The most successful companies in this world prepare for innovation rather than adapting to innovation. In doing so, they create a future. Their dedication to creating, delivering, and capturing new value in the marketplace sets them apart from their competition. United Fiber & Data (UFD) is one such company that is creating the future through a superior alternative to an aging and vulnerable communications infrastructure.
Based in York, Pennsylvania, United Fiber & Data is a leading dark fiber network provider that has built and operates a long-haul, multi-state fiber-optic network which is geographically diverse. The network is greenfield built, scalable, and wholly owned by UFD. This low-latency fiber-optic backbone currently connects New York City with Ashburn, Virginia, and interconnects many premier data centers along the route.
The company was born on a baseball field following an in-depth discussion about categories that were poised for disruption. While vetting the opportunity, UFD’s founders realized the demand for a truly diverse, long-haul fiber-optic network that would connect the largest financial and information technology markets on the East Coast. Recognizing that fiber was one of the few future-proof technologies, UFD established a mission to provide the fastest and most reliable fiber-optic network in the northeastern United States, while encouraging much needed economic development in rural areas.
A brand-new network infrastructure
One of the highest concentrations of telecommunications infrastructure in the country runs along the I-95 corridor, creating vulnerabilities and exposure to threats through close geographic proximity. Telecommunications plays an essential role across all aspects of commerce, health and public safety, government, and national security. If a natural disaster or terrorist attack occurs in this area, the ramifications of service interruptions are almost incalculable.
This is where UFD comes in. UFD’s fiber network completely avoids the congestion and single points of failure associated with the I-95 corridor by taking a westerly path across New Jersey and Pennsylvania before heading south through Maryland and Virginia, arriving directly in Ashburn, Virginia.
UFD’s network is all new construction, composed of a single manufacturer cable which is wholly owned by the company. With UFD’s fiber network, customers can achieve the redundancy required by modern-day networks with a secure pathway that can support leading-edge optical gear while maintaining low latency.
“The infrastructure that UFD is bringing to the U.S. East Coast and rural areas helps democratize opportunity for startups and established companies alike.”
The road ahead
UFD continues to receive recognition for its innovative dark fiber network infrastructure. Recently, a global hyperscaler selected UFD to create fiber-optic connectivity between two of its major U.S. carrier hotels in Manhattan and New Jersey.
UFD is currently engineering alternative routes from Ashburn, Virginia, to Charlotte, North Carolina, and Atlanta, Georgia. The company is also looking to connect its network with two primary subsea landing stations and finalizing engineering on a new 40,000-square-foot data center facility adjacent to its campus in York, Pennsylvania.
Leading from the front
Bill Hynes, CEO & Founder
Bill Hynes is a true visionary and has led United Fiber & Data (UFD) as its CEO and Founder. Under his leadership, UFD is transforming the data communications industry. His vision is to bring about true geographic network diversity for critical data communications in the U.S. Northeast region. In addition, he has worked extensively to support the community and community-based organizations in York, Pennsylvania, headquarters for UFD.
His business mantra:
“Own the Edge is a mantra of mine, both personally and professionally. It speaks to UFD’s business model, to our diversity, to the commercialization of new technologies, and to always pushing to be at the top of your game. In all things, if you aren’t Owning the Edge, it’s not good enough.”
Advice to someone who is starting out:
2012 – Four entrepreneurs organize United Fiber & Data, LLC. The company breaks ground on its wholly owned, purpose-built, greenfield, fiber-optic backbone connecting Lower Manhattan with Ashburn, Virginia.
2014-2015 – UFD successfully negotiates and deploys its high-speed fiber-optic network through the Hudson River Crossing. UFD also completes its 13-mile, plus additional laterals, metro fiber ring servicing enterprise clients in Lower Manhattan.
2016-2018 – UFD builds 335 miles of its diverse fiber route from Weehawken, New Jersey, to northern Virginia, in addition to four UFD-owned and engineered Regen Sites.
2019 – UFD completes its long-haul fiber backbone of more than 400 miles, which is now live and ready for service.
“UFD is on a mission to provide the fastest and most reliable fiber-optic network in the northeastern United States.”
“Our purpose is to protect the integrity of your business by ensuring your network’s survival. We accomplish that objective by building, owning, and operating a diverse, state-of-the-art fiber-optic route.”