AT&T, Verizon Lead as U.S. Business Fiber Deployments Ramp Up

The number of buildings with multiple fiber providers is on the rise.

James Anderson, Senior News Editor

June 18, 2024

2 Min Read
Business fiber leaderboard

Internet service providers continue to build out business fiber at a fast clip.

Vertical Systems Group shared its 2023 U.S. Fiber Lit Buildings Year-End Leaderboard, which AT&T led for the eighth consecutive year. Verizon and Spectrum Enterprise trailed the carrier.

The members of the leaderboard all possess an on-net fiber presence in more than 15,000 commercial buildings and data centers. The buildings possess both on-net optical fiber and onsite active service termination equipment. VSG does not count cell towers or non-building cell towers.


The 2023 list remains nearly identical to the previous year's: AT&T, Verizon and Spectrum topping the podium. In the only change, Comcast Business passed Lumen for fourth place. VSG attributed Lumen's drop to the spinoff of part of its ILEC business. Those assets now exist as Brightspeed, which is 10th on the leaderboard.

In addition, VSG reports that cable providers like Comcast, Cox and Spectrum saw "significant growth in net-new fiber lit commercial buildings." Segra and Unite Private Networks both disappeared from the Challenge Tier (5,000 to 14,999 fiber lit sites), after selling fiber assets to sixth place Cox Business.

VSG reported double-digit growth for total fiber-lit buildings and data centers in the U.S. last year.

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Interestingly, the number of buildings with two or more fiber providers connected is growing.


“The number of U.S. fiber-lit sites is steadily expanding across every commercial building size segment," Vertical Systems Group principal Rosemary Cochran said.

Providers like AT&T have repeatedly told investors that they view fiber as a strategic source of connectivity going forward. CEO John Stankey said in the company's Q1 earnings call that AT&T Fiber has captured more than one-third of broadband net adds across major providers in the last three years. This rollout of fiber is occurring as AT&T and other providers decommission copper facilities.

"As our customer base continues to migrate to fiber from legacy services, our broadband support costs are decreasing, thanks to fiber's more efficient operating model, greater reliability and higher quality service," AT&T chief financial officer Pascal Desroches said.

Cochran also pointed to other trends in the IT world that are driving demand for fiber.

"Demand is also accelerating from cloud providers and service providers to support the rise in AI, security services and other applications requiring ultra-high capacity fiber connectivity to data centers," she said.

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About the Author(s)

James Anderson

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

James Anderson is a news editor for Channel Futures. He interned with Informa while working toward his degree in journalism from Arizona State University, then joined the company after graduating. He writes about SD-WAN, telecom and cablecos, technology services distributors and carriers. He has served as a moderator for multiple panels at Channel Partners events.

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