Update

France Telecom (Paris) announced plans to invest 250 million euros over three years, starting next year, to deploy 300,000 km of fiber-optic infrastructure, building-out its 2-million-km fiber network. The build-out will focus on 2,000 business and industrial parks, home to roughly 120,000 companies, and include the installation of 1,500 very-high-speed fiber-optic connection nodes located within the zones. In addition, Gigabit Ethernet loops will be deployed in and around 20 major French cities, allowing services in excess of 1 Gbit/sec. These infrastructures are already available to businesses in the Lille and Paris greater urban areas. The build-out represents Phase 3 of France Telecom’s “Broadband for Everyone” initiative, which began in June 2003. The plan is to lower the cost of fiber connection speeds and increase the broadband services available to all customers. According to the plan, ADSL2+ service (16 Mbits/sec) will be deployed on the entire France Telecom network as of 2005.

Oklahoma’s telecommunications and information network for education and government, OneNetis deploying the Cisco Systems ONS 15454 multiservice transport platform to increase network capacity. The expansion will allow OneNet to converge its legacy SONET services with new Ethernet services and offer regional access to the National LambdaRail (NLR), a network for research and experimentation in networking technologies and applications. By deploying ONS 15454, OneNet is adding line-rate 10-Gigabit Ethernet LAN PHY wavelengths to connect to the NLR.

Avici Systems (North Billerica, MA) signed a five-year extension to its agreement to supply AT&T (Bedminster, NJ) with its TSR core routers, continuing a business relationship that has existed since 2000. The new purchase agreement enables AT&T to leverage Avici’s advanced technology to converge multiple networks to a single IP/MPLS backbone to reduce costs and accelerate the delivery of new services. The TSR is described by Avici as a carrier class core router with high availability. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST-Washington, DC), through its Advanced Technology Program (ATP), agreed to provide up to $2 million to OFS Laboratories to support the development of new processes for manufacturing high-power fiber lasers in their state-of-the-art laboratories and manufacturing facilities in Murray Hill and Somerset, NJ. OFS, formerly the Optical Fiber Solutions division of Lucent Technologies, is owned by Furukawa Electric and headquartered in Norcross, GA. Fiber lasers allow the creation of new manufacturing and communications systems that are more reliable, energy efficient, and easier to operate compared to solid-state laser technologies now in use, since they can overcome many of their limitations such as beam quality, pulse repetition rate, and average power limitations. NIST is a non-regulatory federal agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce. The peer-reviewed ATP provides early-stage investment to accelerate the development of innovative technologies with a clear path to commercialization.

Photonic Bridges (Basking Ridge, NJ, and Shanghai) selected Silicon Laboratories’ Si5100 OC-48 transceiver and Si5310 precision clock multiplier for its next-generation SONET/SDH multiservice transport platforms. The systems include the MetroWave 805, 808, and 809 multiservice access platforms and MetroWave 8100 multiservice provisioning platform. The Si5100 transceiver and Si5310 clock multiplier implement Silicon Labs’ proprietary DSPLL technology to achieve excellent jitter performance while reducing design complexity, system cost, and board space. The Si5100 is the only OC-48/STM-16 transceiver incorporating a jitter-attenuating clock multiplier unit with selectable loop-filter bandwidths. This feature enables the industry’s best jitter performance without requiring expensive external jitter reduction circuitry.

Midcontinent Communications(Sioux City, SD), a carrier’s carrier and regional service provider in North and South Dakota, built a regional optical network capable of transporting data and video traffic based on next-generation SONET technology from Nortel Networks (Brampton, Ontario). The carrier has deployed Nortel’s Optical Metro 3500 SONET platform with resilient-packet-ring technology and Optical Metro 5200 DWDM platform. The Nortel technologies will enable Midcontinent Communications to deliver cable TV, voice services, and high-speed Internet throughout the bi-state region.

