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December 16, 2013

Dulles Infrastructure Company Constructing Dark Fiber Route in Richmond

By Kasey Schefflin-Emrich
TMCnet Contributing Writer

As a preemptive measure to meet the expected growth of data centers in the Richmond area of Virginia, Dulles-based network infrastructure company SummitIG has started building a dark fiber route from Ashburn to Petersburg.

According to an article in The Washington Business Journal, the 170-mile line of inactive fiber cables will be placed underground from Interstate 295 southeast of Richmond, up Interstate 95, across Interstate 66 and finally up Route 28 in Loudon County. The latter area represents one of the world's most important groups of data centers.

The dark fiber route is expected to be complete by mid-2014.

Although dark fiber lines were extensively placed in the past, which caused an oversupply, SummitIG CEO Bill Cook said in a statement that existing routes in the corridor are oversubscribed or aging. Additionally, an increase in the demand of fiber-optic cables is expected as data centers are opening around the country to save money and as a disaster-recovery method.

According to Cook, the new line will provide companies along the corridor access to a great opportunity.

"By developing this route, it opens up a whole new market for people who have been throttled by lit [fiber] service providers between those markets and a lot of points in between," Cook said in a statement.

One area that will greatly benefit from the new dark fiber route will be Stafford County. SummitIG is collaborating with Silver Cos., a real estate investment firm in Fredericksburg, to put a regeneration facility at the Quantico Corporate Center. The facility is intended to improve signals traveling long distances. Moreover, Stafford County will likely be among the first customers to lease fiber from SummitIG to use at the Stafford Technology Research Center.

While the exact cost of the new dark fiber route is unknown, most of the construction will be paid through funding by Columbia Capital, an Alexandria-based investment firm in wireless, broadband, media and enterprise information technology companies.

Edited by Ryan Sartor
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