Original article http://bit.ly/1bkoSsx

Unite Private Networks, a nationwide provider of fiber optic communication network and support services, has relocated its company headquarters to a 12,000-square-foot facility in Liberty at 120 S. Stewart Road.

Previously based in Kearney, the 15-year-old company chose its new location based on proximity to Kansas City International Airport and freeways, improved commute time for employees, and proximity to existing customers, which include Liberty Public Schools, the city of Liberty and Clay County. The company also had outgrown its space in Kearney.

“We’ve quadrupled our employee base over the last three years,” said CEO Kevin Anderson. “We’re in a significant growth mode locally and nationwide.”

UPN has 50 employees in Liberty and more than 100 across the country.

“We are particularly proud of our new space in Liberty,” Anderson said.

So that employees can keep fit, Anderson installed a workout room complete with showers. There is also plenty of space to expand as new employees come on board.

Anderson said what his fiber optic company does is comparable to what electrical companies did 100 years ago — laying down a fiber-optic infrastructure that will contribute to be the foundation of communications for the 21th century and beyond.

“Just as people need electricity and water, they also need communications capability,” Anderson said. “We are a connectivity utility.”

The company’s focus is on commercial clients including hospitals, school districts and city governments, as well as large businesses and data centers.

Due to the initial expense of lying down a fiber optic network in a community, companies are making long-term, deep investments when they contract with UPN, Anderson said.

He said his company is innovative and easier to work with than bigger phone and cable companies that provide fiber optic services.

“We’re creative with pricing,” he said. “We provide long-term certainty with long-term, fixed price contracts. It comes down to value in the end.”

An average contract is for 10 years, and it is common for clients renew beyond that.

“We like to think of ourselves as partners in a community,” Anderson said.

Once the infrastructure is in place, it has lifespan of at least 30 years and is capable of ever-increasing bandwidth needs.

Presently, the company serves more than 255 communities with clients in 20 states, and had total customer contract commitments more than $400 million as of July 2013.

Liberty Editor Stacy Burt can be reached at 389-6630 or stacy.burt@libertytribune.com.
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