Danbury Place in Sunnyvale, CA, is the first Corning Connected Community. Corning Cable Systems (Hickory, NC) developed the Corning Connected Community program to bring the benefits of optical fiber to homeowners everywhere by assisting homebuilders and community developers in building fiber-optic infrastructure into their plans. Pulte Homes, the charter member of the program, selected PAXIO to design, install, and service their fiber networks in the San Francisco Bay Area. To qualify as a Corning Connected Community, each connected neighborhood must provide at least 5-Mbit/sec symmetrical service to all homes via fiber. At Danbury Place, homeowners can benefit from Internet connection at up to 1-Gbit/sec speeds.

A new fiber to the premises (FTTP) network will use Wave7 Optics (Alpharetta, GA) point-to-multipoint Ethernet FTTP systems to connect 1,000 residential and business customers in Ft. Loramie, OH, by mid-next year. Goldstar Communications, LLC, and NKTELCO, the CLEC and video service-provider business units of New Knoxville Telephone (NKT-New Knoxville, OH), will deliver the triple-play services to Ft. Loramie. Each residential subscriber will enjoy 200 video channels, including IP digital, up to four telephone lines, and very-high-speed Internet services provided over Wave7’s Last Mile Link system. Business customers will receive the same services, with the addition of 10/100/1000 Ethernet Base-T and similar “business class” connections. Construction of the new network began last March. All fiber has now been deployed as an “overlay” to the existing copper infrastructure. Goldstar and NKTELCO are in the process of connecting customers to the network and installing Wave7’s Last Mile Gateway customer premises devices.

Corvis (Columbia, MD) changed its name to Broadwing Corp. to reflect the company’s primary focus as a supplier of voice-, data-, and media-network services to enterprises, carriers, and U.S. government agencies. The company will continue to operate its optical equipment business under the new moniker, selling primarily to the federal government. Broadwing Corp. will become a holding company for Broadwing Communications LLC, the service-provider division based in Austin, TX.

The Fiber Optic Communities of the United States (FOCUS), a not-for-profit organization headquartered in Washington DC, has been established by a group of fiber to the premises communities to educate consumers on the benefits of optical access networks. Max R. Kipfer is FOCUS’s founder and president. Information on the organization is available at www.CommunitiesInFocus.org.

Lucent Technologies (Murray Hill, NJ) announced a contract with KPN (Hilversum, Netherlands) to deploy one of Europe’s first networks using IP/MPLS technology. The three-year agreement includes network design, equipment supply, and deployment of M320- and T640-series routing platforms from Juniper Networks (Sunnyvale, CA) as well as maintenance and support provided by Lucent Worldwide Services. The new MPLS network, in its initial deployment, will enable KPN to deliver Ethernet services to its customers nationwide. Next phase of the deployment will interconnect the IP/MPLS core network and the ATM network using ATM-over-MPLS trunking to deliver services with quality of service over IP/MPLS networks developed jointly by Lucent and Juniper.

Lumentis (Stockholm) announced the signing of a frame agreement, worth at least $2 million, extending its relationship with Internet and telecom service provider IP-Only Telecommunication (Uppsala, Sweden). IP-Only has chosen Lumentis equipment for deployment of all broadband access in their Nordic network and to deliver services for city networks all around Sweden. Lumentis offers an all-in-one CWDM, DWDM, and SONET/SDH platform that shares the same chassis, fiber pair, and network management platform. Previously, the carrier built six city networks using xWDM products from Lumentis. As one of the larger carriers in the Nordic region to focus primarily on enterprise services, IP-Only owns and operates an optical-fiber network, which connects Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmö, and Oslo as well as Copenhagen and Helsinki through submarine cables.

CoreOptics (Nuremberg, Germany), designer and manufacturer of 40- and 10-Gbit/sec optical-networking subsystems, achieved quality management certifi­cation in accordance with International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9001:2000 requirements. The ISO 9001:2000 certification was confirmed after an audit by TÜV Industrie Service, a member of the TÜV CERT Certification group.

