DukeNet branches out of the Carolinas, goes 100G

Las Vegas -- DukeNet Communications, one of the early regional utility telcos to emerge in the mid-1990s, on Monday announced it has expanded outside of its North Carolina home and into four new states.

With the completion of this new network upgrade, all of which is based on 100G coherent technologies, the service provider now reaches into Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, and Virginia.

This expansion should not come as big surprise. When it announced last August that it was deploying Cisco's (Nasdaq: CSCO) ASR 9000 router in four major metro areas in the Carolinas region, the service provider said it had set plans to expand into these other markets.

"A lot of the network expansion has been driven by the wireless customer segment, providing connectivity to the tower, providing Ethernet services to those locations and following that customer segment into very similar markets that DukeNet has been accustomed to delivering services to in the Carolinas," said David Herran, VP of Network Architecture and Technology Planning at DukeNet Communications, in an interview with FierceTelecom. "We're going to take a lot of our customer-driven capabilities and all of the things we learned through our growth in the Carolinas and applying it in other Tier 2 and Tier 3 type market capabilities."

On the wireless backhaul front, DukeNet is continuing to see new opportunities such as small cells and Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS).

"We'll be continuing to develop the wireless backhaul product portfolio in support of that effort," Herran said.

With Ethernet and fiber as a focus, Herran said that it's "our intention of taking that Ethernet capability and that ability to provide that service to end-user customers above and beyond the wireless segment."

While DukeNet has set forth an aggressive enterprise services growth strategy, Ron Proleika, director of DukeNet Corporate Communications, said that initially they are concentrating their efforts on its Carolinas market where it has a large metro fiber footprint.

He added that they "are not going to eliminate any opportunities for creative revenue growth for markets we're expanding into."

One of the key points about the network connections is that it includes planned interconnections into major data centers and carrier hotels in these four states that reach major content and IP exchange facilities.

Two of the interconnection points in this expansion cycle will be Atlanta, Ga. and Ashburn, Va. Ashburn, for instance, is one of the largest Internet hubs in the United States.

These new routes will provide benefits to both its carrier customers, including other data center providers and wireless operators, in addition to its growing enterprise business customer base.

"Having those high-powered DWDM facilities in place is critical as necessary for that content and offload ability to bring that kind of content and those types of data center connections onto your network," Herran said.

As a way to reduce network latency, its connection into Atlanta avoids the I-85, while the expansion into Ashburn will avoid the crowded I-95 route. Herran said while he acknowledges the need for financial traders in Northeast markets for low latency, he wants DukeNet to be able to have a network that can respond to other industry verticals that are looking for low latency solutions.

"Where we are constructing and partnering with other entities, we are looking to develop those facilities in unique routes separate from the traditional corridors where the majority of the long-haul traffic traverses today," he said.

To scale its network to fulfill these new interconnection programs, DukeNet has become the latest service provider to leverage 100G optical technology.
 
"As we interconnect these markets and in order for us to keep up and to scale with all of the aggregate demand we're preparing our entire core DWDM infrastructure, especially in new Greenfield routes and interconnects between these markets are going in as 100G-capable in support of that scalable strategy," Herran said.

For more:
- see the release

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DukeNet becomes joint venture of Duke Energy and Alinda Capital
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