AT&T offloads a bunch of data centres for a billion bucks

Carrier will still control customers and offer colo services in 29 bit barns

AT&T has followed the emerging trend of carriers getting out of the data centre infrastructure business by offloading 31 colocation assets to Brookfield Infrastructure for US$1.1 billion.

The US carrier announced the deal late last week and said the arrangement means the buyer will maintain the colocation business.

The purchase will transfer 18 internet data centres (IDCs) in the USA and 13 in other nations to Brookfield. AT&T will remain an anchor tenant of the facilities, will still offer its own network services, and said it will be an “active sales channel” for Brookfield's business.

The network services include connectivity, the secure NetBond for Cloud service, FlexWare SDN/NFV-based infrastructure such as software-based routers and firewalls, and cloud/DC consulting businesses.

The announcement notes that AT&T will still sell colocation services to its customers from a total of 350 facilities, “including transferred IDCs”.

Brookfield has a market capitalisation of around $11 billion and claims $75 billion worth of assets under management in the comms, utilities, transport, energy, renewables, and sustainable resource sectors.

The sale has been on the cards since February, when rumours reached the Wall Street Journal that Bank of America would handle the sale of AT&T's data centre assets.

Late in 2016, Verizon made the same decision and disposed of 29 bit barns, bought by Equinix for $3.6 billion.

In Australia, incumbent Telstra is laying an each-way bet on whether or not to hold similar assets. In its re-organisation announced last week, the company put data centres into a newly-created infrastructure business which it will consider selling after that country's National Broadband Network is completed in 2020. ®




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