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CityFibre successfully deploys its first 800Gb/s backbone wavelength

UK independent provider CityFibre has successfully deployed its first 800Gb/s backbone wavelength.

The initial 800Gb/s wavelength serves 23 cities and towns and connects six ‘super core’ sites in 2021, with the first ring connecting Leicester, Peterborough, Cambridge, London, Milton Keynes and Northampton. This will be followed by two further rings, providing the same enhanced core capacity between Manchester, Leeds, Leicester, Bristol, Coventry and London. 

With an additional 90 locations due to be added before the end of 2023, this is the first phase of a national, multi-terabit, Dense Wave Division Multiplexing (DWDM) network deployment. The provider has selected optical technology from Ciena for the project to help enhance service experience, full network automation and future product roadmap

Once complete, CityFibre will own and operate a high availability, fully scalable backbone, using Ciena’s WaveLogic 5 Extreme programmable 800G coherent optics, 6500 reconfigurable line system (RLS) and Manage, Control, Plan (MCP) intelligent domain controller.

With fully diverse routing throughout, the network will connect CityFibre’s own fibre exchanges and ring-based access networks to third party data centres and points of interconnect. The network is designed to support both current and future data transfer requirements, enabling a fully automated, cloud-based platform with open access API integration.   

In addition to boosting regional aggregation capability, the use of colourless, directionless, contentionless (CDC) optical technology will help the provider continue to build a network that enables open access, high bandwidth Ethernet and wavelength services of up to 400Gb/s to be wholesaled in the future.

David Tomalin, group chief technology officer at CityFibre, said: ‘A significant challenge for service providers today is securing scalable, reliable and independent national service aggregation. We are already using full CDC in all our major nodes and will scale this across our entire backbone network over time. Its automation capability will enable additional rapid network restoration in the event of fibre or hardware failure, plus greater flexibility to grow capacity, balance, and re-programme our network based on the evolving needs of our customers.’

Jamie Jefferies, vice president and general manager, International at Ciena, added: ‘CityFibre have been tremendous to work with and our shared determination has allowed for us to move from design to delivery of this 800Gb/s network in record time. CityFibre and its customers will benefit from the scalability and adaptability its network will possess.’


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