Cleveland-based firm buys Indy fiber network, plans $38M expansion

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Cleveland-based Everstream Solutions LLC announced Tuesday that it has agreed to buy a 200-plus-mile Indianapolis-based fiber network from Dallas-based DataBank Ltd. and quadruple the network’s size.

Everstream officials said their company plans to invest $38 million in the Indianapolis metro area network and expand it by 600 miles, to a total of more than 800 miles. They declined to disclose an acquisition price.

Databank acquired the local infrastructure from Indianapolis-based LightBound LLC in December 2018. Databank will retain ownership of two data centers—situated west of the intersection of Kentucky Avenue and Henry Street.

When fully completed, the Everstream network will cover all of Indianapolis and significant portions of Hamilton County, including Carmel, company officials said. Currently the network covers downtown and extends a short distance to the south and west.

Everstream said the acquisition will speed its already planned entry into the Indianapolis market.

“We love the competitive dynamics of Indianapolis … They feel a lot like the Cleveland and Michigan markets we’re in,” Everstream President and CEO Brett Lindsey told IBJ.

Everstream this week finalized a lease for office space at 342 Massachusetts Avenue in Indianapolis and will open it with 23 employees—including sales representatives and engineers—with most of them coming over from Databank. Lindsey said number of employees could easily triple as the local network expands.

“In Michigan, we have 65 employees, and in Cleveland, we have about 75, and I could see that in Indianapolis,” Lindsey said.

The deal with Databank is signed, Lindsey said, but it will take 90 to 120 days to get regulatory approval by the Federal Communications Commission and the local public utility commission,.

Plans call for connecting the local network to Everstream’s existing network infrastructure in northern Ohio and other Midwest markets, company officials said. Everstream officials said its network will have connectivity to DataBank’s two Indianapolis data centers and 36 others across the Midwest and will deliver ethernet and internet services capable of speeds up to 100 gigabits per second.

That type of connectivity is good for large companies with locations and customers in multiple states, Lindsey explained.

Everstream, which was founded in 2014 and is owned by global investment firm AMP Capital, is in the midst of a growth spurt. In addition to its Indianapolis acquisition, the company is currently building networks in Columbus, Ohio; St. Louis and Milwaukee. In 2020, the firm plans to expand into Fort Wayne; suburban markets of Chicago; Madison, Wisconsin; Dayton, Ohio; and Louisville and Lexington, both in Kentucky.

Locally, Everstream will compete primarily with AT&T and Charter as a network service provider, Lindsey said. He said he’s confident the company will do well here.

“We build local teams. We’re investing in this market in a way no one else is right now. Locally owned and managed networks like ours disrupt large, bureaucratic big telecommunications companies,” Lindsey said. “We provide a personal service companies really want.”

Everstream is on track to grow to its networks to over 15,000 miles of fiber with more than 3,000 on-net locations in 12 markets throughout the Midwest by the end of 2020, company officials said.

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