Earlier this year, Great Plains Communications was honored to be given the chance to speak, alongside Todd Cushing, President of 1623 Farnam, at the Data Center Day event hosted by the Greater Omaha Chamber. Attendees from national enterprise companies, wholesale/retail developers and data center industry influencers heard from national and local data center experts with operations in the Nebraska area and Midwest region.

In this Q&A with Cushing and Matt Reed, Sr. Account Executive – Wholesale at Great Plains Communications, we recap some of the conversations that took place around what telecoms need to know about interconnection.

What’s the difference between a “Carrier” Hotel and a “Carrier Neutral” Hotel? 

Todd: A Carrier Hotel is a secure facility where communications carriers converge and interconnect their equipment. However, not all data centers are Carrier Hotels and not all Carrier Hotels are neutral.

1623 Farnam is considered a “carrier neutral” facility or a Carrier Neutral Hotel.  We do not gain financially from our tenants’ choice in carriers to connect with. Our goal is to help them identify the most beneficial situation when they’re making their network connectivity decisions — where they need to reach, locally or internationally, what options they have and which network provider offers the most direct routes.

Why locate in the Heartland — Omaha? 

Todd: Omaha is centrally located – in the Heartland — which means that traffic for North/South/East/West transverses most efficiently through the Midwest. Nebraska is the data, video and voice transportation hub, just as the railroads and interstate highways bisect this region to transport freight. As a matter of fact, Omaha was mentioned as one of the up-and-coming tech hotspots in the Silicon Prairie!

Matt: It comes down to location. Being equidistant from each coast, we’re near the network edge. We have unique network routes that let companies gain efficiency with shorter connection routes, less congestion and lower latency. There’s also a security and redundancy advantage. And, with no hurricanes or earthquakes, there’s a lower risk of catastrophic events.

What are some of the features companies look for?

Matt: Competitive cost, of course. Instead of building out fiber to other providers, the connectivity is located right there in a carrier neutral hotel such as 1623 Farnam. Plus, the ability to connect directly to Azure, AWS and Google Cloud is significant.

Todd: Security, flexible options for connectivity, the ability to improve network performance and reliability are on everyone’s checklist. And, of course, the ability to save money. With the rise in bandwidth demands, everybody is thinking about the best way to deploy fiber. What better place to connect than in the middle – Nebraska?

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