In the latest episode of our Data Movers podcast, Jaymie Scotto Cutaia and top B2B social media influencer Evan Kirstel caught up with Christopher Lodge, COO and Interim CEO for United Fiber & Data (UFD), a premier fiber optic network provider in the U.S. Northeast region.
Lodge shares big milestones for UFD, industry trends he’s watching, and his favorite fall food that may surprise you.
UFD’s wholly-owned dark fiber assets and regen/ILA sites on its diverse long-haul fiber backbone that spans more than 400 miles and sits outside the Mid-Atlantic I-95 corridor. The diverse dark network avoids congestion and single points of failure on the I-95 corridor from the Greater New York metro to Ashburn, Virginia, the data center capital of the world.
The UFD fiber route that connects those two major markets and the data centers that exist within is making the headlines recently. Deutsche Telekom Global Carrier and Canada’s Eastlink just signed up on UFD’s long-haul fiber route.
Lodge notes in the podcast that UFD’s diverse route doesn’t touch any of the common points when you are heading from the New Jersey/New York City metro market down to Ashburn. The unique fiber path doesn’t pass through places like Wilmington, Baltimore or downtown D.C.
“We have fiber that’s been up and running for 2 years now on an optical network that’s less than a year old,” said Lodge. “With brand new equipment and brand new fiber, UFD has a latency that is on par and in some cases better than our competitors on a route that is much longer. That latency with the diversity is sparking interest.”
Lodge has 28 years of telecom experience under his belt. He got his start as a computer technician and administrator for the healthcare industry, then worked with providers and carriers, and later built data centers and retrofitted data centers all over the U.S. Lodge was COO at UFD when he took the reins of Interim CEO.
“The role of the title came about with the passing of former CEO Felipe Alvarez and he is very sadly missed,” said Lodge. “I stepped up to continue to drive the vision and the direction of UFD forward during the Covid lockdown. It hasn’t been easy. It’s been challenging but I’m up to the task.”
While Lodge is continuing the momentum at UFD with more deals and news expected over the next few months, he keeps his finger on the pulse of an ever-evolving industry. Lodge predicts higher bandwidth being driven more to the mobility side as people demand top-notch connectivity wherever they go.
During the podcast, Lodge opens up about his favorite flicks and dishes on his favorite fall food – a Pennsylvania Dutch delicacy.