Windstream begins the second phase of its 100G network build

Windstream has started work on the second phase of its 100G long-haul optical network covering nearly 4,100 miles that's set to be completed by the end of the year.

The second phase of the 100G build will include five main routes linking major metro areas: Chicago to Omaha, Kansas City and St. Louis; Cleveland to Albany, N.Y.; Boston, New York City and Philadelphia; Atlanta to Charlotte and Ashburn, Va.; and Monroe, La., to Memphis.

For the initial phase that was announced in March, the route covered about 5,300 miles. That segment included routes from St. Louis to Chicago, Indianapolis, Lexington, Ky.; Knoxville, Tenn.; Atlanta, Memphis and Dallas; and from Chicago to Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, the District of Columbia and Ashburn, Va.

Similar to the first phase of the build, Windstream will leverage Infinera's DTN-X platform, which integrates DWDM optical transmission and non-blocking OTN switching in a single platform. The DTN-X also includes the option to scale to single-card terabit super-channels and Terabit Ethernet in the future.

Over this network, it will sell wavelength services to its growing mix of retail and wholesale customers while having a larger foundation to support its growing IP/MPLS core network.

While Windstream may not be as large as AT&T (NYSE: T) or Verizon (NYSE: VZ), the service provider continues to find a sizeable niche in the medium-sized business market. The Tier 2 and Tier 3 market regions the telco serves are home to some of the largest multinational corporations and wireless operators.

Building out these 100G routes will give Windstream more network agility to be prepared for the eventual encroachment of cable operators such as Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) and Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) moving up into larger multi-site business accounts.
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