Fiber optic infrastructure – what customers need to know

Are you in-the-know regarding fiber-optic networks and the benefits of such?

What exactly is fiber-optic infrastructure, and why is it needed for broadband build-out in the United States? Uniti Fiber wants to take a moment to explain fiber-optic cables and why it is so important to the IT industry and beyond.

Fiber-Optic Infrastructure

A fiber-optic infrastructure provides a fiber-based network that uses light to transmit data. Not only does the use of light speed up the transfer of the data, but it also provides a reliable medium that is not affected by electromagnetic interference and other physical factors. The fiber optic medium also allows for the transfer of the data over great distances. What does this all mean? I can get the data I am seeking faster and the transmission is more reliable than traditional electrical transmission.

Other transmission mediums rely on copper wires which are subject to attenuation, signal loss, and distortion. A fiber-optic infrastructure is a stronger option for long distances, high speeds, and/or heavy bandwidth connections; there is no question.

Fiber is Faster

Simply put, fiber-optic data transfer is fast. The standard way to measure the transference of data is through bandwidth: bandwidth is currently measured in megabits, gigabits, terabits of data per second (Mbps, Gbps, or Tbps).

Because light is the method of data transfer, bandwidth availability today is tremendous. Copper cable transfer currently maxes out at approximately 40 Gbps. In fact, today, the bandwidth limits imposed on fiber have been tested to be measurable in hundreds of terabits per second. With advanced compression and other techniques in the future, who knows how fast our data will travel.

Fiber-Optics Reach Greater Distances

Both copper and fiber-optic signaling suffer from waveform signals weakening over greater distances. But, when comparing the reach of both, fiber cables can transmit data over much longer distances. The extended reach of fiber reduces the need for additional signal boosters or other equipment each introducing further interference and delay.

Because of the attenuation suffered on copper-based medium, it is limited and suffers a 90%+ signal loss over short distances. Fiber-optic cabling, depending on signaling and type of cable, can transmit up to 2,000 miles.

Fiber-Optics for the Future

The amount of data we consume is increasing every day. The demand for additional bandwidth is nearly insatiable. Having a fast and reliable delivery of information is imperative. Since fiber-optic infrastructure provides faster delivery and greater amounts of bandwidth, it helps to future-proof and extend your investment.

If you haven’t already, talk to Uniti Fiber. Uniti Fiber delivers an unmatched internet experience with a reliable installation and service team behind the solution. Uniti Fiber is a unified force in network services providing customers with the necessary infrastructure to get business done efficiently and cost-effectively. We work together with our clients and partners to create custom infrastructure solutions (including fiber networks) that will support their business’ needs and demands. Contact our team of experts today to learn how we can best help you reach and maintain IT success.

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Kenny Gunderman
President—Chief Executive Officer
Kenny Gunderman

Kenny Gunderman is president and chief executive officer of Uniti Group Inc. He has 20 years of experience in the telecommunications industry and is focused on growing Uniti’s real estate portfolio of mission critical communications infrastructure. He has prior experience at Stephens, Lehman Brothers and KPMG. He currently serves on the board of the Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation, the Hendrix College Board of Trustees, and the NAREIT Board of Governors. Gunderman holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hendrix College and an MBA from Yale.

Paul Bullington
Treasurer—Chief Financial Officer
Paul Bullington

Paul Bullington is the chief financial officer and treasurer of Uniti Group Inc., previously serving as senior vice president of Strategic Operations for Uniti Fiber. Until its acquisition by Uniti in 2017, he served as the CFO of Southern Light, a position he held since the company began operating in 2001. During his time as CFO, the company was named one of the “5,000 Fastest Growing Companies in America” by Inc. Magazine for nine consecutive years.

Bullington also has prior experience at Accenture and Royal Cup Coffee. He currently serves on the board of Eastern Shore Repertory Theatre and is a former director of First Community Bank in Alabama. Bullington holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Birmingham-Southern College and an MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Daniel Heard
EVP, General Counsel and Secretary
Daniel Heard

Daniel Heard is an executive vice president, general counsel and secretary for Uniti. Heard is responsible for the company’s legal affairs and corporate governance.

Heard previously was a partner in the law offices of Kutak Rock LLP in Little Rock, Arkansas.

At Kutak Rock, Heard represented public companies in corporate, securities and merger and acquisition transactions. His clients comprised a wide range of industries, including telecommunications, information technology and food processing. He has extensive experience in negotiating, structuring and consummating mergers and acquisitions, public offerings of debt and equity securities and other corporate finance transactions.

Heard graduated from the William H. Bowen School of Law at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Central Arkansas.

Michael Friloux
EVP—Chief Technology Officer
Michael Friloux

Michael Friloux is an executive vice president and the chief technology officer of Uniti. He has over 30 years of telecommunications and information systems technology experience and is focused on future proofing Uniti’s information technology systems.

Friloux previously was chief executive officer and president of PEG Bandwidth where he led the wireless backhaul provider through a time of rapid expansion serving 2,400 cell towers over a 15,000 route mile network through 16 states.

