A Q & A With Bart Rogers, Director of Product
The demand for broadband access has never been greater.
The demand for high-speed internet has grown exponentially over the past few years. With the disruption of the traditional work model that saw more people working remotely and the rise of cloud-based computing, to the proliferation of streaming services, and the rise of telemedicine and online education – the demand for broadband access has never been greater. In the United States, federal programs like the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund and Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment programs sought to bridge the digital divide by delivering higher-speed access to places that previously have not been profitable to serve.
Fiber broadband has officially reached a tipping point – surpassing both cable and DSL in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development OECD), an association of 38 high income countries. According to OECD data released in July, fiber accounted for 35% of subscriptions compared with 32% for cable and 27% for DSL last year. From 2020 to 2021, subscriptions for fiber broadband surged 40%.
As a fiber infrastructure provider with more than 20 years of experience building and operating mission-critical, high-bandwidth networks, FiberLight leads the industry in delivering the products that ignite digital transformation for our customers. We recently sat down with Bart Rogers, FiberLight’s new Director of Product, to learn more about the current state of the organization, plans for the future, and the products that inspire him.
FiberLight: Can you tell us a little bit about your background and experience before joining FiberLight?
Bart Rogers: I have been working in the technology and network service provider industry for more than 20 years, and have been in the general industry since the mid 90s. I started my career working for a manufacturer in optical network technology, then made my way over to the network service provider arena.
FiberLight: What are some of your career highlights and major accomplishments?
Bart Rogers: I take great pride in having a role in the growth of network infrastructure enabling innovation in the industry today. I have participated in the public infrastructure and enterprise space from large metropolitan network service deliveries to global technology solutions. I have been fortunate to participate in different industries including retail, energy, manufacturing, logistics, and regional banks. It is always exciting to see the growth of a business or a city and feel good about your contributions in that development.
FiberLight: What are your primary responsibilities as Product Director for FiberLight?
Bart Rogers: My primary role is to continue to evolve the existing product portfolio and to ensure we are meeting the current needs of the organizations we serve. I am also focusing on the future and creating a roadmap for new areas of product development to anticipate the strategic goals and initiatives of our existing and new customers to position them for continued growth.
FiberLight: Why did you choose to join the team at FiberLight? What about the organization appealed to you?
Bart Rogers: I have a history of working with service providers with over forty thousand employees, and really liked the idea of joining a smaller company where I can work more efficiently and create more of an impact at the corporate level, quickly. After being with service providers with a large diverse portfolio, I am excited to join FiberLight where we can focus on network solutions and being the premiere provider in our markets with the fiber services we offer.
FiberLight: What do you see as the key advantages that FiberLight offers to the industry?
Bart Rogers: One of the key areas where we provide value is our network assets. FiberLight offers the industry deep network penetration, particularly in the state of Texas. In addition, we provide critical network infrastructure in Central Florida, Virginia, Maryland and in the greater Atlanta area. As a result, we have been able to provide appropriate solutions to meet the needs of our wholesale market and are enabling strategic technology for our hyperscale or cloud service providers, mobile network operators, and large enterprise customers. We are also delivering high performing and reliable infrastructure to our channel module with dark fiber, wavelength services, Ethernet connectivity, and Internet services.
FiberLight will continue to innovate into additional service areas for our customer base so that we can grow and scale. We are exploring new service areas in close proximity to the services that we have today to bring value to businesses, increase revenue, and drive more sales. In addition we are exploring new marketplaces where we can deliver new services to enterprise organizations.
FiberLight: FiberLight recently announced that it signed a definitive agreement to be acquired by Morrison and Co. How does that acquisition impact you in terms of developing new products and services?
Bart Rogers: The acquisition shows this is an industry positioned for long term growth, and Morrison’s investment in FiberLight provides us with the resources necessary to explore new markets and services needed for businesses to achieve their success and for FiberLight to grow.
FiberLight: What about FiberLight capabilities are you most excited about? What makes them stand out in the industry?
Bart Rogers: Our portfolio is enabled today by extensive infrastructure. Where FiberLight has network assets, we have a great deal of strength. One could visualize FiberLight’s network capacity like a very dense tree that spreads across the state of Texas, for example, that enables us to build solutions that branch into those different verticals (hyperscalers, enterprise organizations and public sector) that I mentioned previously.
We have the capability of providing the infrastructure businesses need – whether that is high bandwidth infrastructure to deliver services, Internet connectivity, private layer two Ethernet solutions, DWDM wavelength services, colocated network solutions, or dark fiber. FiberLight offers all of the foundational services necessary to give our customers the infrastructure they need to be successful.
So at a high level, I like what FiberLight network infrastructure provides, how it enables our existing portfolio, and how we are going to be able to build and grow on top of that by adding additional services. Lastly, I am extremely impressed by the staff at all levels who have built FiberLight.
FiberLight: What are the most important messages that you would want to communicate about FiberLight’s products?
Bart Rogers: From an industry service provider perspective, I have observed that there is a lot of distraction away from network services. FiberLight is extremely focused on delivering the high-speed network connectivity solutions that organizations need, and we are looking at how we can deliver that from a customer’s premises or from a tower and all the way to a data center. We are bullish in growing our network to be able to meet businesses where the bandwidth needs are greatest, and leading the industry in building next-gen, scalable transport to connect to our high-performing application serving data centers or anywhere in the world through our Dedicated Internet Access.
The second thing we are focusing on is understanding where end users and applications are moving so that we are delivering those network services at the right locations. Access to applications has become more distributed. We are excited about working with cloud service providers to connect back to customers’ data center infrastructure and incorporate connectivity to 5G towers where IoT end points and end users are getting more and more access to the Internet.
FiberLight: What do you think the industry should be most excited about when it comes to FiberLight?
Bart Rogers: Well, I will tell you right now… Our ability to be able to deliver full line rate,10 Gigabit private switched Ethernet connections to network customers and locations across 100 gig backbone and across our Ethernet architecture. That is exciting and differentiates FiberLight from some of the household name competitors that we are going up against. Another area where FiberLight shines is enabling high speed solutions for Metro Ethernet and service for our customers. It has been good to be able to come into a company where that is a standard service and available to the market right now.