GRAND RAPIDS — The regional data and connectivity provider US Signal and Cisco Systems Inc. announced the successful completion of the first 100 Gigabit (100G) coherent dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) trial based on the industry-leading performance of the Cisco ONS 15454 Multiservice Transport Platform (MSTP) system.

The 100G coherent trial was performed over an in-service 10G-engineered network between Chicago and Kalamazoo. The successful trial confirmed that US Signal will deploy in-service, 100G coherent technology on networks originally designed for 10G transmission without any re-engineering, thereby extending the value and return on investment of the company’s existing fiber network.

This is analogous to a rail operator being able to deploy high speed services merely by purchasing faster rail cars and without the need to upgrade the track infrastructure as is typically required.

With customers increasing demand for intuitive, faster and more efficient networks to help them deliver next-generation services, such as data center virtualization, infrastructure-as-a-service and business process management, US Signal needed a next-generation 100G network to ccommodate explosive high bandwidth traffic growth. To address this, the company is also leveraging the Cisco Aggregation Services Router 9000, Cisco Nexus 5000 Series Switches and the Cisco Unified Computing System to scale its IP backbone and service capability.

Highlights of the technology include:

* Internet Protocol backbones use high-speed fiber-optics to connect the major routers across the Internet, enabling different networks to talk to each other. 100G rates are needed for these backbones to accommodate the explosion in video and data traffic, enabling service providers to deliver a new generation of video and multimedia services to their customers. As Cisco stated in its recent Visual Networking Index, IP traffic growth is expected to increase four- fold to 966 Exabytes a year by 2015.

* The positive results of this trial, which employed the industry’s highest optical performance and density 100G solution, has motivated US Signal to enable its 12,200 miles of fiber for 100G services in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin. When completed, US Signal will enable its largest high bandwidth customers, including cable operators and wireless telecommunication carriers to deliver new and enhanced services with higher speeds and lower latency.

* Cisco has delivered the industry’s leading 100G coherent optical solution through key innovations acquired with its 2010 purchase of CoreOptics. As a result, service providers can deliver cost-effective ultra-long haul transport solutions while re-using existing fiber plants.

“We have utilized Cisco technology for almost a decade, and many of our customers also deploy Cisco solutions,” said Dan Olrich, COO of US Signal. “Cisco has established itself as the industry leader in enabling 100G capabilities. Working with Cisco allows us to seamlessly scale from 10G to 100G services with the flip of a switch. The trial has shown us how easily we can enhance our network so our customers worry less about bandwidth, reliability and speed, and spend more time focusing on new services.”

The US Signal network, one of the largest in the Midwest, includes more than 11,000 miles of long haul fiber connecting more than 150 on-off ramps, comprised of major carrier hotel locations, incumbent telephone company central offices and other lit buildings. In addition, the US Signal network includes 1,200 route miles of fiber optic metro rings in 23 markets throughout Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin.

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