Next Generation Optical Implementation Progress

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By Chris Wilkinson, Internet2 Director of Network Planning and Architecture

The nationwide upgrade of the community’s optical network infrastructure is continuing to pick up speed thanks to joint effort by Internet2, CenturyLink, and Ciena staff.

The project is divided into phases centered on major metros. This strategy allows the team to build out the new flex-grid equipment on upgraded long-haul fibers, transition services onto it, and remove the old fixed-grid equipment. It also minimizes outage duration and maximizes service continuity.  

The first three phases of the project consist of our most complicated metropolitan topologies, and require substantial time and due diligence — phase (1) was completed in June, and the Chicago-centric phase (2) will complete in the next two weeks, with the New York and Washington, D.C. phase (3) expected to finish approximately six weeks later.

The goal is to complete all major backbone paths by the end of 2020, enabling a 400G foundation to support the new NGI packet platform that will be implemented in 2021.

See below for a map showing the project phases. If you have questions, please contact networkdevelopment@internet2.edu.

Optical Completion Update map