USA Technology & Research Park Grows With Southern Light


Posted on October 28, 2015 by Jeb Schrenk
Jeb Schrenk


Southern Light recently completed a $5 million, Tier 3 data center at USA. From left are Paul Bullington, Southern Light CFO; Bill Sisson, president and CEO of the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce; Eric Daniels, Southern Light COO; Andy Newton, Southern Light president and CEO; Lynne Chronister, USA vice president for research and economic development; Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson; Roy Franklin, Southern Light Data Center operations manager; and Davis Pilot, Southern Light operations strategic analyst. data-lightbox='featured'
Southern Light recently completed a $5 million, Tier 3 data center at USA. From left are Paul Bullington, Southern Light CFO; Bill Sisson, president and CEO of the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce; Eric Daniels, Southern Light COO; Andy Newton, Southern Light president and CEO; Lynne Chronister, USA vice president for research and economic development; Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson; Roy Franklin, Southern Light Data Center operations manager; and Davis Pilot, Southern Light operations strategic analyst.

University of South Alabama Technology & Research Park is growing with the expansion of fiber optics-based telecommunications company Southern Light.

The company recently completed a $5 million, Tier 3 data center that can hold more than 150 data racks consuming 800 kilowatts of power.  It was an expansion of Southern Light’s Tier 2 data center in the same building.

USA Technology & Research Park, launched in April 2002, combines University resources with innovative enterprises in a single location that broadens educational experiences for students, generates new research opportunities for faculty and offers growth prospects for industry.

The park is a focal point of economic growth for Mobile and the Upper Gulf Coast.

“Southern Light’s expansion at the University of South Alabama is illustrative of the kind of successful partnerships the University has with the business community and our commitment to economic development,” said Lynne Chronister, USA vice president for research and economic development. “We look forward to continuing growing with Southern Light. In fact, we are currently working with the company to place interns – a benefit to Southern Light and to our students.”

Southern Light owns and operates the largest contiguous last-mile fiber optic network on the Gulf Coast.  They have 5,000 miles of fiber in the ground from Lafayette, La., to Jacksonville, Fla., and added over 800 miles to their network in 2013.  In addition to providing ultra-high speed fiber optic connections for wireless carriers, telecommunications carriers, private enterprise, schools and military facilities, Southern Light also offers their customers space in hardened facilities like the data center at USA.

“Growing our operations at USA was a natural choice for us because of the proximity to customers and the strength of infrastructure at the USA Technology & Research Park," Andy Newton, Southern Light president and CEO, said at a lease signing last year. “The University was one of our first customers.  We have built on that relationship as a tenant, and we want to invest in that partnership as we continue to expand our capabilities.” 


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