Financial Services

Custom Private Optical Network

A financial institution makes a no-risk investment in a custom private optical network.

Financial Institution Network Challenge

A financial institution with multiple campuses throughout New England was looking for a better way to connect their locations and carrier POPs. Their current network was made up of SONET rings and circuits provided by multiple carriers. Expensive and hard to scale, they also learned that using multiple providers didn’t afford them the level of diversity they thought it would, since many of these carriers delivered service along the same routes.

What they needed was a private network to provide true diversity. One that would be flexible, enabling them to choose the right service providers. Additionally, it needed to be scalable and expandable so that they could increase their bandwidth as demand arose, and have the ability to add future locations and applications.

Solution: Private Optical Network Customized for Financial Institutions

As the Lightower account team began to look at the needs of this financial institution, it became evident that a Private Optical Network would provide the flexibility they needed. Lightower was able to design, build, and manage a SONET network that not only connected their multiple campuses, but also connected them to their carriers. Scalable and cost-effective, this solution was ideal because it would grow with the institution as needed.

Benefits of Private Optical Network for Financial Institutions

  • Diversity – Utilizing our unique ROWs, Lightower was able to provide the financial institution with a network that was truly diverse
  • Cost-Effective – The Lightower solution provided more functionality and allowed the financial institution to reduce their costs by more than 50%
  • Scalable – This network will quickly scale in order to continue to meet this customer’s bandwidth requirements
  • Carrier Neutral – Because Lightower has connections to multiple carriers and most major POPs throughout New England, the financial institution can decide which carrier they want to connect to on a location-by-location basis

Gigabit Ethernet

A new Gigabit Ethernet network offers a financial services company more, for a lot less.


A financial services company in New England was in need of increased bandwidth. Their current network consisted of Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) and SONET circuits to connect their three locations. While increased bandwidth was a priority, a cost-effective plan was also important.

Solution: Gigabit Ethernet

Because this company needed dedicated connectivity between locations, their current ATM/SONET network setup was determined unnecessary. The Lightower account team ascertained that a Gigabit Ethernet network between their locations would prove to be a more cost-effective solution while quadrupling the bandwidth between locations. Additionally, the elimination of the ATM gear from their network saved approximately $100,000 per year in ATM service contracts.

Gigabit Ethernet Benefits

Allows them to eliminate a layer out of their network

  • Gives them a lower overall cost of ownership
  • Lowers operating expenses
  • Eliminates the need for ATM/SONET experts on staff

Scalable interface

  • Eliminates truck rolls
  • Speeds bandwidth upgrades

Customer was familiar with the protocol since they used it in their LAN

Provident Bank Upgrades Its 30+ Site IT Infrastructure with
Custom Lightower Ethernet Network

Dense and flexible unified network delivers superior performance to growing bank

Provident Bank was founded in 1888 and has been serving New York’s Hudson Valley for more than 120 years with personalized banking services for individuals and businesses. Headquartered in Montebello, NY, Provident Bank holds close to $4 billion in assets and offers a complete line of commercial, business and consumer banking products and services, in addition to wealth management services.

The company has a network of branches across the greater New York City market and in New Jersey. It also has a subsidiary, Provident Municipal Bank, which provides deposit services to regional municipalities. One of Lightower Fiber Networks’ largest customers in the Hudson Valley, Provident Bank is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange.


Prior to working with Lightower, Provident Bank had been managing its enterprise communications services for 34 branches across the networks of four separate service providers. Having acquired a number of other banks as it continued to grow, the company had inherited relationships with multiple service providers that were delivering different services for the bank. Yet these were inflexible, legacy services that didn’t necessarily meet the more current requirements of today’s fast-paced, online business environment. Managing these services over multiple providers was also time-consuming and complex, making day-to-day network management and support difficult.


In 2005, Provident Bank began working with Lightower to upgrade and consolidate all of the bank’s networking services. Since Lightower owned and operated a dense fiber footprint throughout the Hudson Valley region, Provident Bank was able to connect all of its locations on a Lightower private, all-fiber Ethernet network.

“Lightower owns and operates its own fiber network,” stated Jim Florian, VP for Infrastructure Services at Provident Bank. “This is critical. As a Lightower customer, we benefit from a converged network to support the company’s voice, data and video traffic. This allows the IT team to reduce costs for maintenance, support and management, and it also enables us to focus on other important areas like delivering operational efficiency, enhancing customer responsiveness and keeping our data secure.”

Starting with smaller levels of bandwidth to each site, Provident Bank added more bandwidth and additional services with Lightower as it continued to grow. Lightower’s scalable network allows the bank to be future-ready and flexible.

“We’ve identified technology as one of our key strategic assets – it will help differentiate us from our competition,” confirmed Florian. “For example, we’re launching lots of new applications as part of our growth strategy. And we have an increasingly mobile workforce. Our industry is intensely competitive, so our network is critical in helping us meet the businesses objectives. Lightower’s robust backbone supports our evolving applications and the many mobile devices we use every day. Lightower allows us to scale for the future.”

Service was also a strong reason that Provident Bank selected Lightower as its provider.

“We can purchase a network anywhere,” explained Florian. “But another key layer is the relationship. For example, during Hurricane Sandy, our Lightower account team called us before we called them – they are incredibly proactive. When the IT team calls the Network Operations Center, they are not passed off to someone else. They are directly connected to a support engineer, who in most instances confirms the issue and resolves it quickly. Over the past few years, Lightower’s account management team has served our company as technology advisors.”

Working with Lightower, Provident Bank has enjoyed uptime of 99.999% at its corporate headquarters and 99.995% for all its remote locations in the NY/NJ metro area. Lightower offers support, an advanced platform and a redundant, secure product for this growing customer that requires reliable connectivity 24x7x365.

“Because Lightower owns its own network, the company can guarantee uptime and a strong Service Level Agreement. They’ve got resiliency built in. From support to billing simplicity to allowing us to consolidate all our products onto one technology platform, Lightower has been there for us. I view our relationship with Lightower as a true partnership,” said Florian.

As the demands on banks and financial service providers continue to evolve and grow, Lightower remains committed to ensuring that Provident Bank’s network will be there to support the business with exceptional networking solutions.


Provident Bank has been a Lightower customer for more than eight years. With the densest metro network footprint in its service area, Lightower continues to offer advanced services across geographically diverse routes. Lightower offers Provident Bank:

  • High-speed Ethernet connections to 34 branch locations, with additional locations to be added soon
  • A flexible, scalable, high-performance converged network that allows the bank to grow over time
  • Network diversity, redundancy and security
  • High network availability
  • Superior customer service and performance
  • Business Continuity / Disaster Recovery solutions


Customer Quote

"Lightower Fiber Networks has worked as a true partner with us for over five years. We are always confident that we will be able to provide our members with superior service whenever we work with Lightower. They have a great team and always provide excellent project management."

Executive Director