Virginia Data Center and Telecom Development

Virginia offers the many businesses and government agencies in the region the ability to access top data center real estate services in close proximity to massive telecommunications infrastructure. For companies currently engaged in data center research, Virginia in particular offers many benefits to enterprises and government agencies by virtue of its position as a world-class data center and telecom hub.

Since federal organizations are heavily invested in Ashburn data centers, among other Virginia locales, the state’s facilities are high priority for physical protection, access to emergency fuel supplies and national cybersecurity. Many of these sites have state-of-the-art physical monitoring of the highest degree. The state’s location near the nation’s capital and the Research Triangle in North Carolina ensures that there will always be a supply of top IT professionals available to work at the data centers. Additionally, Virginia lawmakers have been proactive in providing a favorable economic climate for data center owners and operators, like the expanded sales tax exemptions that Gov. Bob McConnell signed into law last year.

Perhaps most importantly for potential data center users, the high profile of Virginia data centers ensures that these locations will always be on the receiving end of the latest technological innovations. On August 5, for example, Lightower Fiber Networks, a leading provider of high-capacity network solutions, announced that it will be expanding its all-fiber infrastructure in Virginia and Washington, D.C. Fiber optic networks offer “future-proof” capacity for increased system performance using substantially less bandwidth than legacy copper and cable connections.

Lightower is adding 1,500 miles of its all-fiber network in the Virginia and Washington, D.C. metro region, with Virginia seeing an additional 1,100 route miles and 400 intended for the D.C. area, including parts of southern Maryland and northern Virginia. The network provider commenced construction on the Virginia leg of the project in May 2012, and the additional lines increase Lightower’s standing as a top infrastructure provider in the region. They expect to start bringing customers online in Fall 2013.

Expansion Offers Trickle-down Benefits for Technological Advancement
Central to the expansion is the conversion of Ashburn, Washington, D.C., Culpepper and Richmond data centers to an all-fiber network, which lets organizations to invest further in high-performance data center design, as well as government applications, cloud distribution and state-of-the-art technology solutions provided by innovators in the region. The all-fiber network also enables increased connectivity for organizations using these data centers, as users will have access to the more than 20,000 miles of network and over 7,500 service locations that Lightower already offers in the Mid-Atlantic, Northeast and Chicago regions.

Two notable aspects of their expansion offer benefits for dynamic connectivity. The all-fiber network is the first-ever route that is geographically diverse from the I-95 corridor. Additionally, as FierceTelecom senior editor Sean Buckley wrote, the network will also establish a fiber segment over the Transcom route, or “D.C. bypass,” which is a key link for government customers between Washington, D.C. and New York.

“This expansion dramatically increases the number of customers Lightower can serve in the Washington, D.C. metro and Virginia markets,” said Lightower CEO Rob Shanahan. “Our high-performance networking solutions power some of the largest companies and most demanding applications in the world, and now we are bringing more of this networking power to Washington.”

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