Internet2, a nonprofit, advanced technology consortium founded by the nation’s leading higher education institutions, recently announced it has selected CenturyLink’s new low-loss fiber network to transform its research and education network.
CenturyLink’s new low-loss optical fiber is an ITU-T G.652.D compliant single-mode optical fiber that is optimized for high bit rate coherent systems using advanced modulation schemes supporting 100G and above. This acquisition will upgrade Internet2’s network with new fiber optimized to support the demands of its new all-coherent open-line system. The consortium says the improved network performance that results "will benefit researchers within the community as they strive to further our understanding of our world and the universe."
CenturyLink has also been selected to provide the professional services to migrate Internet2 to its new platform, which will be equipped with a flex-grid open-line system being provided by Ciena. The new contractual fiber-use agreements will extend through at least 2042.
“We believe the combination of the most advanced fiber from CenturyLink with the latest coherent transmission technologies from Ciena provides enormous opportunities to enable research and academic pursuits in the United States,” commented Rob Vietzke, vice president of network services for Internet2. “Whether it is tracking the origins of Neutrinos in the Antarctic, comparing gene sequences or studying the climate, this new optical network, with its ability to span very long distances at very high bandwidths and improved efficiency, is essential to providing the best research infrastructure for data-intensive science on the globe.”
The companies say the new Internet2 network infrastructure will utilize CenturyLink’s low-loss optical fiber on the majority of the Internet2 footprint, offering the lowest loss of any terrestrial-grade optical fiber and extending optical reach at very high data rates. Using this single-mode fiber in both long-haul and metro environments eliminates certain impairment challenges and improves launch characteristics for modern coherent systems while also boosting optical signal-to-noise ratio.
“One of America’s leading research and education organizations placed its trust in CenturyLink to upgrade its network to a high-speed, high-capacity, fiber-optic network that will support today’s leading-edge research projects,” said Sonia Ramsey, CenturyLink’s vice president for the state and local government and education market. “Internet2’s selection of CenturyLink recognizes the company’s long-standing relationship with the research and education community and our commitment to meet the community’s ever-increasing advanced technology needs.”
CenturyLink recently overpulled a large portion of its national fiber footprint and also realigned amplifier spacing to create more efficient resources for optimized optical networks. Internet2 will migrate its segments to the new fiber on all available segments and continue to work with CenturyLink to migrate the remaining segments as their build-out continues.
With the low-loss optical fiber and the upgraded optronics kit, Internet2 will have the ability to reach anywhere on its domestic footprint with an unregenerated wavelength of up to 200G. Many high-use spans on Internet2’s Network will also support 400G and 800G wavelengths with existing technologies and higher bitrates are expected in the coming years as new DSP technology comes into production. Internet2 has been able to achieve unregenerated spans without employing Raman amplification, a reduction in complexity and improved efficiency both at installation and for ongoing operations.