Ingenuity in infrastructure – that’s United Fiber & Data (UFD), a privately held telecommunications company that has built a greenfield, secure and scalable fiber optic network in the northeastern United States. As a physically diverse route between New York’s carrier hotels and data centers and the telecom hub that is Ashburn, VA, this path offers much-needed redundancy along a critical corridor.
We had the chance to catch up with Christopher Lodge – Chief Operating Officer – and Andrew Paxton – President & General Counsel of UFD – to gather the latest details on the new network.
1. Let’s dive right in. First of all, why did UFD decide to build this network now? In 2012, Bill Hynes – Founder & CEO – recognized the need for a wholly owned, physically diverse path between the data centers and carrier hotels in metro New York and Ashburn, so he created UFD. Since that time, UFD has engineered and constructed a 13-mile metro ring in NYC with 60+ miles of laterals, as well as a 340-mile long-haul route to Ashburn. Compared to the more traditional routes along the I-95 corridor, UFD’s network can provide the physical diversity required by its customers.
2. What are the main differentiators between this network and other networks on the market? Our network is not stitched together from other pre-existing, aging infrastructure; it is all new construction, single manufacturer cable, and wholly owned by UFD. We avoid the congestion of the I-95 corridor by taking a westerly path across New Jersey and Pennsylvania before the route heads south through Maryland and Virginia, arriving directly in Ashburn, without having to go through D.C.
3. Which companies could benefit from this network? UFD’s network will benefit customers who desire a high capacity, low latency path between NYC and Ashburn. Our newly constructed route will support current leading edge optical gear to obtain the high levels of throughput on our fiber while maintaining low latency. Being geographically diverse from other routes along the corridor, UFD’s fiber can provide the redundancy required by modern-day networks. Customers will include carriers, data centers, hyper-scalers, and enterprises across verticals, such as healthcare, finance, government, education, and manufacturing.
4. Could you tell us a bit about the metro NYC network in particular? UFD’s metro NYC network consists of 13.8 miles of primary backbone in lower and midtown Manhattan. Since construction, UFD has added 60+ miles of laterals stretching from Central Park to Wall Street, ultimately reaching 300+ buildings, with the capability of accessing some of the most famous carrier addresses in the industry. Leaving Manhattan under the Hudson, our route takes a unique path through Weehawken, connecting with data centers in Secaucus as well as many of the popular data centers in northern New Jersey.
5. Looking ahead to the upcoming year, what’s on the horizon for UFD? UFD is currently engineering other alternative routes from Ashburn to Charlotte, NC and Atlanta, GA. Additionally, we are looking at connecting our network with the two primary subsea landing stations to solve some of the same issues. UFD is also finalizing engineering on a new 40,000-square-foot data center facility adjacent to its campus in York, PA.
Hear the latest about UFD’s network at next week’s Telecom Exchange (TEX) NYC event, taking place on May 14-15, 2019 at The W Hoboken. UFD is the Platinum Sponsor. To register for TEX, click here. To meet with UFD at the event, email [email protected].