Neos Networks (Reading, UK), the telecommunications arm of the Scottish and Southern Energy Group, has deployed next-generation 10-Gbit/sec SDH equipment from Turin Networks (Petaluma, CA) to enhance and extend Ethernet over its national networks. The carrier deployed Turin’s Traverse multiservice transport platform to build a high-capacity ring in London between the city and docklands in Birmingham and Scotland and extend the network to Gloucester. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

ADVA Optical Networking (Martinsried/ Munich, Germany) completed its acquisition of Metro Packet Systems, a company with expertise in carrier class Ethernet technology. Metro Packet Systems played an important role in the development of ADVA’s Fiber Service Platform 150, native Ethernet access solutions first launched last March. ADVA acquired the remaining 70% stake for a total purchase price of about 4.1 million euros. The purchase price was paid in 872,093 shares of common stock in ADVA via a capital increase and issued in exchange for all outstanding shares of Metro Packet Systems. According to a company statement, ADVA acquired Metro Packet because it is committed to developing a second core business around Ethernet access technology.

China Telecom (Beijing) selected long-haul equipment from Nortel Networks (Brampton, Ontario) to expand its networks across southern and eastern China. The additional network capacity will enable the carrier to offer advanced IP data services. China Telecom will deploy Nortel’s Optical Long Haul 1600 optical line systems to expand its optical-backbone networks in Wuhan, Guangzhou, Changsha, Fuzhou, Shanghai, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Hefei, Chongqing, and Chengdu. The expansion, scheduled for completion by year’s end, will boost transmission capacity to about 30 10-Gbit/sec wavelengths. In addition, China Telecom’s Shanghai Telecom and Zhejiang Telecom branches will use Nortel’s Services Edge Router 5500 to expand their data networks. The expansions will enable the two branches to serve an additional 500,000 and 1.8 million broadband subscribers, respectively, with enhanced delivery of advanced IP broadband services like high-speed Internet access, IP virtual private networks, and “Green Internet,” a special content filtering and blocking service for parents to monitor children’s activities on the Internet. The value of the contracts was not disclosed.

StockerYale (Salem, NH) signed a Mutual Distributorship and Product Development Agreement for specialty optical fiber with Mitsubishi Cable Industries(Tokyo). Under the agreement, Mitsubishi will distribute select StockerYale products into the Japanese market. The specialty optical fiber will be used across a wide spectrum of applications, including telecommunications, sensors, and laser delivery systems and will be marketed under the Mitsubishi brand name. In addition, StockerYale will develop specific products for Mitsubishi for eventual distribution in Japan. Concurrently, StockerYale will distribute select Mitsubishi specialty optical fiber under the StockerYale brand name in U.S. markets.

Valdor Fiber Optics (Hayward, CA) entered into an equity agreement with the shareholders of Shanghai OPEL Technologies (Opeltech-Shanghai), whereby Valdor will have the right to acquire up to 100% of the shares of Opeltech. An ISO 9001:2000-certified company, controlled by China International Intellectech and China WorldBest Group, Opeltech manufactures and supplies a range of products, including CWDM, DWDM, optical add/dropmultiplexers, couplers/splitters, isolators, attenuators, fiber-optic patch cords, and subcomponents. The acquisition adds more optical and printed-circuit-board assembly to Valdor’s fiber-optic manufacturing capabilities. Under the agreement, Valdor will issue five million common shares of its capital stock to the equity owners of Opeltech in exchange for a 60% equity interest in Opeltech. Valdor has the right to acquire the remaining 40% interest of Opeltech in the future. Opeltech will be renamed Valdor Shanghai. The agreement is subject to certain conditions, including but not limited to the approval of both companies’ boards of directors, receipt by Opeltech of a business license from the Chinese regulatory authorities, and approval from the TSX Venture Exchange.

Huawei-3Com Technology (Hong Kong and Hangzhou, China), a joint venture company established by Huawei Technologies and 3Com, selected the NP-1c 10-Gbit/sec network processor from EZchip Technologies (Yokneam, Israel)for its midrange and high-end switches to provide advanced protocol processing and Layer 5-7 services. Development of the NP-1c blades is already underway at Huawei-3Com with product shipments slated for next year.

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