Verizon tests 100Gbps network

Live video feed transmitted over 312 miles from Tampa to Miami.

Verizon took its 100Gbps optical network out for a test spin last week by transmitting a live video feed for over 312 miles from Tampa to Miami.

The transmission, which was conducted over preexisting infrastructure that had been built to carry 10Gbps services, marked the first time that Verizon had conducted a field trial of a 100G network. The company used Alcatel-Lucent's 1625 LambdaXtreme Transport, a next-generation 10Gbps/40Gbps core DWDM system, to conduct the test. The test was notable because it was conducted over a single 100Gbps wavelength, rather than through 10 separate 10Gbps wavelengths.

Verizon says that it eventually hopes to deploy its 100G network capabilities commercially to meet the increased bandwidth demands of such applications as online video and VoIP as well as such enterprise applications as video conferencing.

"Applications based on online video are clearly drivers for higher bandwidth, but there are many others from a large business-customer perspective," says Fred Briggs, the executive vice president of network operations and technology for Verizon Business. "For example, database applications and file delivery, as well as disaster recovery and business-continuity solutions, are also driving our customers' need for capacity."

100G networks are seen by many as a logical progression from the current standard of 10G Ethernet. Last year, the IEEE's Higher Speed Study Group (HSSG) voted to pursue 100G Ethernet as its next major Ethernet standard. The HSSG said this northern summer that it was aiming to have a single standard developed that covered both 40G and 100G speeds by 2010, marking the first time that an Ethernet standards group had agreed to create one standard for two different speeds.

Verizon is the first telecom company to conduct a field trial over a native 100Gbps network. Earlier this year, Level 3 finished building a nonnative 100Gbps network for Internet2. Unlike Verizon's test 100G network, the Internet2 network features 10 10Gbps links that are provisioned on each network segment, and can be scaled up to 100Gbps, depending on network demands.

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