FiberLight currently owns more than 1,900,000 miles of dense fiber optic infrastructure over a growing footprint of U.S. metropolitan areas. Through its backbone of more than 26,000 access points, the company delivers Ethernet, IP and data transport services, as well as dark fiber services for wireline and mobile service providers, data center operators, ISPs, cable, cloud and content providers.
Data Center POST recently had the opportunity to sit down with Don MacNeil, Chief Executive Officer of FiberLight, to discuss the impact Software-Defined Networking (SDN) will have on network operators and the trends he anticipates will influence the telecommunications industry this year. He also addressed his company’s attendance at International Telecoms Week (ITW) 2018, taking place May 6-9 in Chicago. ITW is the annual conference for the global wholesale telecoms industry, providing a platform for nearly 7000 delegates from more than 1900 companies and over 140 countries to meet and network.
In his role as CEO of FiberLight, Don is responsible for the development and execution of the company’s vision and strategy, both of which are focused on revenue growth and enhancing customer experience. He has more than 25 years of experience in network architecture and design, network engineering, access and optimization, and customer operations. Before joining FiberLight, Don served as Chief Technology Officer for EdgeConneX® where he was responsible for identifying and introducing new technologies and product capabilities to address evolving multi-tenant, data center services.
“Software-Defined Networking will have both near-term and longer-term implications for the communications industry,” Don stated. “In the near term, SDN will benefit network operators with improved operating leverage, and improved network quality and reliability through automated activation and configuration as well as ongoing performance management. In the longer-term the promise of SDN will be critical in shaping and delivering new services, specifically around policy based and application aware networking solutions.”
With respect to the broad trends that he sees making an impact on the telecoms industry in the next 12 months, Don doesn’t anticipate Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to have a significant effect on his business just yet. However, he does identify great value for these technologies and capabilities in the areas of pro-active network performance monitoring and cyber-security.
Looking forward, Don anticipates significant opportunities in the integration of fiber and wireless-based networks, in particular as they will support wireless network densification as well as enabling the adoption and support of machine-to-machine (M2M) and Internet of Things (IoT) applications.
“We’ll see continued expansion of both fiber and wireless-based access networks, including tighter linkages between the RF and fiber to support both bearer traffic and control channel traffic in support of M2M and IoT-type services,” Don commented. “This will ultimately support a flexible, dynamic access network in the last / middle mile network densification efforts.”
Concerning FiberLight’s attendance at ITW, Don commented on the event as a platform for networking as well as an opportunity to stay abreast of other industry-leading influencers.
“ITW offers an efficient forum to meet with current and prospective customers in a professional business environment, facilitating updates on current business opportunities and initiatives, while at the same time providing an opportunity to hear from a wide range of thought leaders representing network operators, investors and technology companies,” Don stated.