MFN lights backbone

by Elizabeth Starr Miller

Online Exclusive, Feb 14 2001

(Telephony) Metromedia Fiber Network today lit 10,000 miles of its planned 18,000-mile domestic long haul backbone.

Connecting the company’s metropolitan network to a photonic Internet infrastructure, the network links Boston, New York, Washington D.C., and Atlanta to Dallas, Houston and Los Angeles. The network also connects New York to Chicago to Seattle and then follows the West Coast, linking Seattle to Los Angeles. MFN’s network also links Denver and Chicago.

Aiming at an office-to-office connection rather than simply a network connection that stops at the edge of a city, MFN plans to eventually build a global photonic network using Nortel Network OPTera dense wave division multiplexing platforms that will allow its customers to have fiber-wavelength-fiber connections around the world.

The initial 10,000-mile portion represents one-third of the company’s global network plans, according to Charlotte Denenberg, vice president of optical infrastructure for MFN.

“This will provide as much capacity as [a customer] could need or dream about,” she said. “We are able to offer customers who buy dark fiber what would appear to be a WAN with a capital ‘W.” Cities that span continents and oceans will be able to be part of a WAN, she added.

Eventually MFN will link its long-haul U.S. network with undersea cables to networks in Europe and Asia.

“We are the first to provide a seamless infrastructure from the wall of the office to cities across landmasses and oceans,” Denenberg said. “This is sea to shining sea. Everyone else has to stitch together their network with T-1s.”

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