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Bluebird Network completes innovative fibre optic crossing under Mississippi
Tue, 27th Feb 2024

Bluebird Network, a communications infrastructure provider operating over 11,000 miles of fibre and two data centres, announced the completion of a landmark fibre optic river crossing underneath the Mississippi River. This innovative undertaking, positioned 100 feet below the river surface, connects the west bank of St. Louis and the east bank of Illinois.

The new 3,500-foot fibre optic crossing, described as delivering "diversity and redundancy" to Midwest enterprises, marks Bluebird Network's successful collaboration with a major hyperscaler and social media company. The partnership was underpinned by Bluebird's reputation in the Midwest market, along with the capacity to exercise sovereignty over its own fibre.

Jamie Scott, Director of Outside Plant Engineering at Bluebird Network, stated, "Network providers have a distinct advantage when controlling their own fibre in a new or existing market. It is not only good for their business models and shareholders, but also their users."

In addition to its technological achievements, Bluebird also demonstrated a firm commitment to preserving indigenous history during the course of the project. Joining hands with geotechnical engineering firms, boring companies and archaeologists, the provider ensured there was no damage to the local indigenous history around the construction site.

Michael Morey, President and CEO of Bluebird Network, commented, "The diversity and redundancy offered by a route like this is huge. This type of alternative underground crossing is something that sets Bluebird apart from our competition, and supporting customers in accomplishing their endeavours is something we're very proud to offer."

The successful river crossing highlights the high calibre of the company's work and represents an opportunity for Bluebird to showcase its expertise for one of the largest communications and technology firms worldwide.

Following this achievement, Bluebird is looking forward to the implementation of its forthcoming project supported by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) grant. The route connecting St. Louis and Tulsa has been designed to accommodate future industry needs with high fibre capacity between these major metros. Although the total fibre capacity of the route hasn't been revealed, it is projected to be substantial and future-oriented.

Scott expressed his excitement regarding the future plans, "I am honoured to be a part of this team and to be a part of a project of this scope. I am really thrilled to be one of the many people responsible for pulling this together. We are ready to tackle our next major project in building a new fibre route from St. Louis to Tulsa."

The future build aims to create a novel fibre pathway between these two cities. It also seeks to enable connectivity into underserved areas across both Missouri and Oklahoma along this route, in addition to bolstering connectivity with the Bluebird Underground Data Centre in Springfield, Missouri.