Windstream BusinessA Windstream, 365 Data Centers deal announced today will give customers of 365 Data Centers the ability to connect to the data centers using Windstream’s national DWDM, Ethernet and IP networks. 365 Data Centers operates 14 facilities in tier 2 markets, and according to today’s announcement, Windstream has established points of presence in eight of those data centers, including locations in Buffalo; Chicago; Cleveland; Indianapolis; Pittsburgh; Southfield, Michigan; St. Louis and Tampa.

The news comes just six months after Windstream sold its own data centers to TierPoint, also announcing at that time that the two companies would sell one another’s services.

The Windstream, 365 Data Centers Deal
365 Data Centers refers to its facilities as “edge colocation data centers” – a term that highlights the company’s focus on Tier 2 markets, where larger data center operators are less likely to have their own facilities. Today’s announcement of the Windstream, 365 Data Centers deal notes that 365 Data Centers’ customers include cloud and content providers as well as carriers and enterprises. Many of these customers, particularly cloud and content companies, are becoming increasingly interested in locating in smaller markets to minimize the distance data and content has to travel to reach end users. For network operators, providing connectivity to these data centers also is an opportunity – and it seems to be one that Windstream is emphasizing.

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Windstream, 365 Data Centers Deal
365 Data Centers Locations (Source: 365 Data Centers)

Some Tier 2 and 3 network operators are pursuing both the data center and connectivity opportunity. Last year, for example, a group of rural Tier 3 network operators purchased cloud provider Codero.  Although Codero is based in Dallas, a Tier 1 market, the network operators eventually aim to establish mini-data centers in their local markets that would be supported by the Dallas facility. The first step in that direction was for the owner operators to integrate with the Codero facility – a milestone that was achieved earlier this year.

Other Tier 2 and 3 telcos that have made data center acquisitions or established their own data centers in smaller markets include TDS Telecom, C Spire, and FairPoint.

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