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Corvis Fuels Fiber Long-Distance Record

The fiber optics company is one step closer to cutting signal regenerators from the all-optical network equation. By Jim Wagner

Corvis Corp. is proving that its equipment has got some leg to it, fueling a world record all-optical long-distance data run on Williams Communications' fiber network.

Tuesday's announcement of the 3,977-mile jaunt, greater than the distance between Boston and San Diego, was done without the need for electrical regeneration along Williams' route, a fact that has carriers' worldwide heady with savings expectations.

According to a Corvis spokesperson, previous distance records were conducted using Corvis equipment in the past, the results of which made for the recent test's success.

Last August, Broadwing Inc. conducted a test using Corvis equipment and ran 2,485 miles, while Williams' previous attempts netted 1,988 miles.

Dr. David Huber, Corvis chairman and chief executive officer, said the test brings ubiquitous optical networking one step closer.

"Corvis is delivering on the promise of nationwide all-optical networking," Huber said. "Using Corvis' technology, Williams Communications will be among the first carriers to deliver unprecedented geographic reach and innovative services to their customers."

While fiber optics represents the next generation in data transmission, the equipment powering the information flow has never been strong enough to meet the demands for ulta-long-haul transport. To beef up the connection, carriers are required to maintain electrical signal regenerators along the length of its fiber line.

That's a requirement that adds up quickly.

Corvis' announcement marks the potential end for regenerators for national data transport, which translates to huge savings for carriers.

Jeff Storey, Williams network unit senior vice president and chief operations officer, said Williams sales reps can pass those savings right on to its customers.

"This deployment will reduce our time-to-market in offering new optical services to our customers, allowing them to reap the benefits of revolutionary technology while avoiding significant capital expense," Storey said.

However, the Corvis spokesperson noted, though regenerators might be a relic of the past, the need for signal amplifiers remains. Optical amplifiers boost the signal strength and are placed roughly every 25 miles along the broadband pipe.

The equipment line is run under its all-optical network product family and allows up to 800 Gbps per fiber pair to travel without the need for signal regeneration. Made up of the optical network gateway (which delivers and receives the data), optical amplifiers (which provide a signal boost) and the optical add/drop multiplexer (which eliminates electronic conversion of express traffic), the equipment was built to support up to 40 channels of OC-192/STM-64 traffic in both directions.



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