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Originally posted to Data Center POST

There are a number of ways the digital divide across America can be conquered. Vital to the success of any digital business – personal or professional – is the ability to reach content, applications, and cloud services with the best performance. In networking, performance is predicated upon latency, the time it takes to process a digital request across a network’s infrastructure. Latency is measured primarily by distance as measured by the speed of light, which is how data in fiber optics is transmitted. Thus, latency-sensitive applications must be accessed as close to the end-user as possible. This disparity of access is at the heart of the digital divide.

It takes the entire global communications infrastructure community, along with local municipalities, networks, and businesses, to address this problem head-on. DartPoints, is tackling the solution by bringing, cultivating, and enabling neutral interconnection points to markets that need it most. When you look at the evolution of today’s Internet, it began in major markets, commonly referred to as Tier 1 markets or NFL cities. These locations are heavily populated with dense infrastructure that enables businesses to flourish in the digital world. Looking beyond these markets, there are disparities everywhere. Tier 2-and-higher markets have a cumbersome range to reach population densities and also lack the fiber, connectivity, interconnection points as compared to traditional data centers found in Tier 1 markets.  Many companies and providers solve the problem by backhauling data traffic to major markets, however, when latency is a core requirement for your digital business, backhauling hinders performance, adding more time to receive and transmit data that could cost companies thousands if not millions in lost business.

Eastern Iowa, a community adjacent to the greater Chicago market, is an example of an underserved market. Underserved markets have a strong business community, some network infrastructure, and mostly disparate solutions that don’t bring them all together.

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