Prior to joining PEG Bandwidth, Friloux served as president and chief operations officer for Citynet Fiber Networks where he developed the company into a leading regional wholesale carrier network spanning 13 states and 8,000 route miles.

Friloux started his career as a software engineer for Sabre Computer Services (American Airlines.)

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Oklahoma State University.

Jennifer Ragsdale
SVP—Chief Administrative Officer
Jennifer Ragsdale

Jennifer Ragsdale is senior vice president and chief administrative officer at Uniti, a Certified Great Places to Work company. Ragsdale oversees Uniti’s customer experience management, human resource efforts, diversity and inclusion programs, and leads execution strategy to create a culture of high performance.

Prior to joining Uniti, Ragsdale spent more than a decade in the human resources field, building and executing programs to drive operation strategies and organizational transformation.

Ragsdale is a certified professional in Human Resources (PHR), a SHRM certified Human Resources Professional (SHRM-CP) and is certified in Diversity and Inclusion in HR Management. Ragsdale previously served as the president of the Central Arkansas Human Resources Association. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Central Arkansas.

Ric Chura
SVP—Chief Information Officer
Ric Chura

Ric Chura is the senior vice president and chief information officer for Uniti. He previously served as Vice President of Information Technology at PEG Bandwidth, which was acquired by Uniti in 2016. He is responsible for setting Uniti’s cybersecurity strategy, technology governance and compliance and has led the integration of the multitude of companies acquired by Uniti.

Chura has over 20 years of experience in telecommunications industry working at Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, Predictive Systems, Callisma and FiberTower, a startup telecommunications backhaul provider. He has completed the Program on Negotiation from Harvard University and holds a Bachelor of Science, Mechanical Engineering degree from Iowa State University.

Ronald J. Mudry
SVP—Chief Revenue Officer
Ronald J. Mudry

Ron Mudry is chief revenue officer of Uniti Group Inc. In this role, Mudry is responsible for Uniti’s holistic growth opportunities across its fiber and wireless infrastructure segments from edge to enterprise.

Mudry previously served as President of Sales and Business Development at Uniti Fiber. Mudry has over 30 years of experience in the telecommunications industry and was the founder of two start-up fiber operating companies that grew to become leaders in their industry segment. He leads Uniti’s sales and business development initiatives which include providing fiber based services to wireless carriers, wireline carriers, content companies, cable MSOs and other wholesale customers. He joined Uniti in 2016 following the acquisition of Tower Cloud, a company he founded in 2006, that was a leader in fiber, small cell and cell site backhaul services in the Southeast, U.S. Earlier in his career, he founded Progress Telecom (formed in 1998) and before that spent 15 years with GTE Corporation (now Verizon) where he held key management positions in finance, sales and marketing, international operations, treasury, strategic planning, and mergers and acquisitions.

Mudry serves on the Board of Directors of INCOMPAS, a telecommunications industry association, and was previously chairman of the CEO Council of COMPTEL.

Mudry holds a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in finance from the University of Michigan and an MBA from the University of Tampa.

Travis Black
VP - Chief Accounting Officer
Travis Black

Travis Black is the chief accounting officer of Uniti Group Inc. In his current role, Travis leads a team of over 40 employees and is responsible for the company’s financial accounting, external reporting and financial compliance activities. Additionally, Travis oversees the company’s technical accounting matters, including merger and acquisition transactions and critical accounting estimates.

Travis has been with Uniti Group since 2015, and previously served as the Director of Financial Reporting. He began his career at FedEx, and he has over 18 years of experience in financial accounting and reporting for public companies. Travis holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Tennessee and an MBA from the University of Memphis. He is also a Certified Public Accountant.

Andy Newton
President—Uniti Fiber
Andy Newton

Andy Newton is president of Uniti Fiber where he stewards Uniti’s efforts to design, build and operate its fiber network infrastructure.

Newton was the co-founder of Southern Light, and for the previous 19 years served as its president and chief executive officer where he led the overall operations, strategic guidance and culture of the company. Under his direction, Southern Light grew to become one of the top 10 largest pure fiber optic providers in the country.

Newton received an Economics degree from Birmingham Southern College and enjoys providing leadership to non-profits that focus on education and community planning and development.

Bill DiTullio
Vice President - Investor Relations
Bill DiTullio

Bill DiTullio has over 10 years of investor relations experience, joining Uniti’s investor relations team in 2017. Bill was promoted to Vice President of Investor Relations and Finance in August of 2019. Bill originally joined Uniti through the acquisition of PEG Bandwidth in 2016, and has held several various finance roles within the organization. Prior to joining the Company, Bill served as Sr. Investor Relations Analyst at Comcast Corporation. Before that, Bill worked as an associate equity analyst at Boenning & Scattergood. Bill began his early career working for Prudential Financial in several accounting and finance roles.

Bill holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Temple University and a Bachelor of Science degree in finance and accounting from Villanova University.