Month: September 2021

Equinix Boosts 5G And Edge Ecosystem Innovation With Nokia

Source: Equinix

 Equinix, Inc. (Nasdaq: EQIX), the world’s digital infrastructure company™, today announced it has deployed a first-of-its-kind, fully functional 5G and Edge Technology Development Center which includes a fully operational, non-standalone 5G network from Nokia to test and validate various 5G services and use cases. Equinix is investing in helping service providers and network operators bring innovative concepts to market by providing an agile production framework for assessing, incubating and testing 5G and edge solutions for end-to-end secure applications.

The 5G and Edge Technology Development Center—located at the Equinix DA11 International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data center in Dallas—brings together select ecosystem participants to develop end-to-end edge solutions by providing a production-ready interconnection sandbox environment from the radio network to the cloud. Mobile network operators (MNOs), cloud platforms, technology vendors and enterprises come together at Equinix to test, demonstrate and accelerate complex 5G and edge scenarios—key activities that will make 5G deployments available to enterprises in the future. Equinix Fabric™ directly, securely and dynamically connects distributed infrastructure and digital ecosystems on Platform Equinix®. Customers can establish data center-to-data center network connections on demand between any two Equinix Fabric locations within a metro or globally via software-defined interconnection.

“As we look to a future where 5G is ubiquitous, the way that IP traffic moves between networks around the world will change completely, and interconnected data centers will play a crucial role in this new 5G-dominated future,” said Sean Hemphill, VP Webscale Business at Nokia. “Equinix’s approach to digital infrastructure enables access to a large ecosystem of end users and service providers. Nokia IP solutions underpin Equinix Fabric, providing seamless interconnection between its global data centers. We’re pleased that Equinix Fabric will bring the power of interconnection to help customers test real-world 5G and edge deployments.”

The Dallas-based 5G and Edge Technology Development Center will initially focus on the following use cases:

  • Mobile Hybrid Multicloud Connectivity: Assessing strategies for ensuring that 5G user traffic can reach multiple clouds and hybrid edge computing resources, effectively and efficiently.
  • Network Slicing: Aiming to facilitate private wireless enterprise networks supporting secure, predictable, end-to-end quality of experience.
  • Distributed Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: Investigating the optimization of AI/ML applications and infrastructure distributed across the edge, directly connected to 5G, and interconnected to clouds for enabling data-dense capabilities, such as scene and video analytics.
  • Enablement and Orchestration of Infrastructure: Exploring optimal deployment strategies for 5G RAN, fronthaul, core and edge computing infrastructure and functions management across domains.
  • Augmented and Virtual Reality: Validating a uniform experience, consistent quality and anywhere usage with high mobility and high motion.
  • Gaming: Demonstrating responsive hosted-gaming, low-latency peripherals leveraging the metro edge for delivery.

Equinix is actively standing up novel 5G use cases. The first use case is Secure Edge from Exium, which enables highly secure, seamless multi-access edge compute functionality with tightly integrated security and network functions from the cloud, to edge locations, to the devices themselves. With Exium deployed at Equinix data centers, customers get close to on-prem performance with the benefits of cloud aggregation and also manage enterprise-grade traffic breakout in real time.

“Applications and artificial intelligence are moving to the edge, whether we’re ready or not,” said Farooq Muzaffar, COO, Exium. “As enterprises embrace digital transformation, automation and intelligence at the edge, it’s crucial to have a partner like Equinix. The 5G and Edge Technology Development Center has been an incredible resource for us and our customers as we incubate, develop and deploy secure edge AI services with 5G access.”

The Equinix 2020-21 Global Tech Trends Survey—which surveyed 2,600 IT decision makers—uncovered a crucial need for infrastructure technology exploration in this area. While most respondents agreed that the biggest impact of 5G is the ability it gives businesses to take advantage of new technologies, more than a third worried about the need to re-architect infrastructure to take advantage of 5G capabilities.

“As companies develop new 5G technologies and services, they need a real-world environment to test and bring their concepts to life,” said Justin Dustzadeh, CTO, Equinix. “With Equinix’s rich ecosystem of service providers, partners and clouds, the 5G and Edge Technology Development Center is an ideal place to fully test their concepts in a real way, enabling them to bring new capabilities to market, accelerate adoption and deliver new revenue streams faster.”

