Lumos Networks chooses Cisco gear for new FTTC-IP fiber network overlay

Lumos ignites its “Project Ark” with help from Cisco Systems.

Lumos Networks (NASDAQ: LMOS), a fiber-based service provider of data, voice and IP-based telecommunication services for the U.S. Mid-Atlantic region, has selected Cisco Systems as its exclusive supplier of mission-critical equipment for Project Ark, a new broadband MPLS/IP fiber network designed primarily to handle Fiber-to-the-Cell site (FTTC) traffic within the Lumos network.

"Cisco is pleased to work closely with Lumos Networks on its ambitious 'Project Ark' FTTC-focused IP fiber network overlay deployment," said Doug Webster, vice president of marketing, Cisco. "This new state-of-the-art network will not only enable new efficiencies but also a range of new IP-based telecommunication service possibilities for Lumos customers in the Mid-Atlantic region."

Cisco’s ASR 9912 routers, the foundation for Project Ark, will be deployed in each of the following cities: Ashburn, VA; Pittsburgh, PA; Roanoke, VA; and Charleston, WV. Network construction will begin in the second quarter of 2014, with completion of the first phase of Project Ark scheduled for the third quarter of 2014. Lumos expects to begin routing traffic from newly installed FTTC sites onto the Ark network in the fourth quarter of 2014, and it is expected that existing FTTC traffic will be migrated to the Ark network in early 2015.

Related: FTTH Council urges FCC toward all-fiber upgrades over legacy copper networks

“I am pleased to announce a deepening of the long-standing relationship between Lumos Networks and Cisco,” commented Lumos Networks CEO Timothy Biltz. “Cisco is the unmatched global leader in IP fiber networking and we look forward to leveraging [their] expertise in service delivery, maintenance, testing and installation. Project Ark will allow us to accelerate our FTTC momentum as we enter 2015. We expect the growth curve for LTE roll-outs in our fiber footprint with the nation’s leading mobile operators to continue for the next two years.”

Craig Drinkhall, CTO of Lumos Networks, added, “By designing the Ark network from the ground up, we were able to create an all-IP fiber network that is fully redundant and utilizes the most highly advanced equipment available. Cisco is also providing Lumos with two R&D labs that will be critical in furthering our technical expertise in the FTTC space and will also provide thousands of hours of IP training for our engineering staff. Through our partnership with Cisco, we will also have access to brand new tools for provisioning and monitoring of Project Ark.”

As previously announced, Project Ark will provide bandwidth of approximately one terabyte and is designed to accommodate minimum data traffic demand of 1,500 FTTC sites on Carrier Ethernet with 400 Mbps of throughput at each site. In the past two years, the amount of FTTC traffic on Lumos Networks’ fiber network has grown approximately 8-10 times, and it is estimated that the Ark network will allow for another ten-fold increase in traffic, according to the company.

Related news: Carrier Ethernet ups its game with 2.0 specification

“As we continue to deploy 4G LTE to our customers, the demand for a highly available and quickly scalable backhaul network is critically important. We believe that Lumos Networks’ Project Ark network can meet these requirements,” concludes Bobby McAvoy, executive vice president and CTO of nTelos Wireless. “Lumos Networks is constructing one of the most robust fiber networks in the Mid-Atlantic region and we view them as a critical strategic partner. We are looking forward to routing 4G LTE traffic onto Ark by the end of 2014.”

More in Design Install