East Kentucky Network taps Ciena packet-optical transport to connect 21 counties

East Kentucky Network, LLC (EKN), which does business as Appalachian Wireless, will use Ciena's (NYSE: CIEN) 6500 Packet Optical Platform to upgrade its fiber-optic backbone network, which serves 21 counties in Eastern Kentucky. Use of the packet-optical transport systems will increase network capacity and reliability, Ciena says.

East Kentucky Network, LLC (EKN), which does business as Appalachian Wireless, will use Ciena's (NYSE: CIEN) 6500 Packet Optical Platform to upgrade its fiber-optic backbone network, which serves 21 counties in Eastern Kentucky. Use of the packet-optical transport systems will increase network capacity and reliability, Ciena says.

A consortium of five partners -- Coalfields Telephone, Foothills Rural Telephone, Mountain Rural Telephone, Peoples Rural Telephone, and Thacker-Grigsby Telephone -- own EKN. The group operates a 375-mile fiber ring network that spans the 21 counties and serves such customers as enterprises, government entities, and educational institutions as well as its wireless and independent telephone company members.

In addition to improving services for these users, the fiber-optic network upgrade will enable EKN to complement or add to both the state's KentuckyWired initiative as well as the federal First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) program.

In addition to use of the packet-optic transport systems in a metro ring configuration, EKN also will leverage Ciena's multi-layer network management system to provide automated network provisioning.

"Our customers need cost-effective access to the latest high-bandwidth services and applications, anytime and anywhere," said W.A. Gillum, general manager and CEO of EKN. "With Ciena's 6500 platform, we are taking our offerings to the next level, and providing our customers low-latency, high-speed and scalable broadband connectivity to meet their needs today and enable sustainable growth for tomorrow."

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