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Shentel Launches Updated 100G Fiber-Optic Network

Shentel, the first service provider to deploy Cisco's 100G network solution within Virginia and West Virginia, will be able to offer multiple 10G or 100G wavelength services.

"The service provider industry faces many complicated challenges, and our technology infrastructure is core to alleviating those issues, as well as positioning us to capitalize on new business opportunities. We have taken an architectural approach for our network infrastructure to ensure we can continue to obtain value from our initial investment and to scale seamlessly and quickly," said Earle MacKenzie, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Shentel.

Since deploying its 100G network in July 2013, Shentel is able to deliver more bandwidth to meet business and residential customers' current and expected demands for voice, data, video and cloud services. The optimized network provides a variety of on-demand 100G services, including seamless 10G or 100G hand-off.

Shentel updated its existing Cisco network to 100G coherent DWDM, which offers plug-and-play-like functionality that can be configured to meet a customer's demand for bandwidth. This elastic core is optimized to provide multiple 100G support, as required, and supports customer demand for multiple 10G service on-demand.

As Shentel continues to build or partner to expand its fiber network, the company's highly flexible and scalable new Multi-Degree Reconfigurable Optical Add-Drop Multiplexer (MD-ROADM) DWDM 100G network can be expanded further into its Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland markets quickly and without requiring new hardware.

Recognizing the continuing rapid growth of IP traffic on its network, Shentel has begun deploying the Cisco ASR 9000 platform. Since the first deployment in 2010, Shentel has been upgrading its Cisco7600 network to the ASR 9000.

The Cisco ASR 9000 will serve as the foundation for next-generation Carrier Ethernet networks, providing up to 96 terabits (Tbps) per system, allowing Cisco to evolve its service provider architecture to deliver capabilities for the Next-Generation Internet, which must be more mobile, more visual, more virtual, and more simple to manage.

This architecture will allow carriers to monetize new, profitable services; optimize network performance and efficiency; reduce operational costs and complexity and enhance customer experiences.

An Architectural Approach to New Opportunities

Shentel has deployed Cisco's DWDM technology throughout its markets in Virginia (Ashburn, Herndon, Leesburg, Harrisonburg, Winchester, Warrenton, Front Royal, Edinburg, Christiansburg, Rustburg, Rocky Mount, Farmville, Wytheville), West Virginia (Charleston, Martinsburg, Weston, Summersville) and Maryland (Hagerstown).

The 100G DWDM solution is based on coherent optical technology, powered by Cisco's nLight Silicon. It provides the capability to transmit up to 100G wavelengths over fully uncompensated networks, up to 3,000 km (1864 mile) optical spans without regeneration. Utilizing an advanced modulation scheme and enhanced forward error correction enables Shentel to use its existing fiber plant investments while delivering maximum performance, especially on marginal or impaired fiber segments.

All parameters of the DWDM network were configured automatically by the smart-management subsystem and optical channel power control tools integrated in the Cisco ONS 15454 MSTP platform.

Cisco is the industry leader in Carrier Ethernet and routing technologies, enabling service providers such as Shentel to deploy and operate networks that are simpler and more cost-effective to operate, and accelerate delivery of new services.

The Cisco ASR 9000 Series utilizes the modular Cisco IOS XR software operating system, simplifying network operations while enabling comprehensive system redundancy and intelligent routing. Shentel has widely deployed the Cisco ASR 9000, family, which contains high-density 10G and 100G interfaces for the network edge.

The Cisco ASR 9000 Series routers used as Shentel's network core providing up to 96 terabits (Tbps) per system, helping ensure the fail-safe delivery of multifunctional applications.

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