Time Warner Cable (s TWC) of New York is spending $600 million in cash to buy DukeNet, a fiber optic network that is part-owned by Duke Energy, the company announced today. The Charlotte, NC-based DukeNet will help Time Warner improve its network and business services in the Carolinas. Time Warner Cable had announced its intention to build a gigabit network in the Carolina earlier this year. In related news, Zayo, a large fiber network operator based in Boulder, Colorado announced that it was buying Fiberlink, a small Midwestern fiber operator that owns 1,200 miles of dark fiber that runs between Denver and Chicago (and runs via Omaha and Des Moines.) The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Without the underlying pipes connecting data centers, cell phone towers and telco points of presence, there would be no internet. A $2 billion deal to merge two fiber providers shows how the new infrastructure demands of the consumer web and cloud computing are driving deals.
Long-haul networks aren’t the only pipes getting 100 gigabit upgrades these days. On Tuesday Verizon said it is upgrading the metro networks in at least seven U.S. cities to meet the demand for broadband at the edge. Looks like we’re closing in on the terabit age.