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Verizon boosts 'selected' US backbones to 100G

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Verizon has announced that it will be the first service provider to pump "selected segments" of its US long-haul backbone to 100 Gigabit Ethernet speeds, using Juniper Networks routers and Ciena coherent optical-processing gear.

"We've already successfully deployed 100G on a portion of our European network, and now we're preparing to expand this technology to our US network," said Verizon network-planning executive Ihab Tarazi, coming down firmly on the side of simplicity when describing a technology known variously as 100GE, 100GbE, 100Gb/s, and 100Gb/sec.

"Advancing to 100G is a significant step in strengthening our global IP network to handle the bandwidth demands of our customers," Tarazi said in a canned statement, "whether it's large enterprises or the average consumer. Besides greater scalability and network efficiencies, we also expect 100G deployment to improve latency on a route-by-route basis."

The inaugural routes to which Tarazi is referring will be Chicago to New York, Sacramento to Los Angeles, and Minneapolis to Kansas City. The deployment is planned to go live by the end of the current calendar quarter.

Ciena and Jupiter also supplied tech to Verizon for its 893-kilometer (555-mile) 100G link between Paris and Frankfurt, which came online early this month. As might be expected, the two companies are pleased with the telecom giant's continued use of their gear.

Ciena's senior vice president of global products Philippe Morin said he was "thrilled" by Verizon's plans. "Verizon and Ciena have worked together for many years in deploying advanced optical technologies, including intelligent mesh switching and coherent optics, to deliver the network capacity, resiliency, and performance that its customers demand."

Juniper is equally cheery. "With the coming availability of 100G service in the US," the company's Platform Systems Group executive Stefan Dyckerhoff said, "Juniper looks forward to continuing to work with Verizon to deliver scalable, cost-effective and reliable high-speed network connections that empower businesses and individuals to harness the full potential of today's connected life."

That "connected life", according to Verizon, is being lived by a broad range of users, from cloudy and collaborating enterprises to content-streaming and game-playing consumers.

The 100G upgrade won't require digging up Verizon's existing optical cable – the Ciena and Jupiter equipment is being used to give a 10x bandwidth boost to Verizon's existing 10G optical-fiber infrastructure. ®

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