Connectivity Report. St. Louis and Surrounding Areas

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1 St. Louis and Surrounding Areas St. Louis St. Charles Clayton Chesterfield Madison County & SIUE St. Clair County & Scott Air Force Base

2 Table of Contents 3 Report Background 5 Executive Summary 6 Services Available 6 Latency 7 Carrier Matrix 9 Incumbent Providers 10 Non-Commercial Providers 14 Area Overview 14 Business Climate 15 Population 16 Data Centers in the Area 17 Carrier Hotels 18 Long-Haul Networks 20 Metro Networks 21 Telecom Analysis by Market 21 St. Charles 23 Chesterfield 24 Clayton 25 Madison County / SIUE 27 St. Clair County / Scott Air Force Base 28 St. Louis- Regeneration Area 30 St. Louis- Downtown 32 Latency Overview 33 Types of Networks 34 Historical Perspective of Latency 35 Latency Sensitive Applications 36 Real-time Data- Storage/Replication, Cloud or Intelligence 38 Latency Specific to St. Louis Region 39 Network Summary 41 Increasing Bandwidth Demand 43 Change is Coming 45 Recommendations Summary Appendices 47 Appendix A - Types of Networks 48 Appendix B - Fiber Optic Infrastructure 50 Appendix C - Area Fiber Network Maps 50 Metro Network Maps 53 Data Center Maps 56 Lit Buildings 57 Appendix D - Carrier Contacts 58 Appendix E - Company Background 2

3 Report Background NEF was selected to conduct a telecommunications and data center study of the region, including a survey of existing facilities, research on new projects, economic impact, broadband best practices, and recommendations for future growth. The study was commissioned by the St. Louis Regional Chamber and funded through an economic development coalition made up of the Chamber, St. Louis Development Corporation, St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, St. Charles County EDC, Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois, and the Partnership for Downtown St. Louis. NEF is professional services firm that provides research, analysis, consulting and planning for large infrastructure projects such as fiber optic network deployments, municipal conduit systems, data center site selection and more. The information in this report is based upon data obtained from a wide variety of sources, including, but not limited to service providers, in-house resources, historical records, interviews with subject matter experts and facility owners/operators. For the network portion of the report, NEF focused primarily on facilities-based providers. Facilities-based service providers are those that own and operate their own fiber network. Some service providers routinely lease fiber from other service providers; others lease fiber when they are out of their own operating area. Of the facilities-based service providers, some will lease dark fiber to other service providers or end users, while others only sell telecommunications or lit services. The telecommunications industry is evolving quickly and the best source for information about what the service providers are currently selling will always be from the service providers directly. Likewise metro networks are constantly expanding, and new buildings are being lit by service providers every day. Most service providers have been generous in providing network maps and information; however, many do not allow public dissemination of their routes. The physical layer of the networks is always expanding, and the service providers and the services they offer continue to evolve. The service providers, of course, have the most up-to-date network and service information available. The service providers are presented in no specific order in keeping with NEF s provider neutral position. The maps show the routes which the fiber networks take into and near the locations of interest. NEF s team of analysts strive to be accurate and thorough in the research and creation of this report; and while reasonable care has been taken in the preparation of this report, there is the possibility of errors and omissions in facts, figures or material. Information, statistics and data from a wide span of time has been included for the directional and historical value it represents. The intent of this report is to provide data and analysis that would be valuable in the data center site selection process and is not meant to take the place of any due diligence, specific investigational work or similar fact finding endeavors. 3

