Windstream is upgrading its metro and regional fiber networks this winter with some help from Cyan. The hybrid CLEC/ILEC will be using Cyan’s Z-Series packet-optical hardware to move up to 100G across its major markets, with initial deployments underway.
The upgrade closely follows Windstream’s longhaul 100G rollout, which has been going on for much of this year. That intercity piece uses Infinera’s gear, but Cyan has nabbed the metro and regional side of things. The fact that Windstream sees the need for 100G technology in the metro just as it has gotten 100G in longhaul illustrates just how much of the data in the core toda today has to make it all the way out the the edge.
In a few months, Windstream’s fiber assets will be shifted into its REIT spinoff, assuming all goes well. But as I understand it, Windstream proper will be the one installing, operating, and maintaining the gear that lights it. So from a vendor perspective, not much will change right away. But if Windstream’s REIT moves help invigorate its network expansion plans in the future, that could be a nice positive for both of its 100G gear suppliers.
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