Jim Poole, VP Business Development, Equinix added, “We’re excited to invite private enterprises, commercial organizations and researchers across industries to Dallas to test, validate and accelerate complex 5G deployments and interoperability scenarios.”

SDC Capital Partners Closes Investment in IQ Fiber

Source: PRNewswire

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–SDC Capital Partners, LLC (“SDC”) announced today that funds managed by SDC have acquired a majority interest in IQ Fiber, LLC, a new residential fiber-optic internet provider headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. The transaction provides IQ Fiber with significant equity funding to complete the first phase of its all-fiber network build, passing more than 60,000 homes in the Jacksonville area.

“We are thrilled to partner with IQ Fiber in its initial launch in Jacksonville and are excited about the larger opportunity in Northeast Florida and beyond”Tweet this

“Consumers deserve a smarter internet choice,” said IQ Fiber CEO Ted Schremp. “High-speed internet has become a necessity and is truly the heartbeat of the modern home. With the launch of IQ Fiber, Jacksonville residents will soon have access to a state-of-the-art, 100% fiber-optic network with gigabit upload and download speeds, simple subscription plans and service experts who live and work in our community.”

“We are thrilled to partner with IQ Fiber in its initial launch in Jacksonville and are excited about the larger opportunity in Northeast Florida and beyond,” said Clinton Karcher, partner at SDC. “IQ Fiber’s commitment to providing exceptional customer service, coupled with state-of-the-art fiber network infrastructure in an underserved market, creates a formula for success.”

IQ Fiber plans to offer simple month-to-month rates with no hidden fees, surcharges or surprise price increases. IQ Fiber’s three service plans will deliver symmetrical internet speeds between 250 and 1,000 Mbps, with whole-home Wi-Fi service always included.

Fiber to the home represents the state-of-the-art for the delivery of broadband services, yet it is accessible to only 36% of the U.S. population. Compounding the consumer challenge, approximately 83 million Americans can only access broadband through a single provider. With today’s announcement, Jacksonville will soon have the freedom to choose a 100% fiber-optic network with simple, no-hassle plans, supported by local experts.

About IQ Fiber

IQ Fiber, LLC, headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, is a private equity-backed fiber-optic internet service provider. IQ Fiber is transforming the residential broadband market by offering a 100% fiber-optic network; stress-free plans with no data caps, contracts or hidden fees; and live, local experts to solve any problem that may arise. IQ Fiber plans to rapidly expand its residential fiber network throughout Northeast Florida. For more information, visit iqfiber.com.

About SDC Capital Partners

SDC Capital Partners, LLC is a global digital infrastructure investment firm. SDC invests in data centers, fiber networks, wireless infrastructure and associated businesses, with a focus on opportunities to leverage its deep operational expertise in partnership with exceptional teams to create value. For more information, please visit www.sdccapitalpartners.com.

Wells Fargo Announces New Digital Infrastructure Strategy and Strategic Partnerships With Microsoft, Google Cloud

Source: Business Wire

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) announced today its new digital infrastructure strategy, combining a multi-cloud approach with third-party data centers to drive technological speed, agility, and scalability for its customers and employees. Central to the digital infrastructure strategy is Wells Fargo’s selection of two industry leaders as its public cloud providers: Microsoft Azure as its primary public cloud provider and Google Cloud providing additional business-critical public cloud services.

“Launching our new digital infrastructure strategy is a critical step in our multiyear journey to transform Wells Fargo, making it easier for customers to do business with us and creating a better working experience for our employees,” said Saul Van Beurden, Wells Fargo’s head of Technology. “The Wells Fargo of tomorrow will be digital-first and offer easier-to-use products and services, and all of that starts with driving speed, scalability, and enhanced user experience through the next generation digital infrastructure strategy we’re announcing today.”

Wells Fargo will leverage the Microsoft Azure platform to empower the creation of innovative solutions across all bank functions and provide a trusted and secure foundation for strategic business workloads. The two companies will partner to use critical data and analytics services to accelerate Wells Fargo’s digital transformation, including delivering enhanced customer experiences and enabling increased employee collaboration. Google Cloud will drive advanced workloads, and complex artificial intelligence and data solutions, allowing the company to move faster on driving personalized experiences for its customers and clients.

An integral part of the digital infrastructure strategy is a secure and compliant cloud platform that will provide protections to safeguard the data, privacy, and financial assets of Wells Fargo’s customers, with a focus on data confidentiality.

