Allied Fiber, the company that plans to build a unique nationwide dark fiber network, had a launch event in West Palm Beach, Fla. today — although much of the network has yet to be built.
“The duct between Miami and Atlanta is 100 percent complete,” said Allied Fiber CEO Hunter Newby in an email to Telecompetitor. “We are now placing the fiber cable and have completed the jetting from Miami to New Smyrna Beach. We expect the fiber placement to be complete through Jacksonville by the end of December and at the current pace to be in Atlanta by June or July.”
Although the network is not yet operational, Newby said 40 percent of the 528-count fiber in Florida is spoken for. Customers include submarine systems, traditional long-distance carriers, cablecos, and local telcos as well as government and other non-carrier networks, he said.
Several aspects of Allied Fiber’s network make it unique — and all of them are related to the company’s open access approach. For example, the company is building network-neutral colocation facilities spaced 60 miles apart to match the typical optical amplification distance.
Customers will be able to connect to the network at any of those locations or even in between colos. That’s a different approach than what network operators traditionally have used. Traditionally operators only have connected to other carriers in major metro markets.
Newby said his customers like the flexibility that the Allied Fiber network provides. The ability to tap in virtually anywhere is particularly appealing to wireless carriers who use the network for backhaul, Newby noted. Some municipalities, educational networks and enterprises also are choosing that option, he said.
Allied Fiber’s colo facilities typically have about 1100 square feet of floor space, Newby said, adding that “they are modular so we can add more as needed.”
Carrier customers install core transport, DWDM/Ethernet and core IP routing equipment in the colo.
“They are ‘meet-me’ rooms for core network transport and Internet transit interconnection,” explained Newby. “They are open to all for multi-tenant access and interconnection and act as a bridge between major international and domestic carriers as well as content and cloud providers to connect directly to the local fiber, wireless backhaul networks.”
The Allied Fiber network was originally planned to include four phases starting with the Chicago-to-New York and Ashburn, Virg. route and moving on to the Southeast for Phase 2. But some or all of the southeastern network could be completed before Phase 1.
“We now call what was Phase 1 the northeast route,” said Newby. “We have acquired and built the duct which comprises 99 percent of the route, but have not yet placed the fiber cable. There is a build project currently underway in Virginia that is a part of our diverse entrance/exit from Ashburn. Once complete we will reassess the time frame for the cable placement. Hopefully within 2014.”
Phase 3 and 4 which will cover western parts of the country, have not been started yet, said Newby.
“We are receiving numerous requests for all segments including the west coast,” he said. “It is all being added to the list and we will decide where to go next based on this evidenced and stated demand.”
Allied Fiber is using railroad rights of way to simplify network construction and in some areas was able to acquire previously installed ductwork.