Bringing together a plethora of telecommunications industry professionals, Telx Marketplace LIVE 2012 was considered a “must attend” event of 2012.  Industry leaders gathered to discuss cloud services, innovative services, financial services, digital media, and many more topics associated with 2012 telecom trends.  During the event, Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, Mike Sevret, of Cross River Fiber, a New Jersey-based, boutique dark fiber optic and telecommunications solutions provider, discussed latency and dark fiber in northern New Jersey and New York with TABB Group, a financial markets’ research and strategic advisory firm.  Transcribed below are Mr. Sevret’s comments.

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Mike Sevret- Talks with TABB Group at Telx Marketplace LIVE

“Latency is the question that everyone is still talking about. Even as we transition away from high frequency trading and more towards high performance trading, latency is the key to everything. And in today’s marketplace, latency is really the question of fiber. How much fiber there is and where does it go. I am here with Michael Sevret from Cross River Fiber, who is a major provider of fiber optics capacity in Northern New Jersey. Michael, thanks for joining me at Marketplace LIVE.”

Mike, what is going on in the fiber picture in Northern New Jersey and New York?

Basically, the landscape has changed in the past couple years. Cross River is laying a new fiber optic cable routes from northern New Jersey down through Somerset and out West New Jersey. It is a large fiber count cable that is adding a lot more redundancy and network diversity for the low latency financial vertical. High-speed trading, connecting proximity locations, exchanges, and data centers where we could be a niche provider that offers the low easy routes with fiber abundance and capacity to that vertical.

A lot of folks these days are talking now about things like microwave transitions and new technologies.  Is fiber still going to be a player in tomorrow’s market? Or is it sort of here today, gone tomorrow?

I believe that fiber is always going to be the primary transport mechanism. It is obviously at the speed of light that a trade travels. As a dark fiber provider, I also think that complimentary services of RF and microwave only helps the fiber optic companies, like myself, sell their primary services because the SLAs are much more dependable and greater, and the cable has a much longer duration.

Right, cable has a much longer bandwidth. Usually a cable starts with 10 gig and can go up to 40, 100, and 200 gig. You can get some massive cable lengths.

Yeah, with a pair of fibers and customers say with the technology of CWDM and optical equipment, the new T1 from back in the day is now a 10 gig. 10 gigs are pretty standard and pretty common. So the fiber optics for me, from a bandwidth perspective, is really what the customer is going to put at the end of it, and we build large count cables without having abundance of capacity.

What about cost? I mean in today’s market, especially in equity market, buy ins are down, commissions are down, costs are a concern for everyone.  Are costs coming down in the fiber space, or is capacity at a premium still?

We would like to say that it’s not, but it definitely is. It is very competitive nature and is a very capital intensive business to build fiber optic networks. But at the same time, if we know that we have the lowest latency fiber outs, we still have to be cognizant of what the price points are with your competitors and also with the RF microwave technology that competes with it. So cost is definitely a factor with the vertical and customer base. But at the same time, if we are shaving off nanoseconds and microseconds with a fiber route to a financial vertical, they are typically willing to pay a little more of a premium for that.