Windstream taps Ciena for next-generation National Converged Optical Network

Aug. 11, 2020
Windstream’s ultra-high-speed network will enable capacity between Tier 1, 2, and 3 markets to major U.S. data centers, cable landing stations, and cross-border gateways.

Windstream announced it will build its National Converged Optical Network (NCON) with Ciena’s photonic, coherent optical, and intelligent software platforms. Windstream’s ultra-high-speed network will enable capacity between Tier 1, 2, and 3 markets to major U.S. data centers, cable landing stations, and cross-border gateways.

NCON promises efficient scaling and dynamic adjustment for optimal capacity on any path, while avoiding potential faults by automatically re-routing traffic based on available network resources. The NCON architecture will support rapidly evolving future technologies and growing bandwidth demands while maintaining the ability to support legacy networks and components.

“Our increasingly digital world requires a differentiated network that pushes the boundaries of technology to take the connectivity experience to the next level,” says Buddy Bayer, chief network officer at Windstream. “With NCON, Windstream will build an ultra-high capacity, intelligent network that will interoperate with our existing multi-vendor topology.”

Windstream will deploy Ciena’s Waveserver 5 compact modular platform, sporting the company’s WaveLogic 5 Extreme coherent optical engine that support 800G wavelength transmissions. The service provider also will leverage Ciena’s 6500 Reconfigurable Line System (RLS), which supports transmission in both the C and L bands. Windstream also will use Ciena’s Manage, Control and Plan (MCP) domain controller.

Windstream tapped Cyan for regional and metro requirements in 2014 (see “Windstream adds 100G to regional metro networks with Cyan”). Ciena acquired Cyan in 2015, giving it an incumbent position in Windstream’s network that led to further work together (see, for example, “Windstream automates wavelength service provisioning”). Meanwhile, Infinera made a splash with a 730-km 800G demonstration with Windstream that was announced in June (see “Windstream, Infinera drive 800G across 730 km live production network”). Infinera also is an incumbent supplier on Windstream’s core network (see “Windstream, Infinera partner for wavelength transport service expansion”).

Windstream will plans to begin deploying and turning up traffic on the new network in the third quarter of 2020.

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