Comcast Paves Way for 400-Gig Backbone Links

Comcast is upgrading the Ciena 6500 Packet-Optical Platform in its core network with the vendor’s third-generation WaveLogic coherent optical line interfaces, which the MSO said will let it scale its backbone to 400 Gigabits per second in the future.

According to the companies, Comcast has been deploying Ciena’s coherent 40G and 100G technologies across its national fiber network since 2009. Comcast also is using Ciena’s packet networking solutions to support its Metro Ethernet services offering.

On the optical side, the cable operator uses Ciena as well as Alcatel-Lucent equipment in its core network. In addition, Comcast has deployed 100G routers from Cisco Systems and Juniper Networks.

The new Ciena optical interfaces will help Comcast more easily evolve its network and create energy efficiencies by reducing the number of network components, including optical regenerators, required in its network.

“Adding Ciena’s WaveLogic 3 to our already installed 6500 Packet-Optical Platforms lets us leverage that investment to deliver more content, faster Internet speeds and enable new cloud-based applications for our customers, while also providing future core 400G scalability,” Kevin McElearney, Comcast’s senior vice president of network engineering, said in a statement.

Ciena touts the WaveLogic 3 coherent optical processors as the industry’s first software-programmable coherent technology that scales to 400G. To date, the company has shipped 20,000 coherent 40G/100G line interfaces to more than 100 customers across the globe representing more than 20 million kilometers of fiber networks.