Light Reading

UFD Building Business on Diversity

Carol Wilson
4/1/2014
100%
0%

Is it still possible to differentiate a fiber optic network based on where it is located? One relatively new service provider is proving that case -- and not by putting financial traders closer to their exchanges.

United Fiber & Data is not yet three years old but has established itself as a network operator, based on the simple concept of serving the high-density areas of the East Coast without locating its fiber optic network along the I-95 corridor. The company was already building its network when Superstorm Sandy hit in 2012, wiping out many physical network facilities and proving the core reasoning of UFD's business case, which is the need for diverse physical facilities serving mission-critical functions such as data centers, stock exchanges, and basic infrastructure.

"We looked at what we can provide that complements what everyone else does, and wound up building a company on the concept of bypassing the I-95 corridor between New York and Northern Virginia," says Chris Lodge, CEO of United Fiber & Data. Many of its customers have started to realize that even buying diverse fibers from different companies doesn't provide true protection if those fibers run along the same rights of way or in the same ducts.

So what United Fiber & Data is focusing on is real physical diversity of dark fiber solutions, along with regeneration/co-location sites and, coming soon, data center options.

"There are many types of concerns companies have today -- natural disasters, terrorist threats, power outages... We have built a network to address those concerns," Lodge says.

The firm is connected in six carrier hotels in New York City and has built redundant fibers coming out of the city. It then created what looks like a horseshoe through the middle of Pennsylvania, before dropping down through the western side of Maryland to reach Ashburn, Va., and the Equinix interconnection point there, as well as the Northern Virginia high-tech corridor. The network is shown in the image below.

United Fiber & Data's Network

The company also is building three data centers in the Pennsylvania cities of Allentown, Reading, and York, and is targeting service providers, wireless backhaul, government units, and large enterprises, particularly financial services and healthcare, both directly and through channels, says Lodge.

He also doesn't discount the fact that UFD's networks are new fiber builds, using the latest technology and offering low-latency services in addition to reliability and capacity. And, while customers may start the conversation with United over diversity, Lodge believes his company is well positioned to earn its primary business as well.

United Fiber & Data is assuming a high-profile marketing position by taking over as the primary sponsor of Andretti Autosport, a position once held by GoDaddy, and its logos are all over the #27 United Fiber & Data Honda riven by James Hinchcliffe, for which it is primary sponsor. In the tradition of its predecessor, the car display at Comptel Plus in March featured some very attractive young ladies.

The United Fiber & Data Car

Lodge tells Light Reading (with a straight face) that the race sponsorship is actually paying off directly with enterprise contacts who attend the Indy car races.

— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Network architects aiming to upgrade their networks to support agile, open, virtualized services in the 21st century need to consider new criteria when choosing between technology suppliers.
Live Streaming Video
BTE 2015 Sponsor Keynote: HP
Dr. Prodip Sen, CTO, Network Functions Virtualization, HP
LRTV Custom TV
Red Hat Demo

7|2|15   |   10:53   |   (0) comments


Red Hat's Nicolas Lemieux demonstrates how Red Hat is driving innovation through open source communities.
LRTV Custom TV
Red Hat's Approach to OpenStack Adoption

7|2|15   |   5:17   |   (0) comments


Red Hat's Radhesh Balakrishnan outlines his company's open source strategy for both enterprises and telcos.
LRTV Custom TV
The New IP Goes Mobile With vEPC

7|2|15   |   1:12   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading's Gabriel Brown discusses results of a Light Reading survey sponsored by Brocade that shows a clear commitment by mobile operators to move quickly to virtual EPC deployment.
LRTV Custom TV
Making Business Sense of SDN

7|2|15   |   1:42   |   (0) comments


Results of a Brocade-sponsored survey show that CSPs have a clear sense of SDN use cases but are wrestling with the business case. Sterling Perrin of Heavy Reading looks behind the numbers.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Will Be Here Sooner Than You Think

7|2|15   |   2:22   |   (0) comments


Forget the usual ten-year cycle for new technologies – NFV will be a core part of CSP networks in five years, based on results of a Brocade-sponsored survey, says Heavy Reading's Caroline Chappell.
LRTV Custom TV
The New IP Gains Traction With CSPs

7|2|15   |   1:42   |   (0) comments


Roz Roseboro of Heavy Reading analyzes results of a Light Reading survey sponsored by Brocade showing that CSPs are getting serious about making the transition to the New IP era.
LRTV Custom TV
It's (Real) Time for Analytics

7|2|15   |   1:42   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading's Jim Hodges looks at how CSPs say they plan to use analytics to deploy new services in real time as part of The New IP, based on results of a survey sponsored by Brocade.
LRTV Documentaries
IoT in Action

6|30|15   |   1:39   |   (7) comments


Two co-workers discuss the benefits of IoT technology.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson Opens Up on OPNFV

6|30|15   |   14:16   |   (1) comment


Martin Bäckström, VP and head of industry area Datacom at Ericsson, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the emergence of OPNFV, the importance of standards and Ericsson's OPNFV plans.
LRTV Custom TV
NetNumber Founder Discusses NFV/SDN Impact on SP Networks

6|26|15   |   4:15   |   (0) comments


NetNumber Founder Doug Ranalli examines why SPs need a new network infrastructure for service agility. While NFV and SDN are the tools, the old ways of thinking about signaling control are inhibitors. Doug provides his recommendations.
LRTV Custom TV
Orchestrating NFV vCPE Services Across Multivendor Networks

6|26|15   |   5:46   |   (0) comments


Nirav Modi provides an overview of vCPE, the fastest-growing NFV use case, showing how Cyan's Blue Planet orchestrates vCPE services across a multivendor infrastructure to rapidly deliver new managed services for business customers.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE at LTE Summit Amsterdam 2015

6|26|15   |     |   (0) comments


As one of the leading global telecommunications providers, ZTE presented its cutting-edge technology at LTE World Summit 2015 in Amsterdam. On display at ZTE's booth were the latest R&D achievements in wireless, 5G development, HetNet, deep convergence of FDD and TDD, and RCS/IMD/iSDN/vCN.
Upcoming Live Events
September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
Who's Feeding Fiber to LinkNYC Hotspots?
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 6/29/2015
Colt to Jettison Ailing IT Business
Iain Morris, News Editor, 6/30/2015
Eurobites: Activist Investor Takes Stake in AlcaLu
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 6/30/2015
What's a Gigabit Good For?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 7/1/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Casa Systems has been going from strength to strength over the last couple of years. In 2013, it became the first vendor to ship an integrated CCAP device -- the ...
Cedrik Neike, SVP of Global Service Provider, Service Delivery, at Cisco, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about solving service provider customer problems in a virtualized, DevOps world, including multivendor support and the future of network procurement.
Cats with Phones