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Verizon said Monday it is purchasing the fiber-optic networking business of Herndon, Va.-based Internet Provider (IP) company XO Communications.

The $1.8 billion deal will transfer ownership of XO’s fiber-based IP and Ethernet networks to Verizon, the carrier said. Verizon said it will also lease XO's wireless spectrum with an option to buy.

The carrier will be able to purchase the entity that holds XO's spectrum by the end of 2018, Verizon said.

Verizon said the buy is a move to “strengthen the foundation” of its networks, and will help it better serve enterprise and wholesale customers and further densify its cellular network.

The deal is expected to close in the first half of next year.

Verizon says it sees net present value of operational synergies to exceed $1.5 billion.

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