March 6, 2012 | last updated April 19, 2012 2:03 pm

Boxborough's Lightower Opens N.J. Office

Bandwidth service provider Lightower Fiber Networks of Boxborough has added an office in Roseland, N.J. - where officials say its services are in high demand by expanding businesses that need more computer networking capacity.

Lightower, with about 130 employees in Boxborough, will start out with five to seven employees at the New Jersey site, and expand as demand dictates, officials say.

David Fagan, Lightower's vice president of marketing and client services, said the need for reliable broadband fiber networking is widespread, and doesn't seem to be in any one particular industry in New Jersey.

He gives the financial services industry as an example, with New Jersey's proximity to New York City. Data-heavy health care "is huge for us all over," he added, especially in the areas of intensive imagery in cardiology and radiology, as well as for patients' electronic medical records.

The challenge, he said, is trying to keeping up with growing demand while maintaining customer relationships and customer service.

'Insatiable Demand'

Lightower's network totals more than 6,400 miles, providing access to more than 2,800 service areas in the Northeast, according to the company, including 15 financial hubs in northern New Jersey and New York City.

Its acquisitions in New Jersey and New York over the past few years include Long Island-based Open Access Inc. and Lexent Metro Connect in New York City. Also, a new network route - across the Hudson River - offers a shorter route than over the Tappan Zee Bridge, the company said in a statement.

Fagan said scalability, or the ability to easily connect to a network, is a main driver of business these days. "Before, you would build a network and it was a lot of work," he said. "Now you can connect easily to scale and grow - that's attractive to customers," he said. Lightower networks' low latency, or how quickly something gets from point A to point B, is also a draw. Low latency is just good business these days, said Fagan. For a financial services firm to send a transaction, for instance, "the quicker it gets there, they get a better price," he said.

The challenge in an industry seeing "insatiable demand," said Fagan, is basically just keeping up with it, while ensuring the growth strategy maximizes opportunity and doesn't lose sight of the customer base. "We meet with customers all the time," he said, adding that hands-on service, and getting involved in communities Lightower serves, is part of the firm's working model.

Lightower is working to do that, and growing as opportunities present themselves where demand is highest, Fagan said, and not before. The initial employee base at the New Jersey office will expand in time as the market requires, he said, and Lightower will continue to build resources as the customer base builds.

Fagan said Connecticut may be an area of further expansion for the company in the coming years.

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