Dakota Carrier Network taps Nortel for PBT equipment

JULY 17, 2007 -- Nortel says this latest announcement demonstrates momentum for PBT and proves the technology isn't just suitable for large operators like British Telecom. Dakota Carrier Network serves 164,000 customers with its 8,100-mile fiber network in North Dakota.

JULY 17, 2007 -- Dakota Carrier Network (DCN) has selected Nortel (search for Nortel) to provide a metro Ethernet network that will meet the high-bandwidth video, voice, and data demands of its carrier and enterprise customers.

Dakota Carrier Network's new metro Ethernet network is based on Provider Backbone Transport (search for PBT), an innovation that Nortel claims marries carrier-grade reliability and ease of service management with the simplicity and cost-effectiveness of Ethernet to enable carriers to provide network services with great efficiency and control.

Dakota Carrier Network provides network capacity and a variety of services across the state of North Dakota. With a fiber-optic infrastructure capable of supporting bandwidth-hungry services, DCN provides Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) connectivity for other carriers, high-speed Internet connectivity, high-capacity wireless backhaul, and more. The company also serves large enterprise customers, including the state of North Dakota with services such as virtual private networks that connect all state government agencies as well as the state's schools. DCN says it wanted a way to provide that bandwidth more quickly and cost-effectively, with a greater degree of precision and control over their network.

"The greater degree of control, combined with the scalability and operational simplicity of Nortel's Metro Ethernet solution, enables us to serve our customers more effectively," contends Evan Haas, general manager of Dakota Carrier Network. "We can turn on new services easily, increasing our ability, as well as that of our customers, to generate revenue more quickly than with other current technologies. It also makes our network much simpler to operate and administer, allowing us to increase our customer base and services menu seamlessly while assuring the service availability our customers need," he notes. "With PBT, we will increase the capacity of our converged data core transport and be able to offer a new suite of Ethernet VPN services, which can meet the strict quality of service and resiliency requirements our customers demand."

"With the new capabilities from Nortel's Metro Ethernet portfolio, Dakota Carrier Network will be able to meet its customers' growing bandwidth demands better with much greater control over their network," adds Philippe Morin, president, Metro Ethernet Networks, Nortel. "This deployment demonstrates the effectiveness of PBT as a best-value approach for regional carriers and the increasing industry adoption of PBT for Metro Ethernet networks."

The Dakota Carrier Network is based on the Nortel Metro Ethernet Routing Switch 8600, which enables PBT control over Ethernet. PBT brings the ability for Ethernet to have carrier-grade reliability, as it enables data to traverse known paths at assigned bandwidth levels through the network, explain Nortel representatives. This capability enables true quality of service, meaningful service level agreements, and the ability to set aside specific paths for communications, which is critical for real-time communications like video, VoIP, and streaming media. PBT is currently progressing through industry standardization within the IEEE 802.1 Working Group, where it is known as Provider Backbone Bridging-Traffic Engineering (search for PBB-TE).

In addition to PBT, DCN says it is deploying Nortel's Metro Ethernet Manager as the element manager of the carrier Ethernet portion of its network. Nortel says its Metro Ethernet Manager will provide end-to-end service and PBT trunk provisioning, enhanced fault management, and troubleshooting capabilities for DCN's PBT network.

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