04 June 2018
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Ray LaChance, CEO of ZenFi Networks and Vincenzo Clemente, CEO of Cross River Fiber talk about their recently signed merger agreement and how it will create benefits for the wholesale community
Cross River Fiber and ZenFi
Networks have worked together for several years. Why was now
the right time to merge the two companies?
RL: There are many reasons why now was the
right time for ZenFi Networks and Cross River Fiber to merge.
However, I would have to say that the most significant
justification is the growing number of opportunities from
customers across our combined network footprint.
VC: Each company is at point where
we’ve established ourselves in the New York and
New Jersey markets, but we also recognized that our portfolio
of customers and service offerings are quite different. By
combining our companies, we will enhance our network reach,
diversify our product portfolio, and deliver a next generation
network infrastructure that is the foundation of the
communications networks of tomorrow.
Other service providers have fibre networks in the
NY-NJ Metro footprint. What makes the combined Cross River
Fiber and ZenFi Networks infrastructure unique?
RL: One question we often hear is
"there’s lots of fibre in the New York metro area.
Why do we need another network provider in the region?"
To that I say, yes, there is a lot of fibre. However, that
infrastructure is predominantly deployed in a backhaul
architecture that was not designed with mobile densification in
mind. To support growth, companies require a new and
complementary fronthaul fibre network. This advanced network
architecture differs from legacy backhaul configurations due to
the density of fibre lateral splice points and the number of
dedicated fibre available to serve each endpoint.
The combined ZenFi and Cross River Fiber networks were
designed with the necessary capacity and accessibility to
support new fibre network density requirements while remaining
backwards compatible to meet all legacy network application
What are the benefits to the international wholesale
community with this new combined network?
RL: With over 700 route miles of fibre, our
combined network provides a level of reach and connectivity
that few other providers in the market can offer in one of the
most important markets in the world.
VC: In January 2017, the companies
partnered to create ZenCross Connect (zXc), a self-service
platform enabling the automated purchase and configuration of
interbuilding and interstate network cross-connects. Through
the zXc platform, ZenFi and Cross River Fiber provide
pre-provisioned, on-demand dark fibre and 1GB-100GB lit
services between all of the major data centers and
colocation facilities in and around the New York metro area,
including access to key international landing points.
How do you see dark fibre continuing to play a role
in the evolution of the modern network?
RL: Each year it grows increasingly evident
that in a very short time nearly all devices at the edge of the
network will be connected wirelessly. As a growing number of
users consume bandwidth-intensive content and applications
while demanding low-latency connectivity anywhere and
everywhere, wireless networks will need to get closer to end
users. Next generation wireless networks, such as 5G, are also
becoming increasingly reliant on robust fibre optic networks to
reliably meet growing bandwidth requirements. In addition, for
data center facilities at the edge, low-latency,
high-capacity connections to core networks are critical to
enabling high-quality interconnectivity services.
What are your thoughts about the recent agreement
between T-Mobile and Sprint to merge?
VC: The merger advances their position into
the enablement of 5G and should foster a higher capacity
network with greater reach and scalability. Though as a service
provider to each of these mobile carriers, such consolidation
could initially slow down their decision making to implement
new fibre and colocation services that will support their
combined network strategy.
After the consolidation and ripple effect it may have on the
tower operators and the carrier industry as a whole, I remain
optimistic that in order to reach their goals and remain
competitive with Verizon and AT&T, they will have to
continue to invest in the underlying infrastructure to support
Cross River Fiber,