Kansas Fiber Network responds to rural growth with 100G upgrade

Kansas Fiber Network, a consortium of 29 independent service providers, has upgraded its network capacity from 10 Gbps to 100 Gbps, illustrating the growing trend of service providers bypassing 40G and going directly to 100G.

Leveraging Cisco's (Nasdaq: CSCO) ONS 15454 Multiservice Transport Platform, the 100G upgrade will be used to support the growing demand from the consortium's rural business and carrier customers for a host of services such as Ethernet access, wireless backhaul, Dedicated Internet Access (DIA) and long-distance services.

The consortium spent $3.5 million on this project. Overall, KFN has invested a total of about $20 million in its network. KFN's 2,700-mile optical network consists of both DWDM, which carries over 80 wavelengths on single fiber, and traditional SONET.

Steven Dorf, KFN's president, said in a Wichita Business Journal article that the new 100G capacity will be available across its network within the next 45 days.

While most of the attention around 100G has been with large incumbent and competitive providers such as Verizon (NYSE: VZ) and XO Communications, this deployment shows that 100G has just as much utility in rural markets that are also increasing their use of high bandwidth services.

"It shows the latent demand was more than anyone anticipated," Dorf says. "As quick as we can add capacity, people are buying that capacity."

Albeit on a smaller scale, KFN's deployment is representative of the service provider spending trends in the optical industry segment. While optical vendors and service revenues and carrier spending was flat in 2012, a new Infonetics Research report forecast that new investments in 100G will drive new optical sales in 2013.

For more:
Wichita Business Journal has this article

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