Metro fiber specialist Fiberlight offered an update yesterday on its progress building a new metro ring in northern Virginia. The ring, which will connect the new NAP of the Capital region facilities that Terremark (news, filings) [a subsidiary of Verizon (NYSE:VZ, news, filings)] is building in Culpeper, is 50% done and on-target for completion in the spring as planned. It’s nice to see that while the financial world may have ground to a halt and the pundits think the end is nigh on a daily basis, the world does keep on turning.
This isn’t one of those metro expansions where one buys a few dark fiber IRUs and hooks up a couple boxes and everyone goes home. This is a ‘drill holes through rock’ kind of expansion with Team Fishel doing the drilling. The new ring will have a high fiber count and will consist of state of the art single mode fiber. They’re going to need it too, Terremark had already sold 80% of the space in the first Culpeper facility and 30% in the second that is not yet complete by New Year’s. With the northern Virginia data center market as constrained as it is, no doubt they will be sold out long before that second facility officially opens later this year.
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Any guesses on what a project like this costs?
It depends on the terrain, and Culpeper VA is not my turf. Something like $500K per mile in NYC, and $10k per mile in rural Kansas. If this route were in the $50K per mile ballpark, the 120 mile loop would cost something like $6M. But that is a really really really rough guess.
Maybe someone here with more direct experience can offer a better estimate?
This is a 100% underground project on a unqiue route, not using the railroad right away similar to the long haul networks that go down in that area today. The costs are about 4 to 5 times Rob’s estimate. There is a tremendous demand for network down to Culpeper, led by Terremark in Culpeper and PowerLoft in Manassas that are helping support the demand with Northern VA so constrained.
Well there you go, a real estimate! Thanks Ben!
It is interesting to look at companies like TWTC/ABVT as a function of replacement cost.