We hear about the influence of hyperscale players on fiber network buildouts, but all too often those actual players stay out of the spotlight, at least when it comes to any specifics. Today, however, Facebook has stepped further out into the light to detail some infrastructure plans they are working on out in Indiana on their tech blog.
Facebook has been busy adding new, diverse longhaul fiber to its network between its data center clusters in the Great Plains and on the East Coast. The first phase is now complete, adding 77 route miles of fiber along I-70 from the Ohio/Indiana border, through the counties of Wayne, Henry, Hancock, and Marion to downtown Indianapolis. While following I-70 along this route seems like it could have been an obvious choice, it's not one that happened back 20-25 years ago when so much national intercity fiber was built out.
The second phase, which they'll be partnering with Zayo for (as they often do), will continue that process to add another 85 route miles west from there, continuing next to I-70 but along US Highway 40 through Hendricks, Clay, Putnam, and Vigo, Clay counties over to Terre Haute on the Illinois border. A continuation of that path would seem to point toward St. Louis, although there might be other potential directions they could go for a more direct route and diverse to those Iowa and Nebraska data centers Facebook mentioned. The second phase of Facebook's buildout will be completed by the end of this year.
The new fiber will not just enable Facebook's data, but will be available to other service providers with dark fiber needs along the route, adding to Indiana's fiber ecosystem. Indiana has been getting a lot of infrastructure attention over the last year or so, from the new Digital Crossroad facility up in Hammond, to the proposed purchase of IFN by Zayo, to the acquisition of Infinity Fiber LLC by Ohio-based Horizon.
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