HawkTalk 52 with Gil Santaliz, CEO at NJFX

Gil Santaliz


Published by datacenterHawk on September 1, 2020




“Covid has transformed and accelerated the process of which was already happening in terms of workforce enablement, flexibility, and data anywhere.” – Gil Santaliz, CEO for NJFX

Santaliz explains all of this and more in his recent interview with datacenterHawk’s Founder, David Liggit. Check it all out in the Hawk Talk Video Episode 52.

Starting his career with MCI back in 1990, Santaliz commented that the industry has certainly seen a lot change since then, moving from fax machines to the cloud. Years later Santaliz transitioned from the voice side of the industry into fiber infrastructure with his company, 4Connections, which deployed dark fiber routes across New Jersey and New York. His team supported key infrastructure needed to connect hospitals, schools and Cable Landing Stations (CLS). As Santaliz put it, it was the, “true heart of global network infrastructure.” 4Connections was later sold to Optimum Lightpath, a subsidiary of New York cable operator Cablevision (now Altice USA), in 2008.

Santaliz went on to tell the story of how NJFX got its start. The property next to where NJFX resides today was first developed by Tata Communications during the dotcom craze. Subcom had invested in a cable that went from Wall, NJ around the world, anchored by Tata’s substantial Cable Landing Station. NJFX and its partners invested in the property next door to the CLS, built a meet-me-room and in 2015, NJFX was born as the first carrier-neutral CLS campus in the United States.

Making the World a Smaller Place

Today, CLS’s play an important role, as the transmission location for 99% of internet traffic globally. NJFX interconnects three continents with four subsea cables connecting North America, South America, Caribbean and Europe.

It took six to seven minutes to transmit a message across the original subsea cables dating back to the 1800’s. Today, it takes a fraction of a second. “Subsea cables made the world a smaller place,” commented Santaliz.

Impact of Covid 19: Challenges and Solutions

And even though the impact of life during Covid-19 is still evolving, some of the immediate effects we’ve seen include a huge increase of global IP. Gil shared how the pandemic has shown us even more how critical data centers are. The home has become the new disaster recovery site.

“Covid has transformed and accelerated the process of which was already happening in terms of workforce enablement, flexibility, data anywhere,” commented Santaliz.

“Fascinating to see the changes. I’m not sure the world would have moved as quickly obviously into this technology advancement, unless something like this [Covid] was in place,” stated Liggit.

The Who’s Who in Telecom

With a great community of carriers and strategic location 65 feet above sea level, NJFX is actively courting new subsea cables. The company has a proven track record in operating the facility, as well as the land that it owns. As Gil explained, “We have one of the largest banks in the U.S moving in to take advantage of the NJFX infrastructure and to be part of the subsea community. [Organizations] need to know how their networks work. They are no longer able to just be a customer of subsea systems. They need to be actively involved in the design and how that system is managed because they need to be digitally enabled – and that is the magic word today. You have to be digitally enabled in order to be able to conduct busines, educate students and conduct public safety. If you don’t have your connection, you don’t exist, you have got to be connected all the time.”

Liggitt agreed, “That is true. That is the quote of the conversation. You do have to be connected all the time. It is the expectation today in the world we live. It will be fun to watch the growth take place as you are in the middle of it.”

To catch the whole conversation, see below or click here.


About NJFX:

NJFX is a Tier 3 Carrier Neutral Cable Landing Station campus. Our colocation ecosystem has expanded to over 35 network operators offering flexibility, reliability, and security. Our Wall, NJ location provides direct access to multiple subsea cable systems giving our carriers diverse connectivity solutions and offers direct interconnection without recurring cross-connect fees.

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