FirstLight acquires Nashua-based 186 Communications

New York-based fiber provider’s network will expand to 14,000 route miles in Northeast


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FirstLight, a fiber-optic bandwidth infrastructure services provider based in Albany, N.Y., with operations in the Northeast, announced on Wednesday it is acquiring Nashua-based 186 Communications.

186 Communications operates a high-capacity fiber network in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Vermont, with two datacenters in the Granite State.

When the transaction and FirstLight’s pending acquisition of Victor, N.Y.-based Finger Lakes Technologies Group are complete, First Light will become one of the largest fiber network providers, owning 14,000 route miles of high-capacity fiber, connecting nearly 8,000 locations and 12 data centers across the region. In comparison, Fairpoint Communications (recently acquired by Illinois-based Consolidated Communications) owns the largest fully-owned and managed fiber-based network in Northern New England, consisting of an 18,000-mile fiber optic network.

“I am pleased that 186 Communications will be combined with FirstLight,” 186 Communications CEO Rob Carmichael said in a statement. “The companies have collaborated many times over the years, and now as one organization, we will be better positioned to continue to serve the growing bandwidth needs of businesses throughout the Northeast.”

“I am pleased that 186 Communications will be combined with FirstLight,” said 186’s CEO Rob Carmichael. “The companies have collaborated many times over the years, and now as one organization, we will be better positioned to continue to serve the growing bandwidth needs of businesses throughout the Northeast.

“This acquisition is very complementary to FirstLight's existing network and capabilities,” said FirstLight's President and CEO Kurt Van Wagenen. “It extends our network reach further into Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont, adds an impressive roster of customers, and builds on the strong, positive momentum we have had over the past several years.”

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