Bluebird Network completes 3,500 ft. underground fiber optic crossing beneath Mississippi River

(UI) – Bluebird Network, a communications infrastructure provider and operator of more than 11,000 miles of fiber, announced the completion of a new fiber optic river crossing 100 ft underground, below the Mississippi River, connecting the west bank of St. Louis and the east bank of Illinois.

The pivotal 3,500-ft underground fiber optic river crossing enhances route diversity and redundancy for Midwest enterprises while respecting historical preservation.

A major hyperscaler and social media company has partnered with Bluebird, citing its reputation in the Midwest market and the ability to exercise sovereignty over its own fiber.

“Network providers have a distinct advantage when controlling their own fiber in a new or existing market,” said Jamie Scott, Director of Outside Plant Engineering at Bluebird Network. “It’s not only good for their business model and their shareholders, but also their users.”

Great effort was given to protecting indigenous rights while completing this project. Bluebird partnered with geotechnical engineering firms specializing in long-distance bores, boring companies, splicing and data contractors, and archaeologists to ensure there was no destruction of the indigenous history in the area around the boring site.

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

Bluebird’s forthcoming National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) grant-supported long-haul route connecting St. Louis and Tulsa is designed to accommodate future needs of the industry with high fiber capacity between major metros. While Bluebird isn’t publicly divulging the total fiber capacity of the project, they are saying it’s large and built for the future.

The build will create a new fiber pathway between the cities, enable connectivity into underserved areas across both Missouri and Oklahoma along this route, and fortify connectivity into the Bluebird Underground Data Center in Springfield, MO.

Bluebird Network is a communications infrastructure provider and data center operator. Since 1999, Bluebird Network, headquartered in Missouri, has provided internet and transport services, via its fiber infrastructure, to Carriers and Enterprise customers in Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, Iowa, and the surrounding states.

Bluebird owns two data centers: an underground facility in Springfield, MO, and a facility in the Quad Cities. Bluebird operates more than 11,000 fiber route miles of high-speed broadband and fiber-optic connections with over 82,000 on-net and near-net buildings and 163 Points of Presence (PoP) sites spanning the Midwest, including the major cities of Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield (MO and IL), Tulsa, Peoria, Rockford, Bloomington, Normal and the Quad Cities.

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