Ubiquity Expands Open Access Networks, Hughes Secures LEO Contract, Charter Exec Moves Over

Ubiquity’s open access networks launched in Carlsbad, California and Mesa, Arizona.

Ubiquity Expands Open Access Networks, Hughes Secures LEO Contract, Charter Exec Moves Over
Photo of Charter's David Ellen

August 23, 2023 – Communications company Ubiquity announced Wednesday the launch of open-access fiber networks across cities in California and Arizona, as well as new footprints in Nebraska and Iowa.

The launch of the new networks will run through Carlsbad, California and Mesa Arizona, and the new footprints will reach Omaha, Nebraska and Council Bluffs, Iowa. The open-access model allows multiple internet service providers and entities to use the network to compete on and provide service.

In Mesa, the company said it will be using a combination of active and dark fiber – that is, fiber that isn’t yet active – to serve residents and businesses. The company said it will drive the last mile to customers on the active route, while tenants on the dark fiber will use Ubiquity’s infrastructure to bring their own equipment to drive the last mile.

“This level of deployment diversification highlights the power of fiber and the uniqueness of Ubiquity networks,” the company said in the release.

“Ubiquity is committed to bringing high capacity, sustainable digital infrastructure to the last mile,” the company’s co-CEO Jamie Earp said in the release.

“That mission is critically important to the rise of Smart Cities and delivering the benefits and services that these networks facilitate.”

Ubiquity partners with ISPs, wireless carriers, utilities, and municipalities to deliver connectivity in underserved communities.

Hughes gets Space Force contract

Satellite company Hughes, a subsidiary of EchoStar, announced Tuesday it has signed a five-year contract to deliver low earth orbit satellite-based services to the U.S. Space Force, the space branch of the armed forces.

The $900-million contract will allow agencies to use the communications capacity of two constellations of satellites, including from EchoStar Lyra and OneWeb, which has a distribution deal with Hughes.

“As government and defense agencies explore the power and potential of LEO services in delivering capabilities to the warfighter faster and at lower cost, we’re proud to offer not one, but two compelling solutions,” Leslie Blaker-Glass, vice president of Hughes, said in a press release. “Our OneWeb offering – with our low-power, light-weight, flat panel antenna – and our next-generation EchoStar Lyra S-band IoT system position us to deliver customers in the DoD and federal government robust and resilient low-latency connectivity at a competitive price.”

LEO satellites fly closer to the earth’s surface than traditional satellites, allowing for faster communications. It is also used to deliver connectivity to areas of the country that are economically difficult to connect.

“These important LEO capabilities will give the DoD cost-effective solutions and added reliability and resiliency in satellite communications across all domains and we look forward to addressing upcoming requirements for procurement of these services,” Rick Lober, Hughes’s vice president and general manager of Defense and Government Systems Division, said in the release.

Charter executive moving to advisory role

Charter’s senior executive vice president is moving over to an advisory role, according to a Monday press release.

David Ellen, an industry veteran, will report in that new role to Charter’s president and CEO Chris Winfrey beginning on the first of December.

Ellen oversaw several businesses and corporate functions at Charter, including Spectrum Networks, human resources, communications, corporate physical security, community impact and legal oversight for programming, product and regulatory.

“David’s broad contributions have made a lasting impact on the Company,” said Winfrey in the release. “He was instrumental in the successful restructuring and repositioning of many of our corporate and business functions following the TWC and Bright House transactions. I am pleased David will continue to support me and Charter in an advisory role and wish him well as he pursues his outside endeavors.”

Ellen joined the company in 2016 from Cablevision, where he was executive vice president and general counsel until the company was purchased by Altice. The Harvard Law grad had previously been in general counsel positions at internet companies IAC and Eureka Broadband.

He was previously a former special counsel to the Federal Communications Commission working on the implementation of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

Next fall, he will also begin an adjunct teaching position at New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service.

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