Dark fiber optic network coming to NoVa
High-speed network plans to connect NoVa to Virginia Beach subsea cables
A new 680-mile, regional fiber optic network will begin to take shape in Northern Virginia during the second half of 2021. The project is a joint venture between Annandale-based Tenebris Fiber, Kansas-based Diode Ventures and New York-based JLC Infrastructure.
Construction on the new dark fiber network will begin later this year, the companies said, starting with a 75-mile, buried network running through Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties — providing access from Ashburn to Manassas. (Dark fiber is a telecommunications term referring to fiber optic cables that were previously installed in the ground but have not yet been used to send data.) When complete, the network will run some 680 miles across Virginia, connecting Northern Virginia to the Virginia Beach cable landing station that connects to subsea, intercontinental high-speed internet cables running to Europe and South America.
“It’s going to be a game-changer for us,” because of the speed, scale and expansion possibilities, says Victor Hoskins, CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority. “The ability to grow is immense. … What’s so incredible about this one is that it’s connecting to the submerged cables that connect across the ocean, that come up in Virginia Beach.”
The pandemic has increased data demand from data centers, said Brad Hardin, president of Diode Ventures, a subsidiary of Black & Veatch. And that’s been especially true for Loudoun County’s Data Center Alley, where the world’s largest concentration of data centers can be found.
“Data centers in this region will continue to require high-quality, diverse networks to support their growing operations and customer demand,” Hardin said in the announcement.
Hoskins says standout features of the network include its ability to offer exclusivity to clients and direct access.