“Wells Fargo and Microsoft have a longstanding relationship, and we are excited to build on that foundation to accelerate Wells Fargo’s digital transformation journey,” said Judson Althoff, Microsoft’s Chief Commercial Officer. “Microsoft Azure is empowering financial services institutions with its secure, compliant, and scalable platform for industry cloud solutions needs, including for advanced and complex workloads. By standardizing on the Microsoft cloud and trusting Azure as its most strategic and primary cloud platform across all lines of business, Wells Fargo will be able to advance its key business and technology transformation priorities across core areas like managing risk and control, personalized banking, and the digital branch of the future.”

“We’re proud to support Wells Fargo on its multi-cloud journey, with artificial intelligence and data solutions that will not only transform the business but also power the future of personalized experiences for its customers and clients,” said Rob Enslin, president, Google Cloud. “Google Cloud is committed to providing financial institutions with cloud technology that empowers banks to evolve, and to create digital experiences that customers demand.”

As an additional element of the new digital infrastructure strategy, Wells Fargo will transition to a set of third-party-owned data centers, while the company’s longer-term aspirations are to rely predominantly on public cloud. These facilities will complement the public cloud offerings of Microsoft and Google Cloud with both private cloud and traditional hosting services to create a secure, resilient, and flexible technology foundation for the company’s transformation.

About Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a leading financial services company that has approximately $1.9 trillion in assets, proudly serves one in three U.S. households and more than 10% of small businesses in the U.S., and is the leading middle market banking provider in the U.S. We provide a diversified set of banking, investment, and mortgage products and services, as well as consumer and commercial finance, through our four reportable operating segments: Consumer Banking and Lending, Commercial Banking, Corporate and Investment Banking, and Wealth & Investment Management. Wells Fargo ranked No. 37 on Fortune’s 2021 rankings of America’s largest corporations. In the communities we serve, the company focuses its social impact on building a sustainable, inclusive future for all by supporting housing affordability, small business growth, financial health, and a low-carbon economy. News, insights, and perspectives from Wells Fargo are also available at Wells Fargo Stories.

Additional information may be found at www.wellsfargo.com | Twitter: @WellsFargo.

DigitalBridge Announces Partnership With ImpactData to Deliver Digital Learning Infrastructure to Underserved Communities

BOCA RATON, Fla., September 13, 2021–(BUSINESS WIRE)–DigitalBridge Group, Inc. (NYSE: DBRG) (“DigitalBridge”) today announced a partnership with ImpactData, which partners with colleges and universities to build secure colocation data centers that give enterprises better access to their workloads while encouraging digital expansion in underserved communities.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, ImpactData is launching a first-of-its-kind network of distributed, edge data centers built exclusively on an inclusion-based delivery model. With DigitalBridge, ImpactData initially partners alongside Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to deliver proximate, high-powered data center capacity in any deployment, size, or scale. This connected ecosystem will enable enterprises to leverage their “Data for Good” to advance student learning, sustain HBCUs, and transform historically disinvested communities.

“In today’s world, digital connectivity is a critical resource that is not fully accessible to everyone. As a result, the digital divide is becoming wider, and our personal and professional lives increasingly rely on better, faster, and more dependable digital infrastructure,” said Marc Ganzi, Chief Executive Officer of DigitalBridge. “We’re excited to be a part of ImpactData’s vision to create ‘mini-cloud’ regions and digital learning hubs on the campuses of HBCUs, giving diverse communities better access to the resources they so desperately need.”

“The DigitalBridge team’s 25+ years of converged network-building experience will be invaluable as we create a new class of integrated digital learning infrastructure that fosters more interconnected campuses and communities,” said Terry Comer, Chief Executive Officer of ImpactData. “We look forward to collaborating with DigitalBridge and our other valued partners to offer a cost-effective, yet secure, hybrid cloud solution that extends digital connectivity to the edge while giving enterprises access to a more diverse, ‘career-ready’ pipeline of talent.”

ImpactData is currently exploring several attractive markets, including Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Nashville, Birmingham, and Charlotte, to pilot its cloud center model. “Our partnership with DigitalBridge provides a unique opportunity to establish high-speed connectivity and data infrastructure on HBCU campuses nationwide, sparking digital transformation in underserved communities that need it the most,” said David Calloway, ImpactData’s Chief Operating Officer. In addition, the company expects its innovative concept will deliver participating HBCU institutions value spanning recurring revenue streams, research level connectivity, on-campus innovation & entrepreneurship labs, commercial partnerships, as well as community-based workforce training programming, ultimately, ensuring everyone the opportunity to take part in the New Digital Economy.

