Dark Fiber Provider Plans Line Connecting Major Internet Hubs in Virginia


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Ashburn and Virginia Beach are two major centers of internet traffic, and FTS Fiber met with the Middlesex Broadband Authority (MBA) on January 18, to explain its strategy to connect the two locations. Middlesex County lies in the path of the future cable. Adam Noll co-founded the dark fiber provider, and spoke to the group.

The dark fiber will eventually be used to build out small cells and additional towers, especially once 5G networks are online. Noll remarked 65 percent of international internet traffic runs through Ashburn, says the Southside Sentinel. A fiber line connecting Northern Virginia to the Atlantic coast has potential to anchor build out in many rural parts of the state.

The line would follow the same path as U.S. Route 17. Lateral lines would branch off down other roads, and home and businesses could connect to the line. Those further away would be connected wirelessly through small cells deployed by carriers and other telecommunication companies.

Verizon, AT&T and Sprint have already discussed adding network infrastructure to the line, even though construction has not started. FTS advocates using small cells in company literature. A company brochure explains, “The more small cells deployed, the greater the service capacity and increased coverage for device users.”   

Noll hopes the group will assist with deployment, especially since it will give the community a level of control over how it’s deployed. The super-capacity line can also be used in conjunction with broadband transmitters to connect the county’s new emergency communication towers. County supervisor and MBA chairman Bob LeBoeuf is enthusiastic about the possibilities ahead. “FTS is in the process of installing a super-capacity line that could connect to our towers, or even directly to our end-users (e.g., schools, county buildings, sheriff’s office, businesses),” he said.

January 30, 2017

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