4 Executive Summary Regional Network Viability Greater St. Louis has a long-haul and metropolitan fiber infrastructure collectively established by more than 15 service providers. Downtown St. Louis has more fiber density than the outlying areas and suburbs, though most recent growth in the network footprint has happened outside the downtown core. St. Louis s base fiber optic infrastructure can support any standard business applications, including high bandwidth networks. AT&T and Charter have the bulk of the connectivity in St. Louis, and alternate access providers have a presence in pockets throughout the metro area. In many cases, St. Louis hasn t seen the same price compression as other parts of the country. This is likely attributed to limited competition across the region coupled with lower demand for high bandwidth services. Activity in St. Louis is starting to increase, and carriers are beginning to evaluate business cases for expanding in the market. Long-haul fiber optic networks are the starting point for any connectivity story, and the best long-haul infrastructure can always be traced back to the railroad or transportation infrastructure. St. Louis sits on key transportation and rail arteries, and as such, long-haul routes originating from various points across the U.S. traverse the metro area and connect in the downtown interconnection facilities. As an axis point for long-haul fiber routes, the region plays a role in the nation s data and voice framework, though St. Louis still hasn t harnessed the wealth of connectivity within its reach. St. Louis FIBER INFRASTRUCTURE Greater St. Louis Area High density metropolitan fiber networks exist in of the majority of St. Louis s business districts in order to meet the bandwidth demand, but limited competition tends to challenge the growth prospects. Farther out from the core business district has seen new networks deployed, but the volume of fiber remains relatively lower than in downtown St. Louis, as demand for services traditionally is dispersed. The St. Louis MSA has enough physical fiber within its boundaries to be a regional telecom hub, but it is has not yet established itself among key tech/ telecom markets. Interestingly, there are plenty of providers that have infrastructure here but don t offer services. While ample telecommunications infrastructure exists in the market, end users in St. Louis are not able access and deploy services from many carriers, because the business case for those carriers to build and light networks is not yet strong enough. LONG-HAUL FIBER St. Louis & Surrounding Areas 4

5 The promise of Greater St. Louis being a true telecom and technology hub is possible given the foundation of telecommunications infrastructure in place, but providers will require more enticement to make that promise a reality. ST. CHARLES MADISON COUNTY CHESTERFIELD ST. LOUIS SCOTT AFB ST. CLAIR COUNTY Connectivity is an important factor in assessing a region s economic outlook; insufficient connectivity can translate directly into restricted economic growth. When cities can only offer one or two dominant service providers, or have poor long-haul connectivity, attracting high tech businesses to the area becomes more difficult. The St. Louis region possesses a number of key components that can be leveraged to build strong Internet or data connectivity. These factors include the following: Regional Internet access points Diverse long-haul routes Competitive service provider Seven telecommunications companies own and operate the underlying fiber infrastructure in the St. Louis region, with an additional eight providers leasing services from the seven underlying owners. These network operators in turn provide access and end-point service support to hundreds of telecommunications companies across the globe. For instance, a telecommunications company in India can facilitate an international circuit between clients in their country that has a presence in one of the many large office buildings within the St. Louis business district. 5

6 Services Available All potential telecommunications services are available in the St. Louis region. These services include the following: Large capacity data services Latency optimized transport services International service Standard voice, Internet and cable television Virtually unlimited fiber bandwidth capabilities in select areas Additionally, dark fiber, a requirement for many large corporations and commercial data center operators and owners, is available as a product from some service providers in the area. St. Louis proper and portions of the high-density business areas have access to this dark fiber infrastructure, though it should be noted that the ability to procure dark fiber is not always a feasible option in many cities. In most markets of comparable size, customers have three to five dark fiber options, but the St. Louis the market has one, or in very few places two, dark fiber providers. Pre-consolidation meant half a dozen choices were the norm in mid-sized metro areas. Now that so much M&A activity has occurred, many Tier 2-3 markets are suffering from fewer choices and a lack of competition in dark fiber and high capacity optical services. Latency Latency is an emerging requirement and becoming increasing important for specific applications. The latency requirements for each client will differ, ranging from non-essential to mission critical. Given the proximity to the long-haul fiber distribution systems and core Internet transit points, network latency is minimal and among the best marks among major metropolitan areas. A separate section has been included to address the network latency characteristics, including a matrix of area s latency numbers to other key landing points. 6

