Monday, April 16, 2007

Headend Facility to be in Interstate Park

Lafayette's "headend" facility will be located at the junction of Interstates 10 & 49 according to a report in this morning's Advertiser. LUS is going to the LPUA (the city subset of the council) this evening to introduce an ordinance that would authorize the purchase of the land from LEDA at a cost of $375,000; the building will come in at another $900, 000 or so.

The headend will house the bulk of the technical equipment necessary to offer services, content, and interconnections for the new network. This will be the "heart" of the network with the satellite downlink for the cable services, a processing center for things like making phone connections, and, the setup for making the link to the backbone internet carrier/s. It'll be a big facility housing a buncha of nifty things. This would be a natural place to house the server and online storage facilities necessitated by some of the services LUS will be offering.

It's location in LEDA's Interstate Industrial Park (image via LEDA, click for a big version that shows LUS' 8.59 acre lot in the back) is a natural in that it is located at the intersection of the big backbone fiber that runs besides both interstates—backbone fiber to which LUS will need to connect. A close peek at the map will reveal that "Level 3," a major internet backbone provider, is also located in the park where it has a regeneration operation. Level(3) is one of the most important internet companies of which you have probably never heard. From the wikipedia entry:
Based on the amount of Internet traffic on Level 3’s IP backbone, Level 3 is among the largest Internet carriers in the world. Through Level 3’s dial-up ISP customers, the company’s dial-up infrastructure is accessible to approximately 90% of the U.S. population. When a typical Internet user at home dials the Internet using a modem in the U.S., there is better than a one-in-three chance that their call is being completed within a Level 3 data center.
Not a bad next-door neighbor to have.

Perhaps a bit oddly, people here in Lafayette are reassured when LUS goes out and spends money on this (a lot of people were thrilled when architects were chosen recently). Spending money is solid, boots-on-the-ground evidence that we are actually going to get what we voted for.

Things are begining to happen and I, for one, am thrilled.

(Thanks to Mike for the heads up on Level(3).)

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