Mississippi-based communications services provider C Spire says it collaborated with optical technology vendors Nokia and EXFO (NASDAQ: EXFO, TSX: EXF) to enable a trial of terabit optical transmission on the Mississippi Optical Network (MissiON). MissiON is a research and education (R&E) network consortium that includes the University of Mississippi, the University of Mississippi Medical Center, Mississippi State, Jackson State, the University of Southern Mississippi, Stennis Space Center, the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers' Engineering Research and Development Center, and the national Internet 2 consortium.
C Spire had recently refurbished MissiON’s fiber-optic network using elements of its 8,800 route-mile fiber-optic network. The Mississippi Department of Information Technology Services (ITS) awarded C Spire the upgrade contract, which included added connections to four regional universities as well as to C Spire data centers in Jackson and Starkville. C Spire said it has improved transmission rates by up to 10X, lowered overall latency, added a new interconnection with Internet 2, and built new route diversity and redundancy.
To show off what the enhanced fiber-optic network can do, C Spire, Nokia, and EXFO collaborated with the IT staff at Mississippi State University to conduct the trial in the Allen data center on the Starkville campus. Nokia supplied the necessary optical transmission platforms, while EXFO supplied five combined 100-Gbps dual-port test modules. The terabit traffic was injected into the network and then returned to EXFO's test platform to validate data transport and other critical performance measurements.
The terabit transmission demonstration was an exercise; terabit capabilities are not immediately available on MissiON. But the enhanced fiber-optic network connectivity should prove important to MissiON consortium members. "Bolstering this network is critical in order to enhance our research institutions' capacity to continue competing successfully for science and technology grants and funding from federal agencies, business and industry, foundations, and private endowments. We're operating in an increasingly competitive environment, and MissiON is an indispensable resource in our efforts," said Dr. David Shaw, vice president for Research and Economic Development at Mississippi State University and chairman of the MissiON Network Advisory Council.
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