Light Reading

UFD Building Business on Diversity

Carol Wilson

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
From The Founder
The comms industry is rallying to the cause of open, independent interoperability testing.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
LRTV Interviews
AT&T's Chiosi on the Potential of Open Source

10|6|15   |   06:27   |   (0) comments

AT&T Distinguished Network Architect Margaret T. Chiosi talks to Light Reading's Carol Wilson about the potential for open source technology to liberate communications service providers.
LRTV Interviews
Network Security in a Gigabit World

10|6|15   |   05:52   |   (0) comments

Masergy's James Harrison talks about some of the network security and data center issues network operators need to consider as they expand their broadband services portfolios.
LRTV Documentaries
Telefónica: In Search of Virtual Simplicity

10|5|15   |   07:30   |   (0) comments

Francisco-Javier Ramon Salguero, head of Telefónica's NFV initiative, admits virtualization initially means greater complexity, but with the right abstraction layer, it is possible to create a services-driven network architecture. He explains how Telefónica's current trials and initiatives are aimed at doing that, and what his company and other carriers need to ...
LRTV Interviews
Gigabit Europe Takeaways

10|5|15   |   03:47   |   (0) comments

Participants from the inaugural Gigabit Europe event in Munich share their key takeaways from the conference.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Intel Urges Women to Take Advantage of Their Seat at the Table

10|5|15   |   4:27   |   (1) comment

Have inclusive and constructive conversations, attach a bigger meaning to your work and get involved in the cause, Intel's Monique Hayward advises women in comms.
LRTV Interviews
BT Updates on Plans

10|2|15   |   03:16   |   (2) comments

Peter Bell, CIO at Openreach, the access network division at UK incumbent BT, provides an update on the operator's trials and how Openreach is planning to deploy the broadband technology in its street cabinets.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Sonus Shakes Up SD-WAN

10|2|15   |   7:22   |   (0) comments

Sonus CTO Kevin Riley sat down with Light Reading to discuss the trajectory of the company, its SDN ambitions and why Sonus is taking a market-disruptive approve to SD-WAN.
LRTV Interviews
CityFibre's Gigabit Vision

10|1|15   |   03:18   |   (1) comment

Mark Collins, director of Strategy & Public Affairs at competitive UK city network operator CityFibre, talks about his company's plans to help build Gigabit Cities.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Automate, Scale & Create With Juniper's vCPE Solution

10|1|15   |   6:34   |   (0) comments

Join Kireeti Kompella, Juniper Networks CTO, and Steve Saunders, Light Reading Founder and CEO, as they discuss Juniper Networks' approach to NFV showcased with a turnkey vCPE solution, which demonstrates how service providers can use automation to rapidly deploy services.
LRTV Interviews
Gigabit Europe: Day 1 Takeaways

9|29|15   |   05:47   |   (5) comments

Light Reading's Ray Le Maistre and Iain Morris sup a beer and discuss some of the key takeaways from the first day of Gigabit Europe 2015.
LRTV Interviews
Gigabit in Europe

9|29|15   |   04:24   |   (0) comments

At the Gigabit Europe 2015 event in Munich, Heavy Reading's Graham Finnie talks about the availability of gigabit broadband in Europe.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
AT&T's Band of Women

9|28|15   |   4:36   |   (0) comments

Brooks McCorcle, the president of AT&T's partner solutions divisions and a mathematician by trade, shares stats on AT&T's diversity and advice on how to create your own band of women at work.
Upcoming Live Events
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
November 17, 2015, Santa Clara, California
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 2, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
All Upcoming Live Events
Communication service providers realize that an ICT transformation is critical to their long-term survival, but most haven't yet committed to making it happen.
Hot Topics
Verizon's Go90 Is Live – Will Anyone Watch?
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 10/1/2015
Eurobites: Dunroamin'
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 10/2/2015
Sprint to Cut Up to $2.5B in 6 Months
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 10/2/2015
McKinsey: Women Less Likely to Advance at Work
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 10/1/2015
TiVo Takes Aim With Bolt
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 9/30/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
With so many new and exciting communications technologies now under development, it's easy to get caught up in the industry's escalating hype cycle. That's why the ...
Last week saw a big day in the 15-year history of Light Reading when Editor-in-Chief Ray Le Maistre and I were invited to interview the Deputy Chairman and Rotating ...
Cats with Phones
Hold My Calls, Indefinitely Click Here