Dark Fiber & Infrastructure (DF&I) Announces Strategic Growth Investment

  • Dark Fiber and Infrastructure (DF&I)

ASHBURN, VA — Dark Fiber & Infrastructure, a wholesale provider of dark fiber and conduit networks to carriers and enterprise customers, announced it has signed a definitive agreement to receive a majority investment from IPI Partners. IPI's investment will be used to accelerate the growth of DF&I's footprint and operations, including developing high-capacity dark fiber and conduit networks in Northern Virginia and extending customer access to DF&I's unique Potomac River Crossing. Extending this reach provides customers with a diverse, all underground, lowest-latency option to connect Northern Virginia's "Data Center Alley" to a major Northeast U.S. telecom corridor. Future funding will also be used to provide the Company with capital to execute potential expansions to new U.S. markets.

IPI invests in data centers and other technology and connectivity-related real assets and is co-sponsored by ICONIQ Capital and an affiliate of Iron Point Partners.

Meeting Demand for Dark Fiber in Northern Virginia

DF&I was founded in response to increased demand for dark fiber and conduit solutions in Northern Virginia driven by growing consumption of data center space and power in the largest U.S. data center market. DF&I's network provides carrier, enterprise, and hyperscale customers with high-capacity connectivity infrastructure solutions in a region experiencing unprecedented bandwidth growth and associated network constraints.  DF&I intends to leverage its customer relationships and business momentum to expand to other leading U.S. hyperscale markets experiencing significant demand for leased dark fiber and conduit.

The investment from IPI builds upon DF&I's successful track record under Co-Founders John Schmitt and Judd Carothers, who draw on 23 years of experience working together to build, operate, and maintain telecommunications infrastructure.

"This investment allows us to achieve our vision of being the partner of choice for hyperscale dark fiber and dedicated conduit networks in each of the markets where we have a presence," said John Schmitt. "Our infrastructure in Northern Virginia and Maryland establishes us as the largest open access network currently available for lease in the region. We intend to move aggressively to further build specific network infrastructure that provides diversity, latency improvement, and scale that is required but not available in the market today."

"IPI's understanding of our business and the broader needs of our customers make them the ideal partner as we look to translate our success in Northern Virginia and Maryland to new regions ahead of hyperscale growth," added Judd Carothers.

The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2020 subject to customary regulatory approvals. Financial terms were not disclosed.


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