acquired.

According to the New York City Internet Master Plan, 18% of residents lack a combination of home and mobile connectivity. Northeast wholesale fiber provider ZenFi Networks Inc. has helped New York City convert its array of pay phones into Wi-Fi hot spots and device charging centers, some of which are free to use. The project "Link NYC" now has 1,902 such kiosks to help close the urban digital divide.

Other large fiber deals since our last update include Digital Colony Partners LP's acquisition of Zayo Group Holdings Inc. for $14.3 billion and Stonepeak Infrastructure Fund II - Master Co-Investment Partners LP's acquisition of the Astound Broadband LLC's family of brands from TPG Capital LLP which was the second largest by total value at $8.1 billion.

Clients can unlock the full dataset and company profiles in the S&P Capital IQ Pro platform.

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