US startup plans $690m dark fiber network

Dylan Bushell-Embling
26 May 2010

Allied Fiber, a New York-based startup, has unveiled plans to build a US-wide dark fiber network in six stages.

The company plans to build a cable system linking US subsea landing points with major data centers, co-location facilities, rural networks, and wireless towers, and has invested $140 million in phase one alone, which will link New York, Chicago and Ashburn, near Washington DC.

Allied hopes its wholesale network will eventually solicit customers such as submarine cable operators and international retail operators, but in the short term it expects its the most likely customers to be smaller ISPs looking to cut domestic backhaul costs.

"We created this system to address the numerous backhaul and capacity issues that exist in the marketplace today,” CEO Hunter Newby said.

“You need to change the economics,” he toldGigaOM. “And if these buyers can buy at even $15 per megabyte…the number of gigs and terabytes will eclipse the current rate because right now it’s so expensive.”

The first phase in the build-out of the network should be complete by the fourth quarter. The second and third stages will cost $180 million and $350 million respectively, Newby said.

Executive Chairman Rory J. Cutaia said the cable would manage “competing systems in a common, carrier-neutral infrastructure, offering ownership and management of individual fiber pairs.”

Parts of the rollout will be conducted by US vendors Michels Communications, Henkels & McCoy and Adesta.

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