Bell Atlantic Cooking Up Metro Fiber

NEW YORK (04/21/2000) - Bell Atlantic Corp. is quietly rolling out a high-speed optical service for connecting sites in metropolitan areas at speeds up to1.25G-bps.

Called Channel Extension Service, it provides customers with dedicated, point-to-point links for critical traffic based on virtually any protocol.

So far, Bell Atlantic has been selling the service to customers in the New York-New Jersey area on a custom bid basis. Advertising has been word-of-mouth.

Pricing will be revealed this fall when the company plans to tariff the service. At that time, it will be available throughout the Bell Atlantic territory from Maine to Virginia, says Oscar Mujica, a Bell Atlantic product manager.

The alternative to the service would be buying multiple slower links or settling for a slower transparent LAN service.

The carrier sets up the service by installing an Adva Optical Fiber Service Platform (FSP) or InRange Technologies Optimux at customer sites. Customers need optical cards on their local switches or routers and must plug them in to a port on the optical gear.

The optical equipment supports FDDI, ATM, Enterprise Systems Connection, Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet, OC-3, OC-12 and OC-48. It also works with STM-1, STM-4, STM-16, Fibre Channel, FICON and coupling link.

Both the FSP and Optimux can route traffic to alternate paths in case of a fiber break. Both can perform wave division multiplexing, so if customers needed more than one wavelength to carry their traffic, they could add it to their existing fiber connection. The gear can multiplex up to 32 wavelengths on a single fiber pair.

Mujica says customers have been using the service for connecting gigabit Ethernet LANs or linking remote sites to mainframes in data centers. The service is also suitable for mirroring data across sites, he says.

The equipment can support services between sites that are up to 80 kilometers apart.

Bell Atlantic:

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