Qwest guns for 40 Gigs

Qwest Communications, possibly looking to improve its position versus other network operators involved in the federal government's massive Networx upgrade project, has quadrupled capacity on its nationwide fiber backbone to 40 Gbps. Qwest won pieces of both the Networx Universal and Networx Enterprise contracts earlier this year, along with other carriers such as AT&T, Verizon Communications and Level 3 Communications.

Denver-based Qwest has had quite a year so far, having made progress on its financial recovery while seeing its former CEO, Joe Nacchio, convicted of insider trading, and current CEO Dick Notebaert abruptly announce his retirement (Notebaert continues to stay on board until Qwest finds a new chief.) Another three executives announced their retirements in recent months, though Qwest did name a new vice president of federal relations, Shirley Bloomfield, this week. Amid all the activity, Qwest says the network capacity upgrade was simply a response to direct customer needs, and not a requirement of the Networx deal, but buttering up the feds couldn't hurt, right?

For more on Qwest's capacity boost:
- read this article from Telecommunications

And further coverage of the Bloomfield hiring:
- check out this Denver Post post