7 Primarily designed as a long-haul network with Connectivity Report St. Louis Carrier Matrix Carrier Matrix Provider Type Service(s) Regional Area Fiber Products International Service Provider AT&T has the highest density fiber network presence in most of the greater St. Louis area, including a very strong long-haul network. AT&T is now investing in business solutions and in their U-Verse system. Several suburbs of St. Louis will benefit from their expansion. All telecom products (no dark fiber) Local Provider Strong presence in downtown St. Louis Dark fiber International Service Provider CenturyLink is the most diverse alternative fiber provider footprint in the market and has a strong long-haul network as well. CL s acquisitions of Qwest and Digital Teleport have created an excellent backbone fiber infrastructure along most of the main transportation roads in the St. Louis region, with higher fiber density in the downtown St. Louis area. All standard telecom products (no dark fiber) National Service Provider Long-haul network, with a passing presence with regeneration points and hub in downtown St. Louis Dark fiber long-haul products (Now Zayo) National Service Provider Long-haul network, with a passing presence with regeneration points and hub in downtown St. Louis All standard long-haul products (Now Level3) National Service Provider Major presence in downtown St. Louis All standard telecom products (no dark fiber) (Now Windstream) International provider, with highest concentration in the U.S. Top Tier IP provider in the world Level 3 has the most diverse long-haul network of any alternative access provider. They have the third most dense fiber footprint in the greater St. Louis region, centered primarily on the business-rich districts of the downtown core, Clayton, Chesterfield and the airport area. Level 3 also owns and operates its own data centers as well. All telecom products; dark fiber not offered as a standard product 7

8 Carrier Matrix St. Louis Provider Service(s) Regional Area Fiber Products (Now Level3) National Service Provider National Service Provider Major presence in downtown St. Louis Major presence in downtown St. Louis Connectivity Report All standard telecom products All standard telecom products (no dark fiber) (no dark fiber) (Now Windstream) (Now Windstream) International provider, with International provider, with highest concentration in the U.S. highest concentration in the U.S. Top Tier IP provider in the world Top Tier IP provider in the world Level 3 has the most diverse long-haul network Level has the most diverse long-haul network of any alternative access provider. They have of any alternative access provider. They have the third most dense fiber footprint in the the third most dense fiber footprint in the greater St. Louis region, centered primarily on greater St. Louis region, centered primarily on the business-rich districts of the downtown the business-rich districts of the downtown core, Clayton, Chesterfield and the airport core, Clayton, Chesterfield and the airport area. Level 3 also owns and operates its own area. Level also owns and operates its own data centers as well. data centers as well. All telecom products; dark fiber not All telecom products; dark fiber not offered as a standard product offered as standard product International provider, with International provider, with highest concentration in the U.S. highest concentration in the U.S. Primarily designed as a long-haul network with Primarily designed as long-haul network with connections to the data centers and AT&T connections to the data centers and AT&T Central Offices. MCI focused on government Central Offices. MCI focused on government and large enterprise businesses, and building and large enterprise businesses, and building its network to services those clients. Relatively its network to services those clients. Relatively small fiber presence in the region. small fiber presence in the region. All products including voice services All products including voice services available (no dark fiber) available (no dark fiber) National Service Provider Page 4 of 9 Operates limited long-haul fiber infrastructure. Windstream has network that was acquired as part of their purchase of McLeod Communications and PAETEC. Moderate fiber infrastructure in the downtown core, with transition networks (connecting central offices) that covers parts of Greater St. Louis. All products including voice are available (no dark fiber) Local Provider Local power company that has some fiber deployed around the edge of the St. Louis metro. Limited lit service products available International Service Provider Long-haul provider with very restricted infrastructure that runs through the St. Louis MSA. Some services are available, but Sprint has scaled back their operations significantly. Voice termination, some long-haul transport and internet services. National Service Provider XO purchased most of the fiber and fiber access from Level 3, including the long-haul networks. XO does have a long-haul fiber route and solid fiber footprint in the downtown core, devised in a ring architecture that services Clayton, Maryland Heights and the Lambert Airport area. XO also has the option to use some of Level 3 s infrastructure, which means that they can extend their network as required. All products including voice are available (no dark fiber) International Service Provider Page 1 of 1 Operates some limited long-haul fiber infrastructure that passes through East St. Louis but is connected to most of the downtown and some of the Maryland Heights data centers. Zayo s metro fiber is relatively limited to a small ring and a downtown core area. Zayo is not active in the market. They have LH network that passes through, but they do not have add/drop or IP capabilities. The fiber they have in the market is used for FTTT. Zayo acquired 360 networks and AboveNet/MFN conduit. 8

