Who’s On Tap
Interview with John Danko Director of Business Development, 325 Hudson
What was the most exciting news for 325 Hudson in 2015?

2015 was a fantastic year at 325 Hudson. Specifically, we executed over a dozen deals, growing our Meet-Me Room to 33 networks. We also continued our work with the metro dark fiber networks, including ZenFi, and collectively saw the number of new fiber strands pulled into the Meet-Me Room from the street approach 11,000. This number is amazing, and a necessity to deliver performance on an order of magnitude higher than the community has seen previously. We also integrated a new brand, Netrality Properties — an umbrella for our portfolio of carrier hotels and data centers — that also includes 1102 Grand Street in Kansas City, 401 North Broad Street in Philadelphia, 717 South Wells Street in Chicago, and 1301 Fannin Street in Houston.

What is new and exciting on the horizon for 2016?

We will continue to build upon our relationships with existing customers who we drive business to through our neutral real estate philosophy, expressed by a mantra I consistently evangelize, “Separating infrastructure from services.” 2016 will see us continue to add networks to our Meet-Me Room, with particular interest in assisting the content and entertainment networks to connect to dense fiber networks, which are critical for them from production through distribution, especially with increasing bandwidth demands such as delivering Ultra-High Definition (UHD) video. Very new and exciting to note as the building owner is our transfer of lease to take control of our 8th floor and 4th floor footprints, consolidating existing network customers, and making room for expansion cage and suite space availability.

New York City has one of the highest concentrations of both mobile and fixed broadband users in the U.S. In your opinion, what are the infrastructure needs required to accommodate this?

To accommodate the concentrations you’re asking about, the infrastructure has to be built and designed for breakouts. Configurations for fronthaul to rooftops, building facades, light poles and other demanded locations need to interface with the backhaul segment. That backhaul segment needs to be a high fiber strand density to support the oncoming 5G architecture standards, which will enable new network instances and mobility services. That is going to require a lot of fiber, and thus, the realization to aggregate and backhaul that into a flexible location that is laser-focused on interconnection.

What is the latest chatter in the industry?

There are a few interesting trends surrounding the industry. The realization of dark fiber communications infrastructure as an asset class has risen in relevance, particularly as it relates to wireless services. Users, utilizing fixed wireless, Wi-Fi, peering, or mesh networks, to access High Definition (HD) and UHD video and other high bandwidth content, are driving the infrastructure companies to build and deploy more dark fiber, both in the long haul and metro environments. An underlying and accessible interconnected dark fiber infrastructure is critical for access, which is ultimately the means to deliver data to eyeballs. A prime example of an asset class being acknowledged and acquired is Crown Castle’s acquisition of Sunesys. I have also had many discussions in the media and entertainment space to help liaison the telecom community for alignment and structure to interconnect creation, production and distribution. I believe the community will ultimately learn and engage the peering community in bridging production and distribution in what makes the most practical sense, a neutral Meet-Me Room. Dense fiber infrastructure, supporting dense wireless infrastructure, connected to peering in a neutral ecosystem, will create the ultimate collaborative environment.

In your opinion, who is an important player in the space?

There are more now than there were just 24 months ago. We have assembled at least 10 dark fiber networks within 325 Hudson, which, as a mix, will lease dark fiber, lease lit fiber or wavelengths, and, to a degree, managed services. To date, ZenFi appears to be the most active with regard to installing fiber density to support access, aggregation and backhaul for WiFi and fixed wireless. In our world, it is important to look at everyone collectively and point again to the fact that, as a group, our tenants have pulled in almost 11,000 strands of fiber to the Meet-Me Room. This is as important of an indicator of where the stage of our business is as anything else, and a validation that our tenant base is ready to support a shift in the market.

Who should we tap into for our next issue and why?

It would be interesting to tap into someone at a digital media or entertainment company such as Sohonet or RCN. The goal would be to substantiate the need for the creative production process to take place at data center hubs. Direct interconnection to Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) and Internet Service Provider (ISP) partners ensures an acceptable end-user viewing experience. Having the production in a Meet-Me Room allows close proximity to end-users and lower network latency through content caching. Digital media and entertainment companies align their Points of Presence (PoPs) to structure the business. Driving the creation process through the Meet-Me Room allows for faster, more efficient content creation, management and distribution.

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