Small cell push by Verizon, Sprint and others draws FairPoint into dark fiber market for backhaul

FairPoint said it is entering the dark fiber market in part to offer backhaul connections to the small cells being deployed by Verizon, Sprint and others. Chris Alberding, VP of product management at FairPoint Communications, said the company has not seen a large amount of small cell networks in Northern New England yet, but the provider wants to be prepared.

 "In order to deliver the speed, the throughput, and low latency those guys require dark fiber so that was the first step for us and let's build a proactive product offering to get into the wireless space," he told FierceTelecom.

Further, Alberding said FairPoint sees an opportunity to offer more than just simple dark fiber backhaul connections to small cells. "I can come to a provider and we can offer them small cell as a service," Alberding said. "Instead of saying I am your network connectivity provider, I can deliver all of it or whatever pieces you want and that's resonated really well with the bigger wireless carriers."

"We're not in Tier 1 markets and they're starting with the NFL cities in building out their small cell strategies there, but they are testing scenarios in some of the small markets up here," Alberding noted. "We have had the opportunity to do a couple of C-RAN deployments, run some dark fiber and learn from some of our early deployments with customers and it's helped shape our small cell as a service offering." Article