Friday Fiber Roundup 4-15: US Carrier, Unite Private Networks, AboveNet, TW Telecom, FiberLight, Optimum Lightpath

April 15th, 2011 by · Leave a Comment

Assuming you've all got your taxes done and have time to catch up on fiber news, there's actually been quite a lot lately in the metro/regional fiber space.  So here's a quick rundown of a few more items this week:

In one bit of news this week that I'm still trying to puzzle through, Georgia-based US Carrier unveiled plans to roll out an Ethernet Exchange.  But despite the similar terminology, this seems to be a different sort of beast than what CENX, Telx, Neutral Tandem, and Equinix are working on.  US Carrier is leveraging Cyan packet-optical transport gear for layer 2 Ethernet switching and Connection Oriented Ethernet.  The idea is Ethernet-based virtual interconnection between their customers, many of whom are independent LECs in the region and are also owners.

Midwestern fiber builder and operator Unite Private Networks found itself another group of school districts to hook up, this time in Illinois.  Unite will be bringing fiber to the Darien, Antioch, and River Forest Schools near Chicago and to Canton Union and Galesburg near Peoria.  Earlier this week they announced a similar effort down in Oklahoma.  Obviously they are having no problems finding places to invest the proceeds of the capital infusion from Ridgemont last summer.

Back in New Jersey, abvt has completed a buildout of its fiber network into the new Dupont Fabros Technology NJ1 facility in Piscataway, which will become an IP and metro Ethernet PoP for them.  AboveNet is already hooked up to DFT's northern Virginia facility, and are in the process of building out to the new SC1 facility in Santa Clara.  Ever since selling off their own data centers a few years back, AboveNet has been aggressively building out its data center footprint.  Big, new, modern facilities are obvious targets.

TW Telecom (NASDAQ:TWTC, news, filings) added yet another big law firm to its customer rolls in a multi-year contract.  Smith, Gambrell & Russell will be leveraging a combination of voice, data, and internet products to serve its offices in Atlanta, Jacksonville, New York, and Washington D.C.  It's the second such contract this month for tw telecom, which has been actively targeting this sort of customer with its extensive metro footprint.

FiberLight also notched a win in a more working-class part of the the enterprise market.  The regional metro builder and operator is providing high speed internet access to the precast concrete manufacturing giant Smith Midland's headquarters in Midland, Virginia.  Midland is outside the usual DC area fiber rings and normally the bandwidth involved probably wouldn't have justified brining them on-net, however the location appears to be right along FiberLight's recent buildout to Culpeper - a unique route that is still bearing fruit.  Or prefab concrete, if you prefer.

And finally, Optimum Lightpath celebrated its 13th straight commendation from the New York State PUC by offering up a new on-net building and route mile datapoint.  The fiber unit of Cablevision now connects more than 4,500 on-net buildings with 4,400 route miles of fiber.  That remains the highest total for any one metro area by any non-ILEC, so far as I know.  Of course, it helps that their home turf happens to be NY/NJ, which is far and away the largest itself.  But 4500 is a heck of a dense footprint, no matter where you are.

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Categories: Ethernet · Metro fiber

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