FirstLight Fiber employs Cisco ASR for core upgrade, aligns New England, upstate NY presence

LAS VEGAS--FirstLight Fiber has completed the upgrade of its IP-based core, which it built both organically and through acquisitions such as TelJet in recent years to serve business and wholesale customers in upstate New York and northern New England.

A key point of the network upgrade is reducing network latency.

Leveraging Cisco's (Nasdaq: CSCO) ASR 9000 core routers, the service provider said its network was built in a manner that enables its "customers to directly connect to popular, highly trafficked sites resulting in fewer hops and an improved experience."

It added that about 50 percent of all Internet traffic on its network is directly connected to its final destination.

"What we did with the aggregate of companies in the last few years with the SegTel property and the TelJet--we expanded our service area from eastern New York, down to New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont," said Brian Kurkowski, CTO of FirstLight, in an interview with FierceTelecom during the COMPTEL Plus trade show. "We focused the last few years on providing not so much a commodity Internet, but a business-focused Internet-type offering that's focused on low latency and reliable throughput."

Besides reducing latency, FirstLight's IP network was built to maintain network resiliency and uptime. It has built a ring architecture in each of its four regions--including Maine, southeast New Hampshire, southwest New Hampshire, Vermont and upstate New York--all of which can operate independently from one another.

From the core regions, it also has built gateways into big cities that reside in these regions, such as Boston, New York City, Albany and Montreal.

All of its Internet traffic is redundantly routed over its fiber network that includes two separate meshed core networks, meaning there's no single point of failure within the core. Finally, FirstLight's Internet transit and multiple peering points allow for traffic to be routed seamlessly over the most direct path. 

"We're not routing based on cost, meaning we're not trying to push traffic to the lowest cost provider," Kurkowski said. "Since we're business-centric, we naturally route the network and find out where the traffic is going or buy or put more bandwidth at that location and let the Internet find its shortest path."

While it has the ability to deliver 100G services whenever customer demand dictates that need, today the most popular product is its 10G offering.

"We did not see a lot of demand for 10G last year, but this year we are seeing it become much more popular," Kurkowski said. "I projected that our Internet bandwidth would double in 2013, but it actually went up four times."

In addition to its growing business customer base, Kurkoswki said the company is seeing similar demands in the wholesale market from regional telcos and cable operators that need fiber-based bandwidth.

For more:
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