MSP Today Expert Feature
July 15, 2014

Growing Fiber Infrastructure at the Core of Cloud Networks and Applications

With all the buzz surrounding forward-facing applications and exciting new technologies like WebRTC, it’s easy to forget about the backbone powering today’s networks. There would be no cloud or any of the associated bells and whistles that comprise today’s technologies without the underlying fiber infrastructure that carries the traffic.

FiberLight (News - Alert) has been in the business for more than 20 years, and now owns more than 1.3 million miles of dense fiber infrastructure spanning much of the southern U.S. And while the company works with everyone from carriers to multi-tenant organizations like schools and hospitals, they are careful not to expand out of their depth.

“We’re just big dumb pipes and that’s what we do best,” Paul Pierron, CEO of FiberLight, told Crossfire Media’s Carl Ford (News - Alert) at the recent WebRTC Expo in Atlanta. And what the company does best is to give carriers and enterprise organizations redundancy to their own copper and fiber networks without interfering with their central offices.

“They’re always sort of looking for diversity,” added Pierron. “So what we do is provide that diversity and it’s different.” For instance, if a backhoe comes through and cuts a carrier’s own lines, the FiberLight lines will remain intact. That becomes increasingly important in an era when the cloud—and all of its associated apps and technologies—relies on network uptime and redundancy.

The company has more than 17,000 backbone access points ranging from Washington, D.C. through to all the major cities in Texas. FiberLight boasts 5,000 miles of pipes in Texas with plans to expand that footprint to 8,000, and has a presence in more than 500 data centers. That vast network is aiding in the company’s efforts to expand to rural areas as well.

“Our fiber, in fact, goes by over 200,000 buildings,” noted Pierron. “Now, we’re not in all those buildings, but we’re running right by the road. So we can basically service just about anybody.”

FiberLight will certainly be busy doing just that during the remainder of the year. Expansion plans include linking 275 new cell towers, which will bring their total to 900. The company also plans to finish constructing a layer one high-speed transport circuit and will also connect the Data Foundry data center in Austin to its DASH network, which connects Dallas/Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio, Houston, Laredo, McAllen and Corpus Christi.