Allied Fiber has completed funding for phase one of its nationwide fiber-optic network. Construction of the first phase linking New York City, Chicago and Ashburn, Va., is under way and expected to be completed by May 2011.
The 1,300 route-mile network is the first phase of an 11,500 route-mile, five-phase plan to ring the nation with a carrier-neutral, dark-fiber network, which will address the needs for national broadband demand by providing access to new dark fiber, collocation facilities and fiber-fed wireless towers on a network-neutral, open-access basis throughout the United States.
“In what has been a very challenging financing market, we have been able to prove the merits of the Allied Fiber system,” Hunter Newby, CEO of Allied Fiber, said in a press release. “In response to the proven demand from our customers and the industry, we will be able to complete the phase one build and deliver the physical, long-haul and short-haul dark fiber, collocation and interconnection capabilities that are so critical for the next generation of network requirements in our country.”
Allied Fiber has implemented a new, multi-duct design for intermediate access to the long-haul fiber duct through a parallel short-haul fiber duct all along the route. This enables all points between the major cities, including data centers, wireless towers and rural networks, to gain access to the dark fiber. In addition, the Allied Fiber neutral collocation facilities, located approximately every 60 miles along the route, accommodate a multi-tenant interconnection environment integrated with fiber.
The first phase of the system will provide access for hundreds of tower sites, all integrated into one system from one provider. The new 528-count, long-haul cable coupled with the 216-count, short-haul cable will be a composite of single-mode and non-zero dispersion-shifted fibers. By having a high-fiber count and being network-neutral, Allied Fiber is able to offer dark fiber and collocation at lower unit costs.
In other fiber-optic news, FiberLight has launched a $20 million, 104-mile fiber-optic network to augment its existing 123-mile Baltimore network and 299-mile Virginia and Washington, D.C., networks. The new network extends the 100-percent underground optical backbone past the downtown Baltimore business district to connect to the growing cities of Laurel, Columbia, Elkridge and Greenbelt, while providing greater diversity to the MD/D.C./VA region.
Patrick Mitchell, president and CEO of the Maryland Broadband Cooperative public/private partnership to support technology infrastructure deployment, noted the importance of connecting networks with fiber optics in order to get broadband out to the rural areas of Maryland.
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