9 Incumbent Providers AT&T AT&T is the local exchange carrier (LEC) and has a ubiquitous presence throughout the metro area. AT&T has an initiative in their LEC footprint to pass 1 million buildings with fiber by 2015, and they have been active in lighting buildings in St. Louis. It is likely that AT&T is targeting office buildings with 20+ tenants (most passes per connection). The services they will deliver are focused on meg with a price point of $600-$2000. The competitive access providers in St. Louis are, in many cases, using AT&T transport circuit to connect customer locations to their network points of presence (PoPs), which can affect pricing and flexibility for end users. In April of 2014, AT&T announced plans to install or expand their ultra-fast fiber-based U-verse GigaPower service in select communities around the St. Louis metro area. Chesterfield, Edwardsville, Florissant, Granite City, and St. Louis were chosen as markets where AT&T would offer GigaPower broadband with speeds up to 1 Gigabit per second. Following the new wave of buildto-demand models from other big carriers, AT&T is relying upon cooperation at the local level both from municipalities as well as residential and business customers opting in to the faster service. Charter Communications Charter Communications is the local cable operator offering commercial telecom solutions along with its suite of residential products. Charter s fiber footprint tends to be most dense in areas with higher residential populations. The downtown business district has a lower fiber density presumably due to the limited number of residential customers. Charter can provide high bandwidth services in many areas, but their current network infrastructure is still comprised of partial fiber and coax, known as a hybrid-fiber coax network (HFC). HFC is limited in its bandwidth and quality of service as compared to fiber-based Ethernet services. Charter s network architecture is a traditional linear tree and branch cable network design. Charter indicated that it would be upgrading its St. Louis area services to support megabits of service. This is primarily focused on small businesses and residential services customers. Charter Business will use fiber infrastructure to support high capacity services. The difference between GigE capable services and 100 meg services is typically that the GigE or Gigabit requires fiber infrastructure to the home or business while 100 meg can be supported by an HFC system. New Player in Market tw telecom being purchased by Level 3 might bring the TWT retail model to the area and offer a new telecom services option for St. Louis. Level 3 is predominantly a wholesale provider a carrier s carrier whereas TWT is more of a retail provider with end users as their focus. Through the acquisition, TWT could leverage Level 3 infrastructure to directly service end customers and leave Level 3 to focus their growth strategies on other carriers in the market. More often than not, when Level 3 was servicing end user customers, they were using type 2 services from other providers, getting the last mile from someone else, not using their own network. Now, tw telecom would look to leverage the Level 3 fiber by building laterals off the network to service small- to mid-sized business customers. TWT has a solid business class product suite at reasonable price points. 9

10 Non-Commercial Providers MoreNet Missouri Research and Education Network (MoreNet) has grown tremendously. Its fundamental charter is to support public schools, libraries, higher education facilities, state and local government, heath care and other non-for-profit entities throughout the state. MoreNet has grown its services and products offering services such as business continuity, cloud, collaboration, connectivity management, support and training, and consulting. MoreNet s network is primarily comprised of leased dark fiber or lit services, which is well in line with its charter. MoreNet will construct as required for its members. 10

11 MoreNet is connected to the Great Plains Network, which is a consortium of universities located across the Midwest. Great Plains Network 11

12 MoreNet is also connected, via GPN, to the Internet 2: Internet2 is an exceptional community of U.S. and international leaders in research, academia, industry and government who create and collaborate via innovative technologies. Internet2 comprises*: 252 U.S. universities Internet2 Combined Infrastructure Topology 82 leading corporations 68 affiliate members, including government agencies 41 regional and state education networks More than 65 national research and education networking partners representing over 100 countries MetroLink The MetroLink system is the metro rail lines that support the greater St. Louis Market. Some fiber infrastructure, such as ducts and fiber optic cable, was placed along the route. Some of this infrastructure was leased to carriers or service providers looking for dark fiber or alternative paths. It is unclear if the fiber is commercially available now or will be in the future. 12

