Zayo Expands Telecom Agent Channel Offerings

It was an expected move following Zayo's blockbuster acquisition of AboveNet in July and the agent channel Zayo gained in the process. The new services will be provided through zColo, Zayo's carrier-neutral co-location and interconnect business unit, and Zayo agents will be able to access all of zColo's 20 facilities spanning the Northeast, Midwest, Northwest and Los Angeles-Las Vegas area geographies.

Chris Morley, president of zColo, said the AboveNet agent community doesn't need to worry about Zayo's commitment to the channel.

"Co-location and interconnection services are a natural extension to the bandwidth infrastructure products they already sell," Morley said in a statement.

[Related: Ring Leaders: The Convergence of VARs, Carriers and the Telecom Channel ]

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Louisville, Colo.-based Zayo is one of the more intriguing players in the telecom channel -- privately owned and founded in 2007 by CEO Dan Caruso and former COO John Scarano, who resigned in November 2010. Zayo initially raised $220 million in venture capital -- with backers including Battery Ventures, Centennial Ventures, Columbia Capital, M/C Venture Partners and Oak Investment Partners -- and since its inception has been making acquisitions left and right.

Among Zayo's recent grabs were Arialink, which expanded its reach into Michigan; MarquisNet, a data center business in Las Vegas; FiberGate, an Alexandria, Va.-based dark fiber specialist whose pickup added 130,000 fiber miles to Zayo's metro network; and the remaining assets of Atlanta-based USCarrier, in which Zayo already had taken a 50 percent stake in October 2010.

Zayo has made more than 20 acquisitions since its inception five years ago, but AboveNet remains its big prize thus far. Zayo in March said it would acquire AboveNet for $2.28 billion, and it closed the acquisition on July 2, yielding a combined company that operates in 45 states in the U.S., seven countries in North America and Europe, and sports a network of 61,000 route miles and 4.6 million miles of fiber.

Zayo in mid-July said it would maintain and continue to support AboveNet's channel program -- a significant change to Zayo's own channel strategy, which before AboveNet had been mainly focused on case-by-case deals through partners. The company's channel chief is Angelo Germani, vice president, indirect channels, reporting to David Howson, president of sales and customer management for Zayo Group.

Along with the Thursday zColo announcement, Zayo said it will be adding resources to support Zayo agents and their customers. It will continue to use its current master agents, Zayo said, but is also looking to recruit new agents specialized in co-location infrastructure services, too.