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Lumen Lede

I love LA: Expanding connectivity and diversity in SoCal

By: Alison Greenwood

Southern California is a dynamic melting pot of diversity – from cultures to businesses large and small. It’s also my home. I love LA. And San Diego. And everywhere in between. Our network expansions in the area will connect more of this dynamism to the world.

In normal times, you can find me driving to visit customers throughout the region. We have huge industries from Hollywood to premier higher education institutions to aerospace to Biotech Beach down in San Diego. I live in downtown LA, so you can also find me dining at any number of trendy new eateries throughout the area. Small business is a foundation of the diversity SoCal offers and we are connecting them too.

Of course, times have not been normal lately. So, I’m working with our Lumen teams and customers helping them achieve their short-term and strategic goals. For some customers, that means accelerating a shift to the cloud. For others, they need to prioritize new applications and data streams across their networks. There are architectural implications for all these decisions and Lumen experts are working to keep these incredible companies moving forward.

Of special significance are the designated essential services that are seeing their needs change and scale almost daily in recent months.  Talk about diversity. These essential services and the modern heroes working in them range from large hospitals to small businesses.

Southern California includes many of the research institutions involved in the hunt for a COVID-19 vaccine, tests and other treatments. As you can imagine, the large amount of data they are analyzing puts huge pressure on their network. Over the last decade we have been building our fiber network across Southern California, to reach clients and provide greater options for scalable, secure, redundant services. “Essential” is more than just big institutions, though. Small businesses that are local or regional in nature provide construction equipment, portable generators and, of course, food. With many storefronts still closed, the digital sides of these organizations provide numerous lifelines keeping the business running and able to serve their customers. The more efficient we can make these firms, the more people they can serve – and keep employed – while still maintaining financial viability without having to raise their own pricing at a time like this.

They are all heroes. We were supporting them before. We’re supporting them now. And we’ll be there when we reach the other side of this pandemic.

Expanding Networks, Expanding Opportunities  

Lumen’s network expansion is part of a long-term commitment to the region to grow our fiber optic footprint. This has taken dedication over the years. Southern California’s composition – from LA’s mixture of city centers and quasi-suburbs to the sprawl heading south toward San Diego – required creativity to build the network. Some of it we did through merger and acquisition. Much of it was built through our own multi-million-dollar investment in this amazing region. From our core backbone, we built out our network into the new business parks that sprout up regularly. Calabasas, for instance, is a dynamic, growing business hub that is benefiting from a recent expansion.

Customers understand the importance of what we’re doing.  I am often asked: “Tell us about the network. Where are you building fiber?” They know that once their buildings, (we have over 5000 of them on net here in California), are on the network, they are connected to the world in a fast and secure way. Of course, that’s just the beginning of the conversation.

Customers are also connected to technology resources they need to achieve their goals. Most large enterprises have assets in the cloud today. For some applications and usage models, latency becomes critical. The designers at a chip company in Orange County’s economic powerhouse business community need fast access to complex tools and massive databases. Or an entertainment behemoth with streaming media needs can’t wait for video to buffer. Even the amazing doctors and medical researchers at UC-San Diego and other hospitals use tools that are actually hosted somewhere else. Milliseconds matter in these situations. Once we have them on our network, we can help them move assets where they can be most effective. We can also introduce edge computing so their business logic can be deployed where it can drive action without applications having to connect all the way back to the cloud.

Setting The Stage For A Dynamic Future 

Southern California will continue to be diverse and dynamic. The new football stadium out in Inglewood and the entertainment district around it will be on our fiber optic network. More enterprises are moving in from the Pacific Rim, using fiber to connect to their headquarters and the rest of the world.

EntertainmentFinance. Sports. Healthcare. It’s all here. And so is Lumen.

I love LA.