DF&I completes Virginia to Maryland fibre build

DF&I completes Virginia to Maryland fibre build

Fibre network NEW.jpg

Dark Fiber and Infrastructure (DF&I) as deployed a new fibre route between Ashburn, VA and Linthicum Heights, MD.

Now complete, the 65-mile high capacity, open access route links two major data centre clusters meaning DF&I can deliver dedicated dark fibre without the need for signal regeneration between southern Maryland and Ashburn’s Data Center Alley.

Activity across Data Center Alley continues at pace. In December DataBank broke ground on IAD3 – a facility with 40MW potential – while a JV between Harrison Street and American Real Estate Partners (AREP) has committed to six projects in the area with an estimated commitment of $1 billion.

“We could not be more pleased about reaching this critical milestone," said Judd Carothers, founder and COO of DF&I.

"We recognise and acknowledge the support we received from the State of Maryland, MDSHA, Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, MD and Anne Arundel County. Building infrastructure is a complex undertaking and the support for our network completion from the various state and local municipalities was essential during the deployment process," Carothers added.

In part, the low latency offered on the new route is enhanced by DF&I's Potomac River Crossing, located directly north of Ashburn. Completed by DF&I last year it bypasses Washington, DC, thereby providing customers with "a diverse, all underground, lowest-latency option within the largest US data centre market", according to the company.  

The news followed the 2020 definitive agreement between DF&I and IPI Partners, which saw the latter make a majority investment for an undisclosed sum. The funds were intended to drive the growth of DF&I’s footprint and operations, including developing high-capacity dark fibre and conduit networks in Northern Virginia and extending customer access to DF&I’s Potomac River Crossing.

Founder and CRO John Schmitt said: “With the network now in place, we have made the critical pivot from deployment to monetisation of the assets we have created.”

“Our network supports the diverse needs of hyperscale cloud customers, telecom carriers, state and local governments, financial institutions, telemedicine, and enterprise users alike, which all require connectivity into Ashburn,” Schmitt said.

Chris Pancione, president of field services at DF&I added: “To put it simply; we’re builders. The required scale of infrastructure needed in this critical region does not exist today. There are a lot of people talking about what they are going to do; at DF&I, we’re doing it.”

There was also an update on the Manassas ring project announced in 2021. On this DF&I said it had started construction on the initial phase towards Arcola and has completed engineering and permitting on several subsequent phases of the 88-mile project.


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