Colleen Michele Jones
Jacksonville Business Journal
The Jax NAP is open for business, and technology companies in Northeast Florida and beyond are sitting up and taking notice.
Dozens of business representatives attended a series of information sessions held over the last couple of days at the fiber optic network access hub housed within the Metropolitan building at 421 Church St.
The NAP, which allows Internet carriers and providers to connect to each other, went online in January. But the last segment of the Southeast cable route laid by New York-based Allied Fiber — which makes Jacksonville a major landing point for data traffic and colocation — will be completed June 17, providing access to points as far north as New York and south as Latin America.
With those new connections landing in Jacksonville, both national and international providers have signed on to the network.
Local businesses specializing in cloud computing, fiber optics and other technology service are also interested. By splicing existing cabling, “ladders” can be created to easily link in additional carriers and providers to the route.
One of them is Dedicated Fiber Systems, a Jacksonville provider of carrier-neutral or “dark fiber” cabling sold to companies that want to run their own networks, which just announced a new partnership with Allied Fiber that could expand its business outside the area.
“Allied is opening up some opportunities for us to maybe do some dark fiber rings in some other cities,” said Jered Bearden, the manager of Dedicated Fiber Systems.
Another local company, Joytel Communications, recently inked a 10-year agreement with Allied Fiber. With the Jax NAP now operational, Joytel, a telecommunications provider based at 421 Church St., has begun offering high-speed broadband service to commercial and even municipal clients, such as the city of Palm Coast.
The contract with Allied Fiber allows Joytel Communications to expand the area in which they provide Internet access and fiber-based network services.
Doug Corbett, vice president of sales for Allied Fiber, said, “We’re trying to create an infrastructure where people can start businesses and be connected with each other and spread their business up and down the new route.”