Sidera starts building out Va. statewide network

Dallas--Sidera Networks on Monday started work on a new fiber network that will interconnect all of the major cities in Virginia and other Southeast U.S. markets.

Clint Heiden, Sidera

Heiden (Image source: Sidera)

With construction already underway, the build out, which is set to be completed by the end of 2013, will add 1,000 route miles to the service provider's East Coast footprint.

Interestingly, the two of the key differentiators of this network build, is that not only is it being built with all of Sidera's own fiber, but it's being fully funded by a large unnamed customer win.  

"This is a massive customer order so in terms of what it means to Sidera also it means we just landed a massive amount of revenue," said Clint Heiden, President of Sidera in an interview with FierceTelecom.

While Heiden could not disclose who the customer is or how much revenue it is getting from the build out, he did add that they have already signed up a second customer that will purchase capacity on the network.

In Virginia, Sidera will extend its fiber network from Southern the part of the state from Chantilly, Va. to other major cities including Richmond, Newport News, Roanoke and various points in between.

Having already begun construction on the network, Sidera expects the network be completed by the end of 2013.

A key focus of the expansion will be on providing fiber-based connectivity to data centers. Already, the service provider network is connected to almost 125 data centers, and the upgraded Va. network will provide access to additional centers in both Culpepper and Richmond, Va. 

"As many people know, Virginia is a hotbed for government activity and is becoming kind of a hotbed in the Southern locations for very large data centers," Heiden said. "We have Terremark in Culpepper and QTS in Richmond, and then North Carolina is also becoming a hotbed."

A big advantage for government customers that have located facilities in Culpepper, Va. has another path that can avoid the busy Washington, D.C. area. This new 1,000-mile network route will be connected to Sidera's Transcom Route, or what they call the D.C. bypass, which has become a protection route for many government customers.

"If you're a government institution and want to make sure that your Culpepper traffic has a path that goes from Culpepper all the way up the East Coast without having that traffic go through Washington, D.C., you can take it 50 miles west via Rockville, Md. and 50 miles west of I-95," Heiden said.

No less compelling is that the network will also provide government customers and other carrier and business customers an alternative route in Newport News, Va., where their choice has been limited.

"Another really interesting point is what this [network build] means to Newport News, which is one of those areas where the government has a high concentration of facilities, but not a lot of fiber options," Heiden said. "You're really restricted to Cox in that area so this opens up a completely new way in which the government can get in and out of Newport News."

But the network expansion in Virginia is part of a broader expansion strategy Sidera is taking throughout the southern regions of the United States.

Viewing this network as a multipurpose initiative, Heiden said the goal will be to extend its network reach into three other areas, particularly North and South Carolina, Miami, and into Latin America.

"This is actually a huge commitment to move further south," Heiden said. "We will start leveraging this to move into a broader part of North Carolina and ultimately this may be our gateway to Miami and South America."

Sidera's Latin American ambitions should not be all that surprising.

Earlier this year Sidera signed on as one of the tenants on a new submarine cable network Seaborn Networks is building to provide a direct network route between Sao Paulo, Brazil and the United States.

For more:
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