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FirstLight Fiber: 2014 Year in Review

As the year comes to a close, we would like to thank our customers for their continued support and take a moment to reflect on all that FirstLight has accomplished in 2014. It was a year focused on leveraging our infrastructure, enhancing our capabilities and strengthening our team – all of whom are dedicated to delivering the services and high quality support our customers require. We believe that the initiatives we completed in 2014 will allow us to continue to grow our impressive customer base.

Customer News

This year, FirstLight announced the following customers:

2014YearinReviewIn April, FirstLight announced that New England Telehealth Consortium (NETC) selected FirstLight as a provider of data center services. FirstLight’s Lebanon, NH data center provides NETC with a high quality, secure and reliable facility to host its clients’ mission critical network core. FirstLight’s services allow NETC to seamlessly transfer data from one site to another securely and efficiently, which enables NETC’s customers to provide optimal care for its patients. FirstLight was selected due to its proven track record of providing high quality and reliable services. To read the complete press release, click here.

In October, FirstLight announced that ECHO Vermont Aquarium and Science Center selected FirstLight to support the company’s growing infrastructure needs. As a non-profit aquarium and science center accommodating up to 150,000 visitors each year and host for a variety of events including corporate gatherings, weddings, and camps for children, ECHO required a communications provider that could offer scalable, reliable Internet connectivity. With FirstLight’s Internet service, ECHO is able to rapidly increase its bandwidth, as needed, to accommodate its high volume of guests and hosted events. To read the complete press release, click here.

FirstLight also made strides in enhancing the networking capabilities of existing customers in 2014:

In February, FirstLight announced that Albany Molecular Research, Inc. (AMRI) chose FirstLight to upgrade its Ethernet-based services. For years, FirstLight provided network services to many AMRI locations. When the time came for AMRI to upgrade its Ethernet services, FirstLight was chosen due to its proven track record of providing excellent service and support. To read the complete press release, click here.

In July, FirstLight announced that Consumer Directed Choices CDChoices purchased FirstLight’s cloud-based unified communication platform to support its communications needs. CDChoices is a nonprofit that provides fiscal intermediary services to more than 500 consumers – seniors and people with disabilities. CDChoices selected FirstLight’s vPBX service in an effort to upgrade its older phone system, streamline operations and reduce costs. With FirstLight’s vPBX, CDChoices also utilizes FirstLight’s Internet service, and has been a satisfied FirstLight customer since October 2011. To read the complete press release, click here.

In December, FirstLight announced that the University of Vermont (UVM), a FirstLight customer since 2006, chose to expand its relationship with FirstLight. FirstLight is now providing UVM with a geographically diverse network. The university was in search of a dozen 10 Gig waves on two separate paths: UVM to Albany and UVM to Hanover/Dartmouth College. FirstLight was selected because of its ability to meet the needs and technical requirements of the university and also due to its long standing, positive relationship with FirstLight. To read the complete press release, click here.

Network Enhancements/Upgrades

Our team is committed to continuously seeking ways to improve the customer experience. In order to ensure we have the services and capabilities our customers require, we regularly invest in our network, which is demonstrated by the many network upgrades undertaken this year.

In March, FirstLight upgraded its IP Core Network to further support area businesses demanding high quality Internet connectivity. Unlike other Internet networks, the FirstLight IP network is architected in such a way that allows FirstLight customers to directly connect to popular, highly trafficked sites resulting in fewer hops and an improved user experience. In fact, 50% of all Internet traffic on the FirstLight network is directly connected to the ultimate destination, reducing latency.

Also in March, FirstLight enhanced its Carrier Ethernet service platform with the introduction of Ethernet Access service, which enables service providers to seamlessly leverage the networks of regional, fiber-based networks, like FirstLight’s network, to extend their reach and serve customers’ remote locations. FirstLight also expanded its Vermont data center, located in Williston, VT. This expansion further supports local businesses by providing critical colocation space and unmatched low latency, broadband connectivity throughout the Northeast.

As a response to high customer demand, FirstLight Fiber also expanded 100G availability to all of its on-net locations enabling high bandwidth connectivity in Tier 2 and Tier 3 metro markets.

Partnerships

Our team is fortunate to have some great business relationships that further enhance FirstLight’s capabilities. In 2014, we announced a few of these relationships.

At the beginning of the year, FirstLight announced a partnership with Fibrenoire, a telecommunications company specializing in fiber optic connectivity services for businesses in Quebec and Ontario. The relationship provides high performance Ethernet services between the U.S. and Canada and seamlessly extends the companies’ respective footprints to enable scalable, high performance Ethernet services.

In March, FirstLight announced a relationship with BayRing Communications, a New England-based Competitive Local Exchange Carrier (CLEC). BayRing chose FirstLight’s Metro Ethernet solutions to further extend its network reach, while FirstLight utilizes BayRing’s dark fiber network in specific areas to extend its network reach.

In August, FirstLight announced that SymQuest chose FirstLight to provide data center and Ethernet services. SymQuest is a design, installation, and support business that handles the information flow of electronic communications over the cloud. FirstLight’s Vermont data center, served by its own geographically diverse fiber optic systems, offers the reliable, secure facility that SymQuest needs as the company continues to grow its retail cloud division. In addition to this, SymQuest utilizes FirstLight’s Ethernet and Internet services, enabling SymQuest to continue to provide high quality and reliable copier and network services to area businesses. To read the complete press release, click here.

FirstLight rounded out the year by teaming up with Maine Fiber Company to bring next generation IP service to Maine. FirstLight provides next generation IP services to business customers located along Maine Fiber Company’s existing infrastructure.

New Team Members

In 2014, FirstLight completed the transition of the executive team with the addition of Gary Kraemer as Chief Financial Officer (CFO). During his first year, Mr. Kraemer has further strengthened the company’s operations by leading all aspects of the Finance and Accounting, Human Resources, Legal and Regulatory functions.

FirstLight has also added a number of talented, industry veterans to its Sales and Network & Operations functions in order to drive additional growth, improve efficiencies and further enhance FirstLight’s capabilities.

Acquisition

manchesternhIn August, FirstLight announced the acquisition of G4 Communications’ assets, including G4’s customer base and data center located at 77 Sundial in Manchester, NH. This significant acquisition expanded on FirstLight’s already strong presence in New Hampshire and furthered its commitment to invest in the regions in which it serves. Post-acquisition, FirstLight now operates five data center facilities: three in New Hampshire, one in Vermont and one in New York, serving the needs of wholesale and business customers throughout the Northeast.

Looking now to 2015…

networkmap_yrinreviewWith the progress the company has made in 2014, we are confident that we can continue to accelerate FirstLight’s growth and realize its full potential. We are looking to build on the positive momentum created in 2014 by continuing to add more services, more locations and more capabilities designed to meet the needs of our carrier and business customers.

Stay tuned, FirstLight’s future is bright!!

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