Wave Business constructs new fiber ring in Hillsboro, Oregon

Wave Business is building a new fiber-optic ring in Oregon that's scheduled to be completed in the second quarter of this year. The Hillsboro, Oregon fiber ring, which is called Ring II, will feature a mostly 3,456-strand fiber-optic network when it's completed.

Hillsboro is also the location of Wave Business' fiber-based Ring 1, which is a cross-connect facility for several trans-pacific submarine cables that currently connect six data centers. Ring 1 has two 864 low-loss, single-mode fiber cables that have diverse entries into each of the six data centers.

All told, Ring I and Ring II will connect up to 14 existing or planned data centers and will serve trans-Pacific submarine cable systems. Trans-Pacific destinations involving the submarine cable systems include China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Guam, Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia, and American Samoa. Additional countries to be added in 2020 include the Philippines and Alaska, with New Caledonia being added in 2021

“This will be one of the few places in the world where seven submarine cable systems can be seamlessly accessed through a single protected dark fiber network, allowing any customer in any data center to cross-connect to such dense transpacific capacity,” said Patrick Knorr, executive vice president and chief commercial officer for Wave Business, in a statement. “This new construction addresses demand for high-count fiber from companies that are building or already own one or more data centers on one of the rings, allowing them to connect facilities, as well as gain access to the transpacific cables.”

For the Ring II project, Wave Business is using AFL's cable with a mix of 3,456 count (a total of 75%) and 864 count (25%) fiber. Wave Business is building Ring II with its internal underground construction crews placing all of the backbone conduits, as well as handling all of the splicing and terminations. Wave Business is using a contractor, NW Line Builders, to push the fiber into the conduits.

Wave also operates the Tillamook Lightwave-owned cable landing station in Pacific City, Oregon and provides path-diverse dark fiber routes to Hillsboro for incoming transpacific subsea cables.

Hillsboro is the fifth-largest city in Oregon, and is host to many high-tech companies such as a Intel, which earned it the sobriquet of "Silicon Forest." Hillsboro has grown into a trans-Pacific hub for data centers and companies with business in Asia.

Wave said its two rings would provide an efficient, low-cost method for these cables to cross-connect to each other and to high-capacity wavelength services in major U.S. markets. This also gives customers the ability to connect any two facilities with dark fiber, providing a secure and protected path with the same qualities, without traversing through any other facility.

Businesses connected to the fiber rings or the Pacific City landing station will be able to tap into Wave’s network, consisting of more than 20,000 route miles of fiber, to transmit data along the West Coast and across the country.

RELATED: Wave, RCN and Grande drill down on connectivity for business solutions

While they still have their own branding, Wave Broadband, Grande Communications and RCN Communications are all owned by TPG Capital. TPG paid $2.25 billion several years ago to buy Grande and RCN and then bought Seattle-based Wave two years ago for about $2.36 billion.

All three offer traditional residential cable services and have a history of overbuilding larger cable operators, such as Comcast, but the common business services division of the three operators is focused on providing fiber-based commercial services. Between the three, the business services division has about 10,000 buildings on-net and more than 20,000 miles of fiber in place, much of it metro fiber. In addition to the fiber, Wave, Grande and RCN also offer dark fiber, WDM, hosted voice, and 100G and 10G services.