13 MoDot The Missouri Highway and Transportation Commission and Missouri Department of Transportation granted a company named Digital Teleport the rights to build fiber infrastructure on the Missouri freeway systems. Digital Teleport went bankrupt in 2002 and was purchased out of bankruptcy by CenturyLink in The original contract between MoDot and Digital Teleport prevented others from building for the full term (41 years), but only certain routes are exclusive while others may have duct available for lease. MoDot also received access to fibers along the path for their use. The Loop Data Rail and Media Hub The Loop Data Rail is an initiative that aims to bring Gigabit-speed Internet connectivity to a two-mile stretch of the Delmar Loop as part of The Loop Trolley. The fiber project is a great example of leveraging a public works project to augment the available fiber and conduit infrastructure. Many cities will include the cost of adding telecommunications ducts to any public works project that requires opening the street. The ducts are kept in inventory and leased to providers looking to extend their service to new locations. Having available duct greatly reduces the capital cost to the carrier and minimizes the disruption to traffic in the area. It is also instrumental in speeding new network deployment and spurring innovation. According to the St. Louis Business Journal, the project cost to lay fiber is $400,000 within the overall trolley budget of $42 million. The funding for the fiber is still being raised, with $100,000 promised through tax credits and another $300,000 in additional funding required. The challenge for the Loop Data Rail is how will it interconnect to other networks and, by extension, the rest of the world. Much like the trolley, the data network is most beneficial to users that want to get on at one end of the loop and get off at the other. The Loop Data Rail will not initially support alternative end points and will have to address that issue to realize its full potential. The Loop Data Rail project is expected to follow the same construction timeline as The Loop Trolley. Construction is pending for the trolley. Loop Trolley Route Map 13

14 Area Overview Business Climate St. Louis is home to one of the nation s most diverse metropolitan economies, which benefits greatly from a centralized location and favorable cost of living. Nearly 40 colleges and universities are located in the area, with education representing one of the city s largest industries. Greater St. Louis also has established healthcare, bioscience, and business sectors that are supported by a well-educated work force. TOP INDUSTRIES HEALTHCARE BIOSCIENCE EDUCATION ST. LOUIS-BASED PUBLIC COMPANIES St. Louis has A COST OF LIVING 5.6% BELOW THE NATIONAL AVERAGE Transportation Sources: Forbes, St. Louis Regional Chamber, St. Louis Business Journal Rail & Mass Transit The transportation systems in St. Louis provide exceptional transit options for residents and businesses alike. St. Louis is one of the nation s largest rail centers which plays a large role in moving goods throughout the country. Because of the central location shipping prices are some of the lowest in the country. Airport-- Lambert St. Louis International Airport The Lambert International Airport, located about ten miles northwest of downtown St. Louis, serves as an important national transportation hub. The airport is the largest in the state of Missouri and also supports neighboring cities in Illinois. Other airports in the area include MidAmerica Airport and Spirit of St. Louis Airport. Lambert-St. Louis International Airport SERVES MORE THAN 13 MILLION PASSENGERS A YEAR Covers 2,800 ACRES & 90 DOMESTIC and INTERNATIONAL DESTINATIONS Source: St. Louis Regional Chamber 14

15 Population Information ST. LOUIS, MO 2,900, ,416 GREATER ST. LOUIS CITY OF ST. LOUIS IF ST. LOUIS CITY & ST. LOUIS COUNTY WERE CONSIDERED 1 ENTITY IT WOULD BE THE 7TH LARGEST CITY IN THE USA ST. CHARLES, MO 66,463 CLAYTON, MO 15,910 CHESTERFIELD, MO 47,684 SOUTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY AT EDWARDSVILLE 11,229 2,091 UNDERGRADUATES MADISON COUNTY, IL 267,225 POSTGRADUATES COUNTY SEAT EDWARDSVILLE EST SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, IL 5,100 5,500 2,400 EMPLOYS CIVILIANS AIR NATIONAL GUARD & RESERVES EST ST. CLAIR COUNTY, IL 270,056 Sources: St. Louis Regional Chamber, STL World Class City COUNTY SEAT BELLEVILLE 15

