FiberLight: A 20-Year-Plus Heritage of Innovation


Originally printed online on WebRTC World
By Carrie Majewski (nee Schmelkin), Director of Content Marketing, Content Boost

A company founded in 1993, FiberLight knows a thing or two about evolution and transformation. What started as the American Communications Services, Inc. (ACSI), one of the fastest growing providers of voice, data and Internet services in the United States, decades later has emerged as a full line of managed optical transport services.

“Through most of our evolution, we were a fiber construction company,” explained company CEO Paul Pierron at Webrtcworld at the WebRTC Conference & Expo, taking place from June 17-19 in Atlanta, Georgia. “We built fiber networks for AT&T, Verizon, etc. But around 2008 we started lighting our own network and started providing services not just for enterprise customers, but provisioning lit services for the huge carriers.”

Today, FiberLight owns over 1.3 million fiber miles in some of the country's most rapidly growing metro areas. Located in 44 cities and towns and operating in 500 data centers, FiberLight is currently focused on an 8,000-mile expansion project in Texas to support the needs of the growing wireless backhaul industry in 2012. Most recently, the company introduced its 100Gig DASH long-haul network and its plans to reinforce its Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio and Houston core networks.

With such a rich heritage, the company is focused on educating the market that FiberLight is no longer a company that does nothing but construction; rather, today it’s all about providing recurring service on a monthly basis. It’s an evolutionary path for the company that has resulted in phenomenal growth for the company over the last five years, including a CAGR of 24 percent. 

“We are full service provider for all communication needs,” Pierron explained. “Most people in the industry know us as someone that builds things, but we also need to be known as someone that provides service—top-flight service—on a constant basis.”

“What differentiates us is that most of our customers are on their own pairs of fiber,” he added. “We don’t just light a network and go through central offices. We have dedicated fibers from point-to-point. Very few companies can do that because they are legacy networks.”

That differentiation—as well as market shifts like the growing demand for LTE service—has enabled FiberLight to maintain its competitive edge. Currently, the demand for fiber is “insatiable,” said Pierron, and not just for metro fiber. Rather, there is an increasing demand for fiber in the rural markets.

If you go into a community like Tyler, Texas, for example, the community may have 12,000 to 30,000 people and six or seven towers. A community like this, which is driving a lot of bandwidth, will most likely have a huge need for fiber. The same goes for a company in West Texas that is grappling with the explosion of oil and gas and the need to get data back to hubs located in Houston and San Antonio.  FiberLight remains at the forefront of addressing those needs, according to Pierron.

“What you will see from us in the future, is us taking advantage of these tertiary markets,” he said. “We see a huge opportunity in the undeserved markets to be able to provide fiber and to provide it the way we do it.”

“You can find fiber in these places, but the fiber also has components of copper and it has to go into central offices and when you go into a central office, latency and connectivity issues pop up,” Pierron added. “We see some huge opportunities for a gradual expansion from our core base.”