If you thought Allied Fiber was the only new longhaul fiber being put in the ground you may have been mistaken, at least on the New York to Chicago route where according to a recently unveiled website Spread Networks is preparing to go live in July. Thanks to the kind reader who sent that link! But where Allied Fiber did not have financial traders in mind when it was started has national dreams, Spread Networks' vision begins with and does not yet seem to extend beyond the trading community. The latency they seem to be promising? 13.33ms, over three milliseconds faster than existing routes. How?
Well, I'm still looking for information beyond their website, but I expect a PR blitz is probably in the offing if they're really going live in July - so we'll know soon enough. But here is a quick summary:
- Distance: 825 miles, including slack coils
- Route: not limited to traditional railroad rights of way, cutting straight across Pennsylvania - somehow...
- Huts: Every 120km, a bit wider spacing than most networks use.
- Funding: An SEC filing suggested a debt issuance of about $75M, but presumably there must be more to it than that
Behind the new network seem to be some Wall Street heavy hitters, and the chairman is none other than James Barksdale, who was once CEO of Netscape alongside Marc Andreessen not to mention AT&T Wireless. Anyone have any further details?
There have been steady rumors about a stealth fiber build on the NYC-Chicago route. I had thought that the sources derived either from Intellifiber's announcement or the Allied Fiber build, but if the site is real then Spread Networks was there in the background as well.