CityFibre launches first 800 Gbps backbone ring
Written by: Richard Hook | Published:
Aerial view of Milton Keynes Milton Keynes is one of the six ‘super core’ sites on CityFibre's first backbone ring (credit: Geograph/AcademyofUrbanism)

Full-fibre network operator CityFibre has launched its first 800 Gbps backbone ring as part of its £4bn ‘Gigabit City' investment programme.

Built in partnership with network equipment provider Ciena, City Fibre’s initial 800 Gbps wavelength ring serves 23 cities and towns and connects six ‘super core’ sites in Leicester, Peterborough, Cambridge, Northampton, Milton Keynes and London.

The broader, multi-terabit, national Dense Wave Division Multiplexing (DWDM) programme aims to provide enhanced digital infrastructure for 8 million premises in the UK including broadband, Ethernet and IP services. The duo said two further rings will be added by the end of 2021 and by the end of 2023, CityFibre intends to add an additional 90 locations to the network.

Once complete, the network will connect CityFibre’s own fibre exchanges and ring-based access networks to leading third party data-centres and points of interconnection enabled by Ciena’s WaveLogic 5 Extreme programmable 800G coherent optics, 6500 Reconfigurable Line System (RLS) and Manage, Control, Plan (MCP) intelligent domain controller.

David Tomalin, group chief technology officer at CityFibre, said: “This investment will create a superior, physically diverse network alternative, whilst raising the service experience bar for our industry.”

“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.”

CityFibre recently launched a new ‘National Access’ product to support wholesale full-fibre as part of government-backed efforts to improve access to full-fibre broadband across the UK. Full fibre networks use fibre optic cables to deliver faster broadband speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps, compared to copper-based ‘fibre broadband’ services.

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