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Founded1993; 31 years ago (1993)
DefunctJuly 2, 2012; 11 years ago (2012-07-02)
FateAcquired by Zayo Group
HeadquartersWhite Plains, New York
RevenueIncrease $472 million (2011)
Increase $72 million (2011)
Total assetsIncrease $911 million (2011)
Total equityIncrease $647 million (2011)
Number of employees
713 (2011)
Footnotes / references

AboveNet was a provider of high bandwidth telecommunication circuits primarily for large corporate enterprises and communications carriers in 17 markets in the United States and 4 markets in Europe. Its private optical network delivered key network and IP services and was used in financial and legal services, media, health care, retail, and government.

The company was formerly named Metromedia Fiber Network and changed its name to AboveNet in 2003 after emerging from bankruptcy.

Before its bankruptcy in 2002, the company was financially backed by John Kluge and Verizon.

In 2012, the company was acquired by Zayo Group for $2.2 billion in cash.


Metromedia Fiber Network manhole cover, Uptown New Orleans.

The company was founded in 1993 as AboveNet, by founder Sherman Tuan. It initially focused on 'one-hop' internet connectivity and providing dark fiber to communications carrier customers in the U.S. and Europe.

Abovenet Communications became a public company via an initial public offering in December 1998 and soared 32% in one day in March 1999 during the dot-com bubble after announcing a stock split.[2]

In June 1999, Metromedia acquired Abovenet Communications, including its subsidiary PAIX, an operator of Internet peering exchanges.[3][4][5] Following the acquisition, the company changed its name to Metromedia Fiber Network in 2000.

In 2000, the company acquired M.I.B.H., a networking consultancy operated by Paul Vixie, for $51 million in cash and stock.

Also in 2000, Verizon invested $970 million in convertible bonds and $715.4 million in common stock of the company.[6]

In 2001, the company acquired SiteSmith, a provider of managed web-hosting services, for $1.36 billion in stock.[7][8]

In May 2002, the company filed bankruptcy.[9]

In September 2003, the company emerged from bankruptcy and changed its name to Abovenet, with Craig McCaw, Franklin Mutual Advisers, and John Kluge among its largest shareholders.[10]

In October 2006, Digital Realty acquired the east coast data centers of the company for $40 million.[11]

In 2007, the company acquired fiber from AT&T and Verizon that the companies were selling to comply with antitrust law.[12]

On July 2, 2012, Zayo Group acquired the company for $2.2 billion in cash.[13]


  1. ^ "AboveNet, Inc. 2011 Form 10-K Annual Report". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
  2. ^ "Abovenet to Split Stock". The New York Times. Dow Jones & Company. March 31, 1999.
  3. ^ "Metromedia Fiber Network Plans To Buy AboveNet for $1.76 Billion". The Wall Street Journal. June 24, 1999.
  4. ^ "Metromedia to Buy Abovenet for $1.55 Billion". The New York Times. Reuters. June 24, 1999.
  5. ^ "Metromedia buys AboveNet". CNN. June 24, 1999.
  6. ^ Romero, Simon (July 21, 2001). "Verizon May Write Down Big Fiber Optic Investment". The New York Times.
  7. ^ "Metromedia buys SiteSmith". CNN. October 10, 2000.
  8. ^ "Metromedia Fiber Network Plans Acquisition of SiteSmith". Los Angeles Times. Reuters. October 11, 2000.
  9. ^ Romero, Simon (May 21, 2000). "Metromedia Fiber Files for Bankruptcy". The New York Times.
  10. ^ "AboveNet Emerges From Bankruptcy". The New York Times. Bloomberg News. September 9, 2003.
  11. ^ "Digital Realty Trust, Inc. Acquires Datacenters in New York City and Northern Virginia From AboveNet" (Press release). PR Newswire. October 2, 2006.
  12. ^ "AboveNet Acquires Metro Fiber from AT&T and Verizon" (Press release). Thomas Register. April 11, 2007.
  13. ^ "Zayo Group closes on $2.3B buy of AboveNet". American City Business Journals. July 2, 2012.