16 Data Centers & Carrier Hotels in the St. Louis Region HAZELWOOD 12 MARYLAND HEIGHTS ST. LOUIS DATA CENTERS IN THE AREA Park 270 Dr Borman Dr Lackland Rd Westport Center Dr N Tucker Blvd Locust St Walnut St N Tucker 9. 1 Savvis Pkwy Olive Blvd Ball Dr James S McDonnell Boulevard 13. Coming Ascent Data Center Wellston, MO Olive St 16

17 Carrier Hotels Plentiful fiber-based infrastructure that provides physical path diversity sourced from multiple service providers is one of the key requirements for strong connectivity, but that fiber has to be managed and controlled by equipment. More importantly, these fiber-based networks must be able to connect at meeting points and pass traffic to one another. Fiber optic networks traverse metro and rural areas but then must converge at data centers and carrier hotels. A carrier hotel is a type of data center that serves as a central facility for numerous service providers to store and operate equipment. These buildings optimize interconnectivity by providing colocation on a massive scale. CARRIER HOTELS provide a common INTERCONNECTION POINT for all CARRIERS servicing a METRO Most importantly, these new interconnection facilities need to be where the demand is greatest typically in the center of the metropolitan areas. Every major city has at least one key hub or carrier hotel location where all of the elements of the networks meet. Unlike most other major metro markets, St. Louis carrier hotels are fragmented. There isn t one definitive carrier hotel one spot with critical mass. Instead, St. Louis has several facilities with a few providers. Furthermore, no provider has connected the handful of key PoPs, making it even more challenging for customers and carriers alike. 17

18 Long-Haul Networks Long-haul networks are fiber-optic based networks that provide a standardized method of transporting traffic from state to state and city to city. They can be visualized like the highway system that crisscrosses the United States. In relationship to data centers, long-haul networks are the key backbone for transporting data and voice services, as they mesh with the local metro networks to ensure that the data traffic is delivered. Long-haul networks are typically designed to transport data and voice services between major markets. These networks connect to a central hub facility (data center) in a given city and then exit the city in another direction. Most of the major metropolitan areas in the United States have LONG-HAUL FIBER robust and diverse connections to long-haul networks. Because of its position on key rail and highway routes, St. Louis has an abundance of long-haul networks converging in downtown data centers. Long-Haul Networks in the St. Louis Region Route 1 Downtown St. Louis NE to Springfield and on to Chicago AT&T, Verizon (MCI) Zayo, Sprint, Level 3 and XO Communications Route 2 Downtown St. Louis E/NE to Indianapolis AT&T, Level 3 and Verizon (MCI) Route 3 Downtown St. Louis E/NE on railroad right-of-way to Indianapolis AT&T, Windstream, CenturyLink, Global Crossing, Verizon Route 4 Downtown St. Louis SE to Memphis AT&T, Zayo Route 5 Downtown St. Louis W to Kansas City AT&T, Windstream, CenturyLink, Verizon (MCI) Route 6 Downtown St. Louis W to Kansas City (secondary western route) Level 3, XO, Sprint, AT&T Route 7 Downtown St. Louis W to Kansas City (tertiary western route) Zayo, Global Crossing, CenturyLink Route 8 Downtown St. Louis S to Memphis Windstream, CenturyLink, AT&T Route 9 E and NE Illinois Century Network (dark fiber) 18

19 Long-Haul Network Maps 100 Mile Radius, Long-Haul Networks 300 Mile Radius, Long-Haul Networks 19

20 Metro Networks The metro networks are more like the side streets and roads that support transportation within the town or city. As similar to the road infrastructure, metro networks typically have some kind of on-ramp to the long-haul network. This on-ramp connection is oftentimes the same hub where the long-haul networks terminate or transition through in a given area. Most metro networks are built on customer demand and built in a protected ring fashion, while others are built in an ad-hoc fashion to provide services to a single building. Regardless of their design, the metro networks are critical in providing the link to the long-haul fiber and existing data centers in a given area. Specific metro networks have been identified for each focus area in the region. METRO FIBER NETWORK Greater St. Louis Area 20

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