Who should you entrust your network to? CloudOgre of course but we rely heavily on the Top 5 ISPs in America. IP circuits are broken down into loops and ports because Internet Access is created by combining a last mile connection which will give you access to your ISP’s Internet gateway. Given this, last mile, peering, and long haul network should the focus of questions around functionality for your ISP. Below are who we think are competing as the Top 5 ISPs in America:
1. AT&T – American Telephone and Telegraph aka Ma Bell aka The T – This is the original telephone company in the US and the first to run the Trans Atlantic cable between New York and London. With over 500k fiber route miles and extensive copper network, they’re clearly the leader in the space deploying a ton of fiber as Dedicated Internet via Ethernet or Copper, and their shared AT&T Business Fiber service.
2. Verizon – Formed by a group of Bell Operating Companies that were broken off of AT&T. This company’s fiber network is extensive and their FiOS offering is strong. Many of their assets in the southern US in markets like Tampa Bay, have been sold off to Frontier to allow for more spectrum in their wireless portfolio.
3. CenturyLink – This company is growing very strategically with their acquisitions. In addition to their Ethernet offering, they have a low cost shared internet over fiber optics option available in many markets with 1Gbps going for under $600/month. In addition, their enterprise customer enjoys a range of Internet access options from T1s to Ethernet. The recent acquisition of Level3, the Carrier’s Carrier, gives them some real heft in the industry. Prior to this, their acquisition of Qwest and Global Crossing has provided them with an expansive territory worldwide.
4. Level3 – Level3 was recently acquired by CenturyLink but they are still competing for customers. They do not have a small business offering but they’re a great option in your data center. Furthermore, their acquisition of TW Telecom gave their customers a significantly improved last mile experience.
5. Zayo –This company has grown strategically and provides solid bandwidth. Their global reach is impressive. Focusing in on the financial industry has allowed Zayo to build out by taking on high margin business in key data centers like 350 E Cermak Rd in Chicago, 300 Blvd East in Weehawken, and 32 Avenue of the Americas in NYC. Recently, they also acquired Electric Lightwave giving them a greater footprint in the West Coast which should be integrated well into their network much like their previous acquisition of AboveNet.
Last but not least I am including a non Tier 1 ISP that happens to be a cable company whose been doing a much better job providing dedicated internet via fiber optic Ethernet… Charter
Communications or Spectrum Business. They have Tom Rutledge in the mix of leaders, a former shining star at Cablevision, who’ve been cleaning up the old reputation of Time Warner. I think they deserve to be on the list of Top 5 ISPs in America and will make it there shortly.
Every ISP has its own nuance and geography plays a big role due to unions, tariffs, and right of ways. Acquisitions and human capital shifts can also impact your service and pricing. We’re in the mix every day and can be a value to your IT and Accounting teams. Contact us here to schedule a consultation.