Zayo Logo

Diverse, Resilient Routes: What it Means to Be Unique


By Chaz Kramer, VP of Product Management 

As the largest independent network provider in North America, we feel a responsibility to our customers – present and future – to build our network to fit their needs. Our customers need a network that:

  • Exists where and when they need it
  • Can scale with their technology and bandwidth needs
  • Is built to be resilient and durable over the long term

To this end, our network is purpose-built to meet our customers’ diversity, latency, and resiliency requirements. Our unique fiber routes connecting key locations across North America are a big part of the Zayo network story. 

What is a Unique Route? 

A unique route is a fiber route that is ecosystem-diverse. Zayo’s unique routes are fiber routes you can’t get from any other provider. When we say we’re building a unique route, we’re building a route that solves an infrastructure gap. Not just a Zayo networking gap – but a gap in the broader infrastructure ecosystem. 

We define our unique routes as routes that are diverse from existing infrastructure, have scalable capacity, provide low latency, and, in some cases, deliver rural connectivity where there wasn’t connectivity previously. 

Faster, More Resilient Connectivity

Our customers buy connectivity on unique routes for a variety of reasons. Typically, they’re improving network resiliency or latency, or both. 

Freedom from Disruption

Customers seeking greater network resiliency will leverage diverse routes to ensure their network stays up no matter what. Diverse routes are routes consisting of fiber laid along geographically separated paths. 

Zayo’s unique routes can act as primary routes or diverse routes, depending on the customer need. We even have customers with triverse and quadverse networks meaning we provide the third and fourth physically-separated network routes for maximum resiliency. 

No single route can guarantee 100% resilience and uptime. It’s important for customers to build tri- and quad-verse topology into their network to achieve greater resilience.

Customers seeking a more resilient network need at least one diverse route going into their location at a bare minimum. 

With multiple routes, customers can design a switched protection scheme to remain connected even if one route experiences an outage. Our Umatilla to Reno route – to be built by the end of this year – is a primary example of a route providing disaster-resistant diversity. This dark fiber route will not only be built distant from existing fault lines – leading to greater resiliency in the face of earthquakes – it’s also distanced from wildfire-prone areas in California, providing a great diverse option for customers with operations where natural disasters are frequent. 

Another reason customers seek unique routes for diversity and resiliency is because they may still be leveraging old fiber or aerial fiber – both of which are more susceptible to network disruptions. Using newer fiber and fiber that is 100% underground adds that critical layer of diversity and resilience. 

The Need for Speed

By buying fiber on the fastest, most direct route in an ecosystem, customers can solve latency requirements. Network latency becomes a major element in organizations where high-speed data transmission is critical to success. 

Some examples of businesses with latency requirements include trading firms, carriers, and cloud service providers (CSPs) – these organizations depend on real-time communication and data transmission to succeed. By providing the shortest-distance connection between points A and Z with our unique fiber routes, we enable some of the lowest latency connections between key markets. 

Zayo’s Unique Routes 

All of Zayo’s 11 North American unique routes are: 

  • 100% underground for the highest level of security and reliability. 
  • 400G-enabled to keep up with growing bandwidth demands. 
  • Fast – offering the lowest latency options between key markets.
  • Physically diverse from other fiber providers, and from Zayo’s existing network. 
  • Purpose-built to solve diversity requirements. 

All of our unique routes are not only important on their own, they’re critical components of the bigger network picture. Our unique routes play an important role in connecting our long-haul 400G routes spanning from north to south and from coast to coast. These routes offer high-capacity fiber to customers with operations across North America, enabling them to confidently invest in bandwidth-intensive applications and scale their businesses with ease. 

All of our unique routes are strategically built to fill market gaps and help our customers meet their own latency and diversity needs. 

Meet our a few of key unique routes:

D.C. and Columbus to Atlanta


Our latest unique route connects Columbus, D.C., and Atlanta in a Y shape. It enables 400G services on an ultra low latency route completely unique to Zayo. It connects our financial market routes into our southern rail route from Atlanta to Dallas, then out to the west coast. This new, resilient route is built with modern fiber. Plus, it’s the most direct route with the lowest latency available connecting these key markets. 

Columbus to Ashburn 


This route, completed in 2022, is the most direct fiber route that exists between Columbus, Ohio and Ashburn, Virginia. It’s also the lowest latency route between these two locations. The route ties into the recently upgraded Chicago to Columbus route, enabling low latency, 400G services between Chicago and Ashburn on Zayo owned and maintained fiber. This is currently the primary fiber route with available capacity between these two key markets and has the advantage of physical diversity from other existing routes. 

Denver to Salt Lake City


Our highly secure, Zayo owned and operated Denver to Salt Lake route was built to be diverse from the existing I-80 route through Wyoming. This route runs along the I-70 corridor and is a key part of Zayo’s low latency route from coast to coast from the Bay Area to New York, all on Zayo-owned fiber. In addition, it’s 50 miles shorter than the heavily used I-80 route providing a lower latency diverse route. 

Dallas to Atlanta 

Dallas ATL 2

This route is the lowest latency, and most direct route between Dallas and Atlanta. We offer unique routing directly through Jackson, Mississippi on this route, offering critical diversity for customers in these markets. This route also enables low latency data transport connecting Dallas, Ashburn, and New York. This route is the most stable, secure solution in the Southern Gulf region and uses brand new fiber. This offers natural disaster diversity for customers buying fiber on routes that go further south through New Orleans and offers lower latency routing than northern routes through Nashville. Alternative routes depend on aerial and outdated fiber, making this an even more critical route for resiliency. It’s also a key piece of our southern coast-to-coast low-latency route.

New York to Chicago

NY Chicago 2

Also known as Zayo’s “Spread Network” route, this route connects key financial exchanges in New York and New Jersey and Chicago and has maintained an impressive 100% uptime during the entirety of its existence. This is the most direct and shortest route between these two cosmopolitan centers, making it a very popular route among our financial services customers. 

Each of our independently owned and operated fiber routes is purpose-built with the customer in mind. Enterprises of all sizes and industries seek fast, reliable connectivity. By providing diverse, reliable, direct routes, we help our customers meet latency requirements, take advantage of new technologies, and gain a competitive edge with confidence.

Explore Zayo's Unique Routes

Take a look at all of Zayo’s diverse, resilient, and low latency routes