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07 March 2017
| Jason Mcgee-Abe
A plethora of announcements were made at the 16th Metro Connect
conference, which brought together over 540 senior representatives within the metro fibre market across the US. Jason McGee-Abe highlights some of the companies enhancing connectivity.
Metro activity is certainly on the up with more dark fibre
networks and installations, lit services and the advent of
small cells boosting the connectivity. Wireless is still key to
the last mile, which is predicated on fibre density and
ubiquity. Walter Cannon explained to Capacity how ZenFi is
supporting most of the major telecoms networks in the New York
area. One month ago, ZenFi partnered with Cross River Fiber to
launch a metro connectivity platform called ZenCross Connect
(zXc) "to efficiently purchase point-to-point data-centre
connections in New York and New Jersey", said Cannon, vice
president of sales and marketing, adding: "ZenFi has around 144
fibre pairs between the data centres in New York and zXc means
we have almost 30 data centres."
"The market is so commoditised," Cannon said. "We wanted to
make it easier for customers by making a point-and-click model
with the option to buy on a monthly basis. People shop around a
lot with data centres so it’s essentially patching
a core between all the facilities."
Wilcon is another company making strong headway as it has
recently deployed turnkey small cells and hundreds of nodes in
downtown LA and San Diego. Jon DeLuca, president and CEO of
Wilcon, is leading the company’s expansion in the
fibre-optic network and data centre sectors. He told Capacity:
"In addition to our extensive fibre deployment,
we’re providing a turnkey small cell solution in
these central business districts. Wilcon is a big believer in
dark fibre: "You don’t have to twist our arm to
get us to sell dark fibre; it’s a major part of
what we do," said DeLuca. "Leveraging what we already have
strengthens our market position."
The proliferation of small cell nodes, particularly in urban
or metro environments, and network deployments are going to be
critical for 5G.
"Wireless carriers are more focused on fibre today and dark
fibre is becoming much more prominent in the enterprise space.
Enterprises are looking to deploy their own equipment and
manage their own networks," said DeLuca.
Traditionally, customers would buy bandwidth in increments
and allow the carrier or service provider to manage the
network. "Today, we’re seeing more customers not
wanting to pay for incremental bandwidth and they have the
internal capabilities to deploy and manage their own networks,"
added DeLuca. They are looking for partners to provide the
underlying infrastructure, the dark fibre and other access.
Companies like Wilcon are striving to become the underlying
fibre infrastructure provider for these 5G deployments by the
Many providers of enterprise class data transport solutions
across the US domestic carrier ecosystem and to countries
worldwide are establishing points of presence (PoPs) in a
number of data centre facilities with colocation and
interconnection services. For example, the Colo Atl facility,
which accommodates over 90 local, regional and global
operators, provides immediate access to an additional 500,000
Cleareon Fiber Networks, which acquired Pangaea Networks in
October 2016, has expanded its footprint and service offering
to include metro Ethernet services, including: Ethernet Private
Line (EPL), Ethernet over Sonet (EoS) and Ethernet Private
Network (EPN). Additionally, PANMetro, an Ethernet connectivity
service connecting the New York tri-state area’s
pre-eminent carrier hotels, exchanges and data centres, will
become its flagship offering. These services are already in
place, as well as access to thousands of the
area’s enterprise buildings where Cleareon can
deliver Ethernet services.
Metro fibre market,
US fibre market