Syringa Networks readies network for 100G with ADVA, addresses new wholesale, enterprise needs

Syringa Networks, an independent regional wholesale and business service provider, has lit up more ADVA Optical Networking (XETRA: ADV.DE) FSP 3000 platforms to accommodate new wholesale Fiber to the Tower (FTTT) and business services demands.

Targeting Idaho and areas within Oregon, Washington, Wyoming and Utah, the FSP 3000 platforms have been pre-configured for 100G connectivity and a migration to greater data rates as needed.

Greg Lowe, CEO of Syringa, said in an interview with FierceTelecom that the upgrade targets its core network to support the sales of higher capacity, lower priced circuits it is selling to customers.    

"The primary driver with the update is the fact that bandwidth prices have come down rapidly over the past few years and as those prices have come down, people have always had use for bandwidth so they added a lot of bandwidth into their networks," Lowe said. "As you can well imagine when you're selling T1s, you have a lot of core bandwidth available to you because it's being sliced out at 1.5 Mbps increments, but as it increases to 100 Meg, 500 Meg and a Gig, those cores get chewed up pretty quick."

Perhaps not surprisingly, Syringa has been one of the beneficiaries of the Fiber to the Tower trend, supplying a mix of lit services and dark fiber to a number of the largest wireless operators.

However, Lowe said that it is seeing equal demand from the healthcare and public sector verticals.   

"Since 2009, like most middle mile transport companies, we certainly participated in the Fiber to the Tower run that's been occurring, but there are a lot of companies now using a lot of bandwidth on the enterprise side, including hospitals, government networks and augmenting other carriers' networks," he said.  

Like other providers, Syringa is starting to see the need for 100G, but it depends on the market. In Idaho, the predominant transport facility continues to be 10x10G circuits.

Lowe said he's seeing emerging demand for 100G particularly for data center providers that reside along its route between Provo, Utah and the Idaho border. It serves businesses and carriers via a network ring and an MPLS node Salt Lake City it built in 2010.    

"One of the things that happened since 2009 is we built an extensive footprint from Provo, Utah, to the Idaho border," Lowe said. "We have been very busy in that market and that's where 10G price points are low enough now that those are being absorbed fairly quickly and we're starting to see some activity around 100G, specifically between data centers."

In tandem with 100G lit services, Syringa is seeing dark fiber sales rising to both data center providers and wireless operators.

A key decision factor that is driving data center providers to purchase dark fiber instead of building their own fiber for their facilities is economics. 

"One of the interesting twists is that at some point you're almost better off leasing dark fiber than having the capital expense in the network," Lowe said. "If you take two data centers that are 25 miles apart, at some point it's worth just leasing the dark fiber as opposed to pinning up network gear."

Besides data center providers, Lowe said the company forecasts that future dark fiber revenue will be driven by wireless operators.   

"The primary driver for dark fiber in the next five years will be the wireless carriers because they need to vertically integrate their delivery mechanism in order to have cost effective transport," he said. "The new price points that Sprint and AT&T are offering to their consumers--that math doesn't work unless you vertically integrate your networks."

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