JUNE 7, 2007 -- Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell, along with Wall Street West, a federal and state-funded program created to provide complete back-up for New York City financial institutions in the event of disaster, today announced an agreement for Level 3 Communications (search for Level 3) to build a fiber-optic network connecting lower Manhattan with northeastern Pennsylvania.
The Level 3 Communications-built optical network will enable redundant, instantaneous data transmission between the two areas, further establishing the northeastern Pennsylvania region as a premier back-up operations location for Wall Street firms, say Level 3 representatives.
To provide synchronous data transmission, fiber-optic lines cannot exceed 125 fiber miles in each direction. Once the fiber network is in place, portions of northeastern Pennsylvania will be the only locations within the 125 fiber-mile limit surrounding Manhattan to also meet Federal Reserve and Securities and Exchange Commission recommendations that backup sites not rely upon the same infrastructure components used by financial firms' primary sites.
Wall Street West is a $40 million initiative involving a variety of federal, state, and private-funding sources. Nearly $15 million in state funds are leveraging up to $25 million in federal and private investments.
While providing better connectivity between New York and northeastern Pennsylvania, the Wall Street West fiber network will also interconnect with an already robust fiber-optic infrastructure that covers all nine counties covered by the Wall Street West initiative, including Carbon, Berks, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Luzerne, Monroe, Northampton, Pike, and Wayne. These locations offer many infrastructure benefits of northeastern Pennsylvania for firms that do not require instantaneous backup.
"Northeastern Pennsylvania is already home to a number of financial firms, and this initiative is essential to continuing the area's advancement and economic growth," reports Gov. Rendell. "It will also strengthen New York City's status as the financial capitol of the world by providing firms there with mission-critical data back-up."
The highly resilient fiber network will provide business continuity, recovery, and data replication for the financial services industry. Level 3 Communications will build a DWDM optical network that will provide integrated data communications and support a variety of applications, including synchronous data replication, streaming video, video instruction and workstation video conferencing, converged networking, storage-area networks, Intranet support, and support for Internet access for the end-user employees.
"Northeastern Pennsylvania is ideally situated to provide back-up operations for Wall Street firms--close, but not too close," says Catherine Bolton, project director at Wall Street West. "With the implementation of this fiber network, we are able to meet the diverse needs of the financial services industry, while providing a low cost of doing business and exceptional quality of life."