Six years ago, a new player in the industry announced plans to build a brand new longhaul route between New York City and Ashburn. United Fiber & Data's plans seemed a bit unlikely at the time, and they certainly had some hurdles to jump along the way. But the company's low profile belied the progress they were making, and on Friday the buildout was completed in full.
UFD's fiber network stretches from Manhattan to Ashburn via the western route. It swings quickly over into Pennsylvania and passes through Lancaster and York before angling down through Frederick, Maryland and into Ashburn from the north. The route bypasses the heavily use routes along the I-95 corridor to the eass, providing a key diverse option while bringing backbone fiber into markets that have never seen it before.
In addition to the 340 route-mile, high-fiber-count route, they also have 13 miles of metro fiber in the NYC/NJ metro area as well as 60+ miles of laterals from Central Park down to Wall Street. We had UFD COO Christopher Lodge here for a spotlight three years ago, and had rockstar backer Chad Taylor on earlier than that, each making the case for the new network. I have to admit I wondered if they would get it done, but they did.
I had the opportunity to speak with the company at Telecom Exchange NYC event last week, and new projects are definitely on their mind. That could mean lighting some of that dark fiber in order to offer lit services. They might also turn their attention to new longhaul route opportunities. I'm sure we'll be hearing more from UFD over the next year.
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