Atlantech Online - Fiber Ring in Arlington, VA
If people are working remote, why are you lighting more buildings with fiber? A reader of our blog sent this question to me earlier this week. If you’ve been reading our blog, you’d know that Atlantech Online has been diligently lighting buildings with fiber. Just yesterday, we announced 1825 K Street, NW. Last week, we reported that 425 3rd Street, SW, also known as Capitol View, was added to our metro fiber network. 7272 Wisconsin, 1140 Connecticut Avenue, NW and 1101 Wootton Parkway were all announced earlier this year.
Not only are we lighting more buildings with fiber, we’re building out fiber rings, one of which I’ll write about in this blog post. We’ve recently completed a fiber ring in Arlington, VA, and are starting to build a new fiber ring in Fairfax, VA. The reason why is that there continues to be demand for more bandwidth. Even though many workers are remote during the global pandemic, there is still personnel going into the office. Even more importantly, computer systems continue to hum along within many office suites. Unphased by Covid 19, these systems need ample bandwidth to distribute (or receive) their data. Lastly, now that vaccinations are being distributed, it won’t be long before a greater percentage of the workforce returns to the office. And lightning fast connectivity will be waiting for them when they get there.
I was recently talking to a prospect who clearly needed a reminder of why fiber is so important. Cable companies tout their business internet service as a low cost, high bandwidth source of connectivity for business. What they leave out of their marketing materials is that the download/upload speeds are asymmetrical. 150 Mbps download may be fine, but 20 Mbps upload is paltry into today’s business environment. Fiber doesn’t have this issue. The service is symmetrical and simultaneous. You can download and upload at a high rate of speed at the same time! Additionally, fiber is relatively easy to operate, once you’ve got it in place. Unlike copper networks, which are very persnickety to weather and electromagnetic interference (like from air handler systems), fiber results in fewer truck rolls and lower labor costs. Very easy to troubleshoot, you can use test equipment to shoot light through and get accurate readings for throughput. And, it’s future-proof. Many of our customers were getting 100 Mbps, just 18 months ago. Now, they’re on average, looking for 1000 Mbps circuits and we even are consistently quoting 10 GigE circuits nowadays. With fiber, this is no problem. Just make a 100 Mbps, 1000 Mbps or 10000 Mbps port available, and fiber can carry the bandwidth. You’ve heard the phrase, “faster than the speed of light” before, right? That’s what fiber is and does.
Our recently completed Arlington fiber ring added 15 miles of fiber to Atlantech Online’s dark fiber network. The ring is a redundant ring that hits our core network nodes in downtown Washington DC and in Crystal City, VA, very close to the Amazon HQ2. As we built out the ring, we added 13 new office buildings to our portfolio of lit fiber buildings. Along the ring route, we have the potential to add over three dozen additional buildings in the months ahead.
The benefit to our customers is that the dark fiber route can provide tremendous bandwidth and redundancy to their operations. Additionally, it provides direct access to our telephone network. We are a phone company, too, after all! Lastly, customers can “ride the light” using our CloudConnect service to get to cloud providers such as AWS, Azure, Google and more. We can typically turn up those connections within a week.
Next week, I’ll write about our Fairfax ring, which is already in process and starting to take shape. Please subscribe to our blog and YouTube channel to learn more and follow our progress on Twitter.