About DigitalBridge

DigitalBridge (NYSE: DBRG) is a leading global digital infrastructure REIT. With a heritage of over 25 years investing in and operating businesses across the digital ecosystem including cell towers, data centers, fiber, small cells, and edge infrastructure, the DigitalBridge team manages a $35 billion portfolio of digital infrastructure assets on behalf of its limited partners and shareholders. Headquartered in Boca Raton, DigitalBridge has key offices in Los Angeles, New York, London, and Singapore.

About ImpactData

ImpactData designs, builds, and operates secure, purpose-built colocation data centers on the campuses of colleges and universities using an inclusion-based delivery model. Anchored in hybrid, multi-cloud technology, ImpactData is building a network of distributed, mini-cloud regions that integrate data infrastructure with academic, innovation & workforce training space to foster more interconnected campuses and communities. Through its “Data Centers Empowered” initiative, the Company expects to deploy over $1 billion in digital “learning” infrastructure over the next decade, the largest technology investment in the history of higher education.

Cincinnati Bell Inc. Acquisition by Macquarie Infrastructure Partners V Finalized in $2.9 Billion Transaction

Source: Business Wire

CINCINNATI–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Cincinnati Bell Inc. today announced the completion of its acquisition by Macquarie Infrastructure Partners V (“MIP”), an Americas-focused unlisted infrastructure fund managed by Macquarie Asset Management (“MAM”). The $2.9 billion transaction will accelerate Cincinnati Bell’s fiber build across its operating footprint, and support strategic investments in the company’s IT Services businesses throughout North America.

Leigh Fox, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cincinnati Bell, said the transaction close marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter in the company’s nearly 150-year history.

“Our partnership with MIP is tremendous news for Cincinnati Bell’s 4,700 employees, our customers, and the communities we serve,” Fox said. “MIP has deep telecommunications expertise and a strong track record of investing in capital intensive businesses, which will be critical as we deliver on our strategy to drive next generation, integrated communications through an expanded fiber network as well as our IT services platform.”

Anton Moldan, Senior Managing Director with MAM, said that Cincinnati Bell’s expansion plans will play an essential role in building digital equity within their service territories.

“We are incredibly excited to partner with the experienced management team at Cincinnati Bell to continue to build out a high bandwidth fiber to the premise network for consumers, enterprises, and carriers, as well as to support the growth of their market leading IT services platform,” Moldan said. “Cincinnati Bell provides the communities they serve with vital network connectivity, and we’re looking forward to supporting their expansion plans to bring fiber throughout their market.”

Entertainment and Communications

Cincinnati Bell and Hawaiian Telcom are committed to creating digital equity through ongoing investments in fiber, a future-proof technology that enables gigabit Internet. Today, Cincinnati Bell and Hawaiian Telcom cover 60 percent of Greater Cincinnati, and 40 percent of Hawaiʻi, with Fiber-to-the-Premise technology, making those regions among the most fiber-dense metropolitan areas in the United States.

Cincinnati Bell’s partnership with MIP will allow the company to expand the fiber network at an accelerated pace over the next three years and make high-speed Internet available throughout its operating territories. Cincinnati Bell will also continue its commitment to continuous innovation. The company in 2014 became the first Internet Service Provider in Greater Cincinnati to offer 1 gigabit Internet, and earlier this year became the first Internet Service Provider to introduce 2 gigabit speeds in the market.

IT Services and Hardware

Over the past four years, Cincinnati Bell’s IT Services businesses – CBTS – has grown from a regional IT provider into an international organization that supports customers across the globe, with offices located throughout the United States, Canada, India, and Europe. CBTS serves clients in all industries and has partnerships with Fortune 500 clients, large healthcare organizations, multiple universities, and state and local governmental agencies.

The transaction with MIP will provide CBTS with increased flexibility to make strategic investments in its Communications, Cloud, Consulting Services, Security, and Infrastructure practices. The transaction will also support CBTS’ ongoing investments to attract and develop talented IT professionals who are critical in order for the company to continue supporting its existing enterprise customers, and to attract new customers through continuous technology innovation.

