With Democratic control of the House, Senate, and White House and widespread support for an infrastructure bill, the United States has a narrow opportunity to catch up to the rest of the world on last-mile fiber deployment. Assuming that the Accessible, Affordable Internet for All Act will be the basis for any legislation included in the infrastructure bill, the act should be revised with open access infrastructure (including open conduit and dark fiber that are subject to government oversight) as its central tenet.
The continued growth and evolution of the digital economy remains a driver for strong data center growth and development throughout Virginia. As reported in a March 2021 Virginia Business article, a new dark fiber network is expected to expand opportunities for data center development in strategic Virginia locations.
This new 680-mile regional fiber optic network will connect the large concentration of existing data centers in Northern Virginia to the Virginia Beach cable landing station and, in turn, provide access to the subsea, intercontinental high-speed internet cables running to Europe and South America.
Blockchain will increasingly change how businesses operate in various industries and sectors, but this disruptive technology will undoubtedly continue to face legal and regulatory challenges as it becomes more widely accepted.
Smart contracts and DApps, in particular, will face an increase in legal scrutiny as the Federal and state government begin to establish legal standards. Blockchain, as a whole, will likely experience an added level of scrutiny as states around the US establish their own state data privacy laws like California (CCPA) and Virginia.
“It’s going to be a game-changer for us,” because of the speed, scale and expansion possibilities, says Victor Hoskins, CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority. “The ability to grow is immense. … What’s so incredible about this one is that it’s connecting to the submerged cables that connect across the ocean, that come up in Virginia Beach.”
Instead of relying on commercial internet services providers and sharing fiber infrastructure with other entities, dark fiber gives counties the opportunity to use and manage their own, private broadband infrastructure.
This is relevant for counties that want to make sure their network connections and communications are secure, said Rebecca Hunter, a corporate strategist for Crown Castle, one of the United States’ leading providers of raw fiberoptic cable.