When looking at our society's hunger for bandwidth, it's easy to dismiss the pangs as those of a spoiled child, demanding more bandwidth to watch movies and play video games. A closer look makes that a falsehood easily dismissed, however, as we consider the enormous array of work-based tasks requiring bandwidth as well. Electric Lightwave has stepped in to provide more of this increasingly valuable commodity with its use of the Ciena 6500 Packet-Optical Platform, bringing 200G wavelengths to the 225-mile fiber route running from Seattle to Hillsboro, Oregon.
By bringing in Ciena's system, Electric Lightwave can effectively double the connectivity speeds of wide area networks (WANs) involved in the region and also offer an additional boost of bandwidth. Since Electric Lightwave's network is a low-latency one, using Ciena's slate of packet-optical systems means greater overall flexibility and network control for its array of customers.
Reports suggest that Electric Lightwave's network represents one of the largest such networks running throughout the western United States, and this recent augmentation is just part of a string of such designed to give Electric Lightwave's network impressive capacity. In fact, it's been said that the company recently doubled its network long-haul routes, offering effectively limitless bandwidth with its Spectrum (News - Alert) system. Plus, it's upgraded wavelength services using both 10G and 100G express routes.
Electric Lightwave president Dan Stoll commented “Enabling our first customer with 200G capabilities on one of our many unique long haul routes is another example of how we deliver solutions that effectively combine the strength of our network with innovative technologies to effectively address our customers’ needs for low latency, high bandwidth service. Deploying Ciena’s 200G solution is helping us meet constantly changing bandwidth requirements driven by increasing volumes of digital content. We are already seeing significant demand from existing and new customers along our routes.”
Stoll is right on this; there are ever-larger amounts of digital content for both work and play, and we need the kind of network that allows us unfettered access. It's not just the latest episode of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” on Hulu (News - Alert); articles and video blogs and video conferences posted online and a host of other things are included, along with our connected appliances and cars. All of these things need bandwidth to run, and the less the Internet service provider (ISP) is willing to provide, the more sorely the absence is felt and the more susceptible that ISP is to competition moving in. With 5G only less than four years out, augmenting bandwidth offerings has to be top priority lest the first 5G offering with unlimited bandwidth take down an incumbent.
We need more bandwidth, that much is clear. Even our simplest entertainments require it, and that's before we talk about the growing array of business cases. Companies like Electric Lightwave are seeing the future and working accordingly, and hopefully, others will follow suit.
Edited by Maurice Nagle