Continued Commitment to the Community

Cincinnati Bell has been part of the communities it serves in Greater Cincinnati and Hawaiʻi for nearly 150 years. The company and its employees routinely donate more than $2 million every year toward economic development, health, and education initiatives. To date, Cincinnati Bell and Hawaiian Telcom have connected more than 7,000 students who previously lacked Internet to support remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. The company’s Employee Volunteer Program allows employees to volunteer up to 40 hours every year during work hours in their communities. And Cincinnati Bell’s Smart City organization – UniCity – is partnering with local governments and government entities to provide high-speed Internet access to communities, as well as applications that help customers leverage that connectivity to better serve constituents.

Fox said the transaction with MIP will further strengthen Cincinnati Bell’s community engagement efforts.

“MIP deeply appreciates Cincinnati Bell’s commitment to supporting the community that supports us. You can expect continued leadership from Cincinnati Bell with respect to regional initiatives including digital equity, economic development, and improved access to education and healthcare,” Fox said. “Our company is excited to begin this new chapter as we create true digital equity through our investment in fiber, and partner with our business customers through investments in cutting-edge technologies.”

About Cincinnati Bell Inc.

With headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio, Cincinnati Bell Inc. delivers integrated communications solutions to residential and business customers over its fiber-optic and copper networks including high-speed internet, video, voice and data. Cincinnati Bell provides service in areas of Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and Hawai’i. In addition, enterprise customers across the United States and Canada rely on CBTS and OnX, wholly-owned subsidiaries, for efficient, scalable office communications systems and end-to-end IT solutions. For more information, please visit www.cincinnatibell.com. The information on the Company’s website is not incorporated by reference in this press release.

WOW! Completes $1.125 Billion Sale of its Ohio Service Areas to Atlantic Broadband

Source: WOW

ENGLEWOOD, Colo., Sept. 1, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — WOW! Internet, Cable & Phone (NYSE: WOW), a leading broadband service provider, today announced the completion of the sale of its Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio service areas to Atlantic Broadband, a U.S. cable operator and subsidiary of Cogeco Communications Inc. (TSE: CCA) (“Cogeco”) for $1.125 billion. From this sale, WOW! expects to use approximately $1.0 billion in net proceeds to pay down a portion of the company’s debt.

The transaction with Atlantic Broadband is one of two separate, previously announced agreements for WOW! to sell a total of five service areas for gross proceeds of $1.8 billion. WOW!’s other agreement to sell its Chicago, Evansville, Indiana, and Anne Arundel, Maryland, service areas for $661 million to Astound Broadband (dba RCN, Grande Communications and Wave Broadband) remains on track to close in the fourth quarter of 2021. The divestitures will strengthen WOW!’s financial position and help accelerate WOW!’s broadband-first strategy, which includes additional investments in edge-outs, greenfield strategies and commercial services.

“The closing of this deal with Atlantic Broadband is a significant step in the execution of our broadband-first strategy, at a critical time in our industry,” said Teresa Elder, CEO of WOW!. “Our strengthened balance sheet bolsters our ability to invest in key growth areas as we continue to provide reliable, accessible and fast broadband solutions to our customers across our remaining service areas. And we are confident that Atlantic Broadband will be a good steward for our Ohio service area employees and customers.”

Since the transaction was initially announced in June of 2021, WOW! has been preparing to transition employees and customers in its Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio, service areas to Atlantic Broadband. WOW! has entered into a Transition Services Agreement with Atlantic Broadband to support post-transaction continuity of service during a transition period.

BofA Securities is acting as financial advisor to WOW!, and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, as well as Honigman LLP, are serving as legal counsel.

About WOW! Internet, Cable & Phone
WOW! is one of the nation’s leading broadband providers, with an efficient, high-performing network that passes 2.5 million residential, business and wholesale consumers. WOW! provides services in 17 markets, primarily in the Midwest and Southeast, including Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Maryland, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, Florida and Georgia. With an expansive portfolio of advanced services, including high-speed Internet services, cable TV, phone, business data, voice, and cloud services, the company is dedicated to providing outstanding service at affordable prices. WOW! also serves as a leader in exceptional human resources practices, having been recognized seven times by the National Association for Business Resources as a Best & Brightest Company to Work For, winning the award for the last three consecutive years. Visitwowway.com for more information.