From the Trenches
JOHN SCHMITT, CHIEF REVENUE OFFICER
REFLECTIONS ON 2020 AND THE PROMISE OF 2021
From me and our growing DF&I Family, I want to first and foremost, wish you all health and happiness as you finish this year of uncertainty, and look ahead with hope to a New Year.
While 2020 certainly brought its fair share of challenges, they were not ones that we were unable to overcome as professionals or within our families. Given the reality of this year, we consider ourselves blessed and incredibly thankful. This year has been
an experience we will not soon forget, so as our team took a thoughtful moment to reflect back, I wanted to share a number of exciting milestones we were able to achieve, as well as provide insight as to what 2021 and beyond will bring for DF&I.
By Thanksgiving, we completed construction of the Ashburn Extension from our exclusive Potomac River Crossing beyond Prosperity Drive in Silver Spring, MD. We have now extended our six-conduit package in order to match the asset class placed under the river and will continue to extend this directly as we build to the north and to the east with our eyes focused on the opportunity set residing along the I-95 telecom corridor. We remain focused on building and providing network that can connect directly into the Ashburn cloud ecosystems via dedicated dark fiber cross connects without the need for signal amplification or regeneration. We love the simplicity of this concept and believe that strategic builds like this are the best way to augment and improve upon the massive fiber builds that continue to take place in major U.S. markets.
Positioned for Growth
We are very proud that our company achieved several important key milestones this year. Over the summer, we secured an investment from IPI Partners. In doing so, we bolstered the financial foundation of our business, clearing the way for DF&I to take advantage of the incredible growth opportunity available to us as a true builder of next generation networks. You may have heard me talk about our Ashburn Extension project and as great as we think it is, for a team that is used to building, managing, and monetizing networks in dozens of markets over thousands of miles, it is hardly intellectually stimulating. I am encouraged by what the IPI partnership enables, and I cannot wait to share what is coming next with all of you. Today we are in the process of procuring our utility certifications in Texas, Florida, Ohio, Tennessee, and Illinois as we prepare to service our clients in these additional geographies and beyond.
Our Commitment to our Team
Our business model thrives with the ability to scale through outsourced contractors and partners. It was humbling to drive our project in mid-November and to count more than 100 men and women actively working on our network. The idea that there were that many families being supported ahead of the holidays by our project was an emotional realization for our team.
We have further invested in our leadership team, adding Jeremy Latimer to the team as Senior Director of Business Development to help lead our direct sales efforts in our Wholesale, Enterprise, and Federal Integrator segments. Jeremy is a highly talented sales leader that we have known and respected over the years and we are thrilled that he has joined the DF&I team. We are confident that his experience and drive will help us aggressively expand our reach within these verticals as the network continues to come online and I am thrilled to have him with us.
As we head into 2021 with abounding uncertainty, I cannot help but be thankful, encouraged and ready. I am thankful to be involved in an industry that is well positioned to not only grow, but thrive, by helping to lift other industries up, as we all adapt to our new and ever-changing reality. I am encouraged by the frequency and sincerity of the simple question, “How are you?” that has taken on a much deeper meaning while becoming table stakes during the introduction period of video chats. Finally, I am ready. Ready to be called upon when we are needed and to honor the opportunity we have to lead. We owe all that is possible to one another, and together we will rise.