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Windstream Beefs Up Infrastructure With 100G Metro, Regional Network

Windstream has taken the next step in beefing up its infrastructure to accommodate 100G capacity.

The telco-turned-business-services provider aims to improve data center and cloud connectivity, among other services, by adding 100G infrastructure to its regional and metro networks. It’s doing so with the help of Cyan, a vendor that specializes in SDN, NFV and packet-optical platforms. Windstream first set its sights on 100G in March, when it teamed with Infinera to expand its long-haul express network. The second phase of that project should be finished any time now. Together, the 100G long-haul express network comprises about 9,400 miles.

Now, though, Windstream is adding gear that will allow it to provision advanced IP services to SMBs and, the company said, better compete for higher-margin  business in wireless backhaul, research and education networks, and, of course, data center and cloud connectivity.

The upgrades promise to give channel partners another option for fast, big-pipe Internet access for their business customers. That’s because partners already can take advantage of 100G capabilities from Windstream rivals including VerizonXO and DukeNet. These providers have attributed the need for 100G to factors including increased demand for cloud, Ethernet and video. Windstream is on the same page even as it aims to capture customers in other areas as well. As Telecom Ramblings’ Rob Powell put it, “that Windstream sees the need for 100G technology in the metro just as it has gotten 100G in longhaul illustrates just how much of the data in the core today has to make it all the way out the edge.”

The 100G metro and regional network news comes as Windstream itself undergoes a transformation – perhaps even arguably a parallel upgrade. The Little Rock, Arkansas-based company earlier this month named Tony Thomas as its new CEO, replacing longtime head Jeff Gardner. The action came as Windstream’s financials suffer from the integration of multiple acquisitions and as its REIT spinoff plan, devised by Thomas, progresses.


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