Zhone's terabit access platform gains RUS acceptance

JUNE 30, 2009 -- The MXK intelligent platform is designed to support expanding bandwidth capacity required by HD media and on-demand video.

JUNE 30, 2009 -- The MXK platform by Zhone Technologies Inc. (search Lightwave for Zhone Technologies), a developer of network access technologies, has been accepted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service (RUS) for use by RUS program participants. RUS and the National Telecommunications and Information Agency (NTIA) are responsible for dispersing the $7.2 billion in economic stimulus funding allocated for broadband initiatives under the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

RUS provides grants and low-cost loans to help network operators secure authorized equipment to bring high-speed broadband services to rural and underserved communities. Zhone products first gained RUS acceptance in 2003, with the recently announced MXK being the newest addition to the program.

The platform is designed to support high-definition (HD) media and on-demand video that require enormous amounts of dedicated bandwidth. In addition to providing a 2x bandwidth improvement over the closest competing platform, the MXK leverages Zhone's SLMS access operating system, offering service intelligence and intuitive management. The company says its offering is also the only platform to feature Smart OMCI (Optical Network Terminal Management Control Interface) for "true ONT standards-based interoperability" and ease of use.

"Zhone's MXK is well suited to NTIA and RUS stimulus projects," says Ron Westfall, research director, access and applications for Current Analysis (search Lightwave for Current Analysis). "The platform is designed to substantially reduce the cost of broadband for operators and thereby improve service availability and speed, right in line with the Obama Administration's goals for the broadband stimulus programs."

"We're impressed with the performance, ease of installation, flexibility, and cost-effective price per port provided by Zhone," says Jeff Lee, plant manager for Wisconsin-based Chequamegon Communications. "The MXK has the horsepower and the backplane to offer the mega-capacity and port counts we need to meet the ever-growing bandwidth desires of our customers."

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