Ziply Fiber Acquires Wholesail Networks

 

  • Ziply Fiber

KIRKLAND, WA — Ziply Fiber, just 13 days after taking over the Northwest operations of Frontier Communications, announced two major steps forward in its focused roll-out of improvements to its network and services throughout Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. The company has acquired Wholesail Networks, a Northwest-based, privately-held telecommunications and internet infrastructure company that Ziply Fiber has been working with for the past six months to lay the groundwork for its fiber network that is purpose-built for the internet. Ziply Fiber also is beginning fiber build-out and network improvement projects in 13 markets that have never before had fiber, many of which are smaller and rural towns in the four-state area. These are the first areas to benefit from Ziply Fiber’s commitment to invest more than $500 million in its network and services through the region. 

A key component of Ziply Fiber’s Northwest-focused strategy was to pre-invest in network improvements prior to the May 1 closing of its deal with Frontier and to jump-start service upgrades. To do so, the company began working with Wholesail’s team last fall to begin sourcing and deploying next generation technology to improve the capacity, reliability and redundancy of its network. This pre-investment in its core and aggregation networks helped Ziply Fiber rapidly and confidently deploy the first set of improvements that will benefit all customers connected to its network regardless of service and regardless of geography. These upgrades also will enable customers who choose fiber connections to their homes and businesses to have the best possible online experience. 

Thirteen towns in the region will be the first to see new fiber connectivity coming to their area as part of Ziply Fiber projects that will start over the next two to three weeks. Many are smaller and underserved towns that have the same needs as people in larger cities today, but still rely almost solely on DSL or other older technologies for internet connections. Customers in these towns will see the best speed, capacity and reliability when fiber is introduced and the projects are completed. While some projects may take 90-150 days to finish depending on complexity, scale and geography, Ziply Fiber estimates that its first customers can begin taking advantage of gig-speed fiber internet roughly 45-60 days after each project kicks off. 

The initial 13 projects will be in the cities of:

  • Washington – Anacortes, Kennewick, Pullman, Richland and Snohomish
  • Oregon – Coquille, Coos Bay, La Grande, North Bend
  • Idaho – Coeur d’Alene, Kellogg, Moscow
  • Montana – Libby

“We believe you don’t have to live in a big city to get great internet, especially in this time where so many people across the region work from home and engage with their schools, community groups, friends, customers, and work teams primarily online,” said Harold Zeitz, CEO of Ziply Fiber. “That’s why both the acquisition of Wholesail Networks and kicking off our fiber build-outs are so important and exciting to us. We are improving the internet for our existing customers and enabling new fiber customers. Our network is purpose-built for the internet and these are two big steps towards fully enabling that and giving our customers a better online experience than possible with any other technology.”

A Network Purpose-Built for the Internet

Ziply Fiber engaged Wholesail Networks last fall to begin building and upgrading the internet backbone, network design and technology that Ziply Fiber would need to support all the things that its customers do online, and that work continues to be the team’s focus today as the newest Ziply Fiber employees. Their work includes upgrading and creating redundant resiliency in the technology – installing two sets of fiber cabling, routers, cards and more – in the majority of Ziply Fiber’s more than 130 regional hubs, also known as Central Offices. They also have been increasing performance of the network by deploying additional, second and third fiber connections through and between what Ziply Fiber considers to be major markets. These are not just cities like Seattle and Portland, but also places like Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; Wenatchee, Wash.; and the Tri-Cities area in Eastern Washington.


“Reliable, fast internet is important to someone somewhere at every hour of the day,” said John van Oppen, CEO/CTO and Founder of Wholesail Networks, who will take on the role of VP, Network at Ziply Fiber. “We understand that and, therefore, are engineering our network with full redundancy so people have uninterrupted service even if we need to take part of the network offline for maintenance of if a network component goes down. We’re very deliberate about building with our customers’ needs in mind, and are balancing the need for rapid improvement with taking the time to deploy it right.”


Enabling and Starting Fiber Expansion

In parallel with the individual city projects, Ziply Fiber is investing in its core network to maximize the experience for its customers. Innovations include:

  • Faster, more stable connections for customers by design – Ziply Fiber has built out a native,multi-hundred-gigabits-per-second NPS network covering all major markets and an IP MPLS core and router infrastructure that’s based on the latest technology.
  • More reliable service through redundancy – Every POP in every one of Ziply Fiber’s 130+ hubs is getting A/B pairs of routers and other equipment so no single device failure can cause an outage.
  • Faster access to the best content through peering – Ziply Fiber has implemented direct public and private, regionalized peering and interconnection with virtually every major cloud and content provider in the same data centers they use to minimize latency and maximize capacity. ZiplyFiber is proud to operate an open peering policy to ensure the best possible performance for its customers. We are a member of both the Seattle Internet Exchange and the Northwest Internet access exchange in Portland, and operate more than 3 Terabits/sec of private peering interconnection capacity in the northwest.
  • More capacity and capacity management plan for future growth – Ziply Fiber has deployed terabits of extra internet connectivity to prepare for growth and to support more remote markets with multiple fiber routes out to its new core network backbone. This includes deploying 100 Gbps infrastructure in Pullman and Kennewick, Wash. already to support this upgrade and more upgrades are planned. The company also manages its capacity at levels far below national providers and begins adding capacity before traffic hits just 40% of potential to ensure reliability and to give headroom for the addition of future customers.


Ziply Fiber is headquartered in Kirkland, Washington, and has major offices in Everett, Washington; Beaverton, Oregon and Hayden, Idaho. Most of Ziply Fiber’s executive team, which consists of former executives from AT&T, CenturyLink and Wave Broadband, either grew up in the Northwest or have spent the better part of 30 years living here. That local ownership and market familiarity is an important part of the company mindset and culture.

 

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