Some E-Rate news, an investment by a familiar face, and a new data center near Chicago.
WANRack has polished off two more fiber buildouts in Arizona. The E-Rate specialist says it has completed projects for both the Payson and Somerton school districts in the state, adding further depth to what the company suggests is on the road to becoming a statewide network. Payson lies to the northeast of Phoenix within the Tonto National Forest, while Somerton is near Yuma in the southwest. Powered by a private equity investment from Grain Management earlier this year, WANRack has lately been invading the Midwest, entering Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin.
Over in the UK, CK Hutchison is getting back together with some old friends. The multinational firm has invested in nuron, a fiber startup that specializes in putting fiber in suburban sewers and water pipes that was founded by a coterie of former executives at Geo, which was bought by Zayo from Hutchison a while back. nuron is currently aiming at the water industry itself, touting the capabilities of fiber sensing technology in monitoring the pipes themselves. But the company's robotic technology could easily apply to emplacing more general fiberoptic network infrastructure within smaller and harder to reach suburban water systems. Hutchison owns Northumbrian Water, within which the first such live system by nuron is being built.
And last week a substantial new data center was announced out in Indiana. Newly-formed Indiana NAP has broken ground on a new facility on the site of the former State Line Generating Facility in Hammond. That's just outside of Chicago along Lake Michigan before you get to East Chicago and Gary. The Digital Crossroads Data Center will initially feature 105,000 square feet of space and cost some $40M, but could span four times that when complete. Before its shutdown in 2012, the State Line Generating Facility had been a coal-fired power plant that put out some 515MW.