Fiber Optic Upgrades

As part of a two phase plan to greatly increase the Internet bandwidth to the Skyway Networks data center, located in Overland Park, Kansas (a suburb south of Kansas City), Skyway Networks commissioned construction crews to build two new underground fiber optic uplinks to the Internet, following diverse routes. The project started in July 2007 and concluded in early January 2008. With both phases complete, a significant boost in performance and resiliency is now available to all Skyway Networks customers.

Fiber Capacity
The fiber optic uplinks have a combined capacity of 4 Gbps. Initially, Skyway Networks has lit a portion of this total capacity, and will increase the usage of each fiber uplink proportionately as customer demand requires.

Phase 1
Global Crossing Network Map
The Global Crossing Network
This portion of the project involved the installation of the first of the two fiber optic uplinks and provided a direct connection between the Skyway Networks data center, and two international fiber optic backbones. The first international backbone attached was Global Crossing, which consists of more than 100,000 miles of fiber reaching 700 cities in 70 countries on 6 of the world's seven continents. Global Crossing was acquired by Level 3 Communications in July 2011. View an interactive map of the Global Crossing network.

Level 3 Network Map
The Level 3 Communications Network

The second international backbone attached was an expansion of our prior connection to Level 3 Communications. Level 3 Communication's network consists of more than 81,000 miles of fiber reaching 22 counties with a concentration of connectivity in the U.S. and Europe (view a PDF map of the Level 3 Communications network).

Construction of phase one was completed October 10, 2007.

Phase 2
tw telecom Network Map
The TW Telecom Network
This phase of the project involved the installation of a second fiber optic uplink, following a different route than the fiber installed in phase one, between the Skyway Networks data center and a fiber network belonging to TW Telecom (not to be confused with Time Warner Cable, which is a separate, independent company). TW Telecom operates a fiber network spanning 24,000 miles with a focus on connectivity solely within the U.S. TW Telecom was acquired by Level 3 Communications in June 2014. View a PDF map of the tw telecom network).

Construction of phase two was completed January 4, 2008.

Construction Photos
The photos shown below are of the installation of the first fiber uplink (phase 1) to the Skyway Networks building. Refer to the captions below each photo for more details.
The construction crew is unloading and setting up their equipment the morning of the day on which the last 1,000 feet of fiber to the Skyway Networks building is to be installed.
With the setup of their equipment complete and street traffic directed away from the work site, the construction crew prepares to begin boring through the soil.
A perspective shot of the work site with the Skyway Networks building shown in the background (on the left, between the trees).
This machine is used for boring through the soil using a combination of a hydraulic drill and high pressure water (provided by a nearby fire hydrant).
A crew at the other end of the street uses a machine to vacuum out the displaced soil, as well as saturating the ground with water, making the boring process easier.
As each leg of the soil boring is completed, the construction crew attaches thick rubber tubing (known as Innerduct) to the drill. As the drill is retracted, the Innerduct is pulled back through the ground to occupy the previously bored hole. The fiber is then placed through one end of the Innerduct, and vacuumed from the other side, allowing the fiber optic cable to quickly be extended through each segment of Innerduct.
Once the outdoor installation was completed, indoor Innerduct was installed from the 1st floor of our building, by boring holes through each floor, and run up to the 5th floor into the Skyway Networks data center, partially shown in the background, through the windows.