Shovels in the Ground in Tampa and Orlando

Zayo Moves Forward with Construction of Central Florida Fiber Network

By Steve Orlando, SVP, Zayo Networks Central Region

Project Relies on Newly-Hired Local Teams and Local Contractors

It’s so vital to next-generation technology advances that experts have coined a new term for it: fiberization. At Zayo, we’re hard at work expanding our fiber networks to support the growing demand for bandwidth that is fueling innovation in so many sectors.

That’s the case in central Florida, where our team is constructing a 2,300 miles of new fiber, enabling Tampa and Orlando with dense metro routes and extensive backhaul capability. We’ve hired a local team, local engineering and construction firms and are engaging with the local community. The project is solidly on track, we’ve had great cooperation from local jurisdictions, partners and the entire team looks forward to our continued progress.

A large project like this is complex, with significant up front work in Architecture & Engineering Design and permitting. The process involves field inspection — walking the site —  followed by comprehensive network diligence and CAD design. Approvals and permitting are required by multiple agencies — and in some cases, we meet personally with a jurisdiction so we can explain our request, talk about our experience and the rigorous processes we follow to operate in the right of ways, avoid other utilities and minimize community disruption.

Once we have design finalized and the appropriate permits for a specific area, it’s “shovels in the ground” to kick off construction. Or more accurately, it’s machines operated by the local firms that we hire, which can precisely construct and place conduit and fiber.

We’re at that point now in both cities, with thousands of feet of construction completed in Tampa and the construction gaining momentum this week in Orlando. As we move forward, our teams will work on multiple fronts concurrently, finalizing the Architecture and Engineering design process, securing the remaining permits and building multiple segments simultaneously, turning up locations as we complete them. If all goes according to plan, we will complete initial phases as early as the first quarter of 2020, with the entire network expected to be completed sometime in early 2021.

Ready to Roll: Jack Waters, President of Zayo Networks and COO, on site with the Central Florida network construction team.
Careful Prep: After comprehensive diligence and site preparation, construction on new fiber networks is underway in Tampa and Orlando.

The benefit to our customers — and more broadly, the community who depends on our backbone for their everyday personal and business internet — is a high-capacity network that is entirely underground, making it much less vulnerable to weather-related disruption and emergency restoration. This contrasts to a lot of aerial network in the state, susceptible to outages from storms. With a multiple duct system that integrates the latest technology, the network can scale to meet not only near-term needs but future requirements as well.

We’re proud to be making this investment in Florida, supporting the local economy and fueling our customers’ growth and innovation in the state. With more than 13 million fiber miles across the globe and extensive experience in all aspects of network construction, we’re the right company for this initiative.  And as my team likes to point out, even my name underscores my commitment to our Central Florida network.

Steve Orlando is senior vice president of the Central Region, at Zayo. In this role, Steve has full P&L responsibility for an 18-state region that spans a geography from Minnesota to Florida. Prior to joining Zayo, Steve held senior leadership roles at Level 3. In the telecommunications industry for 25 years, Steve has also held senior leadership roles at Verizon Business, Global Crossing and MCI.