United Fiber & Data Completes NYC/Ashburn Fiber Route

May 20th, 2019 by · 13 Comments

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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Categories: Fiber Networks

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13 Comments So Far


  • Anonymous says:

    The fiber route is entirely aerial. The pricing should reflect this.

    • Michael says:

      Your comment is false. A significant portion of the route is underground. Anyone who’s seen an actual KMZ of the route firsthand will attest.

      • Michael says:

        Additionally, if you’ve done your homework — you’d know there is no other route on the market, or in any developmental phase for that matter, that A) Provides 100% physical diversity from NYC to Ashburn, VA B) is all new glass and armored cable C) Is NOT stitched together with other networks D) Greenfield Build E) Provides the optimal business solution to solve for the diversity, triversity, and quadversity robust infrastructure every large content provider and major enterprise is looking to achieve.

        The goal was to build something no one else has, but everybody has been waiting for to replace 20+yr old aging infrastructure that has multiple single points of failure along that corridor no matter how many providers you are utilizing.

        UFD succeeded!

    • mhammett says:

      What impact would being aerial have on the price of services provided on it?

  • John M. says:

    Michael,
    Can you say exactly what percent of the route is aerial? This is a great route that customers of mine would be interested in, but aerial just doesn’t work for them. Thanks in advance.

    • Michael says:

      Hi John –

      UFD’s route is 70% aerial and 30% underground. Most of those underground segments are in NY, NJ, MD, and VA.

      I’d be happy to discuss further and walk you through a KMZ. Feel free to go to http://www.ufd.com and click on “request a KMZ” or call 855-255-5244 and ask for me.

    • mhammett says:

      What impact does being aerial have?

      • Richard Tucker says:

        Falling tree limbs, car crashes that take poles down, ice storms that cause lines to sag which then result in getting snapped by passing trucks or trains… shall I continue?

        • Moes bar and grill says:

          To be fair it’s just as easy ( maybe more so) for a backhoe to take out underground fiber. I’m in the industry and just don’t understand the bias towards underground. To me it all depends on geography ( avoiding poles on the coast) and having a fair mix of both..

          • Anonymous says:

            Has anyone ever produced an actual quantitative study? I thought backhoe too, but also assumed there is far more of one type than the other. Which one transcends a bunch of smart-asses opinions?

            • Richard Tucker says:

              Backhoes are a real threat to underground fiber, but when you compare it to aerial fiber the occurence is not anywhere near the same…. there are 20 threats to aerial fiber for every single threat to buried…

  • stevedave says:

    Also, squirrels eat thru aerial fiber.

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