USA Fiber completes conduit pass under Potomac River

Potomac River (Credit: Charles Fulton/Flickr)

USA Fiber today announced it has completed the Potomac River crossing section of its new Ashburn Express Cable System that will connect Ashburn, Virginia, and Baltimore, Maryland.

The company said that the cable system will create new supply for core carrier networks, network platforms and diversity in the greater Baltimore/Washington metro area. In addition to finishing the Potomac pass, USA Fiber also announced the sale of more than 24 miles of conduit to a “Fortune 500 company.”

"Increasingly, we are working with clients looking to establish network platforms as their architecture moves from the traditional hub and spoke, to an interconnect-oriented architecture where the data center plays a critical role. This shift is driving a greater emphasis on connecting a headquarters facility to a primary data center, and engaging service providers in the open access platforms there for IP, unified communications, cloud and other services. These services are dependent on the network to be delivered to the end users sitting at the HQ and beyond,” said USA Fiber CRO John Schmitt in a statement. “We are thrilled to be delivering conduit to this client, and ecstatic to have completed a major milestone for the company in crossing under the Potomac River."

In electing to install conduit under the river, USA Fiber got a more direct, albeit more difficult to deploy, route for its cable system.

“It’s a much straighter shot,” Schmitt told FierceInstaller.

USA Fiber said it bored 50 feet under the river and away from existing paths. The construction process took about two months and the whole permitting process took about a year. The company said this technique – dropping cable across a river – hasn’t been done in about 20 years, and that most installations that require river crossings now either string along bridges or use subway tunnels.

USA Fiber said that the Ashburn Express network should be finished by 2017.

In terms of the conduit sale, USA Fiber could not provide more details about the company purchasing the route.

But to be clear, the sale of the conduit is not a divestiture on USA Fiber’s part. The assets being sold were built specifically with that purpose in mind.

For more:
- read this press release

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