Comcast deploys hollowcore fiber in low latency, multi-gigabit quest

April 20, 2022
For the announced deployment, Comcast worked with hollowcore fiber cable solutions provider, Lumenisity.

Among the nation’s largest gigabit speed internet providers, Comcast today announced its end-to-end deployment of advanced "hollowcore" fiber optics. The provider notes that hollowcore fibers deliver significantly lower latency than traditional fibers, and over time will provide critical performance attributes in helping to power Comcast’s network and support the delivery of multi-gigabit speeds through 10G.

For the announced deployment, Comcast worked with hollowcore fiber cable solutions provider, Lumenisity.

Comcast connected two locations in Philadelphia, which enables network engineers to continue to test and observe the performance and physical compatibility of hollowcore fiber in a real-world deployment. This 40-kilometer hybrid deployment of hollowcore and traditional fiber is believed to be the longest in the world by an Internet provider.

Comcast successfully tested bidirectional transmission (upstream and downstream traffic traveling on a single fiber), used coherent and direct-detect systems (allowing for forward and backward technology compatibility), and produced traffic rates ranging from 10 gigabits per second (Gbps) to 400 Gbps all simultaneously on a single strand of hollowcore fiber.

“We are proud to be working with Comcast on the next generation hollowcore fiber, which we believe unlocks exciting new potential for connectivity around the world,” said David Parker, Executive Chairman of Lumenisity.

Comcast notes that since light travels nearly 50% faster through air than glass, data travels much faster through hollowcore than through traditional fiber. The faster speed can be used to double the reach for latency critical applications and speed up the transaction rates by around 47%.

Comcast adds that hollowcore fiber will help to power the next generation of ultra-low latency technologies to support network virtualization, telemedicine, augmented and virtual reality, and other emerging services.

Moving forward, Comcast is exploring opportunities to strategically deploy hollowcore fiber in select core- and access-network deployments. From 2017 to 2021, Comcast notes added more than 50,000 new route miles of fiber to its network and is actively building more fiber into cities and towns across the United States.

“Hollowcore fiber is a leap forward in how we deliver ultra-fast, ultra-low latency and ultra-reliable services to customers,” said Elad Nafshi, EVP and chief network officer at Comcast Cable. "As we continue to develop and deploy technology to deliver 10G multi-gigabit performance to tens of millions of homes, hollowcore fiber will help to ensure that the network powering those experiences is among the most advanced and highest performing in the world."

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