Sprint says its new OC-48 route aims to satisfy federal users' bandwidthappetite

Sprint Corp. has opened up an OC-48 route capable of moving 2.5 Gbps across a portion
of its Internet backbone.


The company upgraded its fiber link between Fort Worth, Texas, and Kansas City, Mo.,
from the OC-12 622-Mbps rate last month, using dense wavelength division multiplexers from
Ciena Corp. of Linthicum, Md.


Spokesman Charles Fleckenstein said the sites have 1200 series Gigabit Switch Routers
from Cisco Systems Inc. of San Jose, Calif., and sit on major east-west routes where a lot
of traffic is handed off.


He said government users are driving the demand for increased bandwidth on the
backbone.


“The government customers are the ones that eat up bandwidth the quickest,”
he said.


Digital signals travel across the fiber-optic network at three-quarters the speed of
light, Fleckenstein said. The multiplexers force the signals into specific wavelengths,
making more channels in the optical spectrum. The multiplexers fit into the Cisco 1200
switch-routers without additional interfaces, providing 2.5-Gbps throughput.


Sprint installed the big switch-routers at San Francisco, Los Angeles, Fort Worth,
Kansas City, Atlanta and New York last September, when it upgraded its Internet backbone
from OC-3 to OC-12. Further upgrades to OC-48 will be made as needed.


“I doubt it will be OC-48 on the whole network,” Fleckenstein said. “If
we don’t need OC-48 somewhere, we are not going to put it there.”  

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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