Part 3: A new wave emerges

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In enhancing its nationwide network, Internet2 has contracted suppliers for three components: fiber and colocation sites, routers/switches and optical equipment.

In total, the new network will be built over 17,000 miles of fiber. That fiber will be lit with Ciena's (Nasdaq: CIEN) ActivFlex 6500 Packet-Optical Platform equipped with WaveLogic coherent optical processors for its new network that can scale to 88 wavelengths of 100 Gbps.

Providing the router gear will be Juniper, which will provide its T1600 routers equipped with 100 Gbps standards-based interfaces. It will also repurpose Juniper's MX96, already deployed in its existing network, to support our commercial peering service and other applications.

Additional partners will be announced in the coming weeks and months. 

Because the new network has 88 100 Gbps wavelengths replacing one 10 X 10 Gbps network, it creates a foundation to go beyond 100 Gbps when needed.

"What the network does is that it can take bandwidth and capacity out of the equation to be in a situation where we are not worried about how much bandwidth we can give to our users and how we can control," Vietzke said. "That's not our model. Our model is what can you do with it to change health care, how can you change education, or scientific collaboration if you're not constrained by how much information people can send between each other."

Right now, Internet2 is in the process of ordering colocation to put amplifiers in 350 sites along the fiber.

"It's everything from receiving the piece of equipment, getting an inventory control tag on it, to getting a rack installed and turning up management systems," Vietzke said. "There's a lot of logistics work that has to take place because there's a total of 350 sites across the country."

Interestingly, Interenet2 has recently added other network routes in rural markets, including Southern Utah, Nevada, Mississippi, Louisiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho and Washington State.

Vietzke said these "routes are interesting too because they are new to us and are places where you typically would see a 100 Gbps route being built."

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Part 3: A new wave emerges