AT&T to Build Metro Network with Help from Some
By Liz Montalbano
AT&T Corp. (www.att.com) has contracted with three
carriers to build a fiber optic network linking 30 major U.S. metropolitan areas.
Working with CapRock Communications Corp. (www.caprock.com),
PF.Net and Touch America, Inc. (www.in-tch.com),
AT&T will overlay the new conduit and fiber on existing routes. According to AT&T,
this method is more cost-effective than leasing capacity from other suppliers, or
installing the new network itself.
Planning and engineering has begun. When completed, the network will use dense
wavelength-division multiplexing (DWDM) and optical switching technology that will enable
AT&T to provision and restore high-speed bandwidth quickly and efficiently, company
"This project will allow us to quickly and economically increase bandwidth
whenever necessary and also allow us to generate new revenue by leasing fiber capacity to
other companies," says Frank Ianna, president of AT&T Network Services, in a
The new overlay network will include 16,500 route miles of latest generation, fiber
optic cable. The four carriers will deploy 10,500 miles of cable in addition to 3,100
miles AT&T already has installed. The IXC also plans to deploy another 2,900 miles on
Under the contract terms, the three smaller carriers are responsible for installing
certain sections of the network’s fiber optic cable. CapRock will install cable in
Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas.
PF.Net will deploy cable along sections of the East Coast from Florida to Georgia, from
North Carolina to Virginia; and from Missouri into Oklahoma; also in the south from
Georgia to Florida and west across Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico,
Arizona and into Southern California.
Touch America will install three cable routes–from Minnesota through Wisconsin and
Illinois into Missouri; from Illinois west through Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah
and Nevada into Northern California; and west from Montana through Idaho into Washington.
Using existing rights of way or rights of way negotiated by either CapRock, PF.Net or
Touch America, AT&T also will install a multiconduit facility. It will own three of
the conduits, while the remaining conduits will belong to the carrier doing the
construction. At initial network deployment, only one of the AT&T conduits will
contain fiber optic cable, which leaves room for the carrier to install new fiber in the