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Verizon advances fibre technology for increased speed, reliability and capacity

Increasing its bet on fibre not only in the fixed domain but also as backhaul for wireless networks, communications provider reveals trial showing 1.2Tbps transport of data across a single wavelength on its live metro network

After investing heavily in and laying down what it claims is one of the most robust fibre networks in the US, deploying nearly 57,000 miles of fibre since 2020 and connecting over 51% of its cell sites with its own fibre, communications provider Verizon is to accelerate its fibre build plan after announcing a successful technology trial in its commercial fibre network in metro Long Island, New York.

Working with networking company Cisco, Verizon claims to have used the trial to demonstrate increased speed, increased reliability and increased overall capacity for its metropolitan fibre network.

The basis of the trial was to show a key performance metric in metro networks by looking at how operation is affected by the number of central offices traversed due to the progressive filtering and signal-to-noise ratio degradation as the wavelength passes through each office.

The trial was conducted over Verizon’s live production network using Cisco’s NCS 1014 transceiver shelf and Acacia’s Coherent Interconnect Module 8 (CIM 8). CIM 8 is Acacia’s eighth-generation product, described as an improved generation of silicon semiconductor chips with increased transistor density. The CIM 8 combines 5nm (nanometre) complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) digital processing and 140GBd (gigabaud) silicon photonics optics using advanced 3D packaging technology.

In the trial, a 1Tbps single wavelength was transmitted over the Cisco NCS 2000 line system over a distance of 205km and traversing 14 fibre central offices. Through the trial, Verizon carried 1.2Tbps of data using a single wavelength over longer distances through more nodes by upgrading the optical to electrical conversion cards that manage the flow of customer data through fibre optic cables. This upgrade was said to have allowed data travelling across Verizon’s fibre network to travel farther and faster, leading to a better customer experience. In addition, Verizon assured that the upgrade would result in higher reliability. Additionally in the trial, 800Gbps transmission was achieved over 305km through 20 offices and a 1.2Tbps wavelength traversed three offices.

In addition to increasing data rates, the new optics technology from Cisco was said to reduce the need for regeneration of the light signal (conversion to electrical and back to optical signals) along the path by compensating for the degradation of the light signal travelling through the fibre cable. This adds reliability and leads to a reduced cost per bit operating expense for more efficient network management.

Going forward, Verizon said it would continue to expand its fibre-to-the-premise (FTTP) presence in the north-east of the US after announcing that that it was expanding high-speed internet in Delaware, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and central New York, among other locations.

“We have bet big on fibre. Not only does it provide an award-winning broadband experience for consumers and enterprises, it also serves as the backbone of our wireless network,” said Adam Koeppe, senior vice-president of technology planning at Verizon. “As we continue to see customers using more data in more varied ways, it is critical we continue to stay ahead of our customers’ demands by using the resources we have most efficiently.”

Bill Gartner, senior vice-president and general manager for Cisco optical systems and optics, said the trial demonstrated its commitment to continuous innovation in increasing wavelength capacity and reducing costs. “The Verizon infrastructure built with the Cisco NCS 2000 open line system supports multiple generations of optics thus protecting investments as technology evolves,” he added. 

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