Verizon flogs off 29 data centers, pockets $3.6bn

Equinix takes over bit-barns as telco shifts focus to wireless and fiber

Verizon has finalized a deal to hand over control of 29 data centers in the US and Latin America to Equinix, in a deal that will net the telco $3.6bn.

The sell-off includes 24 customer-facing locations and is expected to close in 2017. After the hand-off, Verizon customers will be able to continue their managed hosting and cloud services, which are not part of the deal. Verizon will also continue to operate its data center locations outside of the US and Latin America.

The 29 buildings cover 2.4 million square feet (.22 million square metres) of space and house roughly 900 enterprise and government business clients in 15 metro areas.

For Verizon, the sale has been expected for some time, as it has sought to shed much of its wireline business services and infrastructure in order to focus on its more profitable wireless phone and FiOS consumer broadband services.

"This transaction aligns with Verizon's strategy to focus resources in areas that will help drive digital transformation for enterprise customers, while providing world-class service," Verizon said in announcing the deal.

Equinix, meanwhile, stands to gain a major boost to its footprint in the Americas. Included in the deal is Verizon's facility in Culpeper, Virginia, a location Equinix believes will help it secure government business from nearby Washington, DC. The other sites will similarly be used by Equinix to expand its colocation and hosting lines with the addition of physical locations in markets such as Houston and Bogata.

"The acquisition of these new data centers and customers also significantly increases the size and sophistication of our enterprise and government ecosystems," said Equinix CEO Steve Smith.

"Equinix is committed to adding new reach and capabilities to our global interconnection platform to give you proximity to key customers, partners and markets everywhere – to deliver concrete business benefits such as lower latency, reduced bandwidth costs and increased revenue." ®

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