AT&T completes 40G IP/MPLS transition

OCTOBER 23, 2008 -- AT&T Inc. has announced the completion of its transition of Internet Protocol (IP) traffic to a next-generation, consolidated IP/MPLS backbone network

OCTOBER 23, 2008 -- AT&T Inc. has announced the completion of its transition of Internet Protocol (IP) traffic to a next-generation, consolidated IP/MPLS backbone network, which delivers an expansion in capacity to meet the ever-growing demand for IP connectivity from consumers and businesses. The new full-mesh optical platform includes the deployment 40-Gbit/sec transport, the fastest backbone technology available today, according to the company. The company's entire U.S. ultra-long haul network -- more than 80,000 fiber-optic wavelength miles -- now uses this 40-Gbit network technology, known as OC-768.

Beyond the immediate capacity and performance benefits, the new AT&T backbone network is designed to provide a streamlined path for adopting future technologies as they are developed. Even as the new backbone is completed, AT&T Labs researchers and industry partners announced a breakthrough test using emerging 100-Gbit technologies to carry data totaling 17 Tbits/sec over a single strand of optical fiber, advancing the development of technology that could be applied to the AT&T network in years to come.

The AT&T IP/MPLS backbone network serves as the foundation for all AT&T Internet and IP services, carrying traffic ranging from consumer broadband to wireless data to mission-critical enterprise applications such as unified communications, on-demand content services, and utility computing. The network also carries substantial Internet traffic from around the world.

"Whether it's watching video over the Internet, updating a blog from a wireless device, or using applications on-demand at work or remotely, the AT&T IP/MPLS backbone network is what enables all of that information to move across the country and across the globe," says John Donovan, AT&T chief technology officer.

In addition to boosting capacity, the new network platform minimizes latency and enhances transport efficiency and reliability for all types of traffic, including the direct benefit for customers of AT&T's Virtual Private Network and private line services. The backbone is designed and managed for maximum resiliency in the event of a natural or manmade disruption, including the ability to continue transport even if any single network link or node is disrupted.

The transition to next-generation technology is necessary for AT&T to stay ahead of explosive customer demand for Internet and IP-based services. In recent years, IP traffic on the AT&T backbone has grown about 60% year over year. By 2018, IP traffic on the AT&T network is projected to be 5,600% greater than what it is today. AT&T currently carries about 16 petabytes of total IP and data traffic on an average business day, the equivalent of a 2.5-megabyte music download for every man, woman and child on the planet.

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