Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Chicago as a Broadband Hub

Chicago, Illinois, the "windy" city, where air moves fast and so do voice and data packets. Terabits per second zip through fiber and copper pathways for business, consumer and educational communications. If you are located in the Chicago metro area, you should have no problem getting all the bandwidth you need, from T1 lines through fiber optic connections.

Chicago is blessed with a wealth of telecommunications capacity for several reasons. First of all, it is a major city, indeed, the "second city." Chicago is home to many major industrial and commercial corporations, all of which need everything from analog telephone lines to T1 PRI lines for their PBX telephone systems to point to point connectivity for electronic data transfer. Gigabit Ethernet and even 10 Gig E is becoming more of a necessity for a data based economy.

Chicago is also strategically located in the middle of the U.S., making it a logical location as a GigaPoP or point of presence. Nearly all major telecom carriers have terminations in the Chicago market for their high bandwidth services.

Perhaps a more subtle reason is that Chicago is also home to major educational and research facilities, such as the University of Illinois, Northwestern University and Argonne labs. These organizations have been jointly developing the StarLight optical networking switching and routing system. It runs at 1GigE and 10GigE for IP-over-lambda networks used in research applications such as grid computing and provisioning of lightpaths in completely optical networks.

Chicago is a major node on the National LambdaRail, another research network using DWDM (Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing) to provide up to 40 separate wavelengths or "lambdas" that can each carry 10 Gbits per second of traffic. That's per strand of fiber optic cable, by the way. Chicago is a GigaPoP for Abilene, also known as Internet2. This advanced version of the Internet uses IPV6, the next generation of Internet Protocol, and runs at 10Gbps. Right now, this network is only available to participating universities and research labs. Sorry.

So what bandwidth services are available for your business in Chicago? You should have no trouble getting excellent pricing on standard T1 lines for data transfer, enterprise VoIP, or dedicated Internet access or T1 PRI to support traditional PBX telephone systems. You'll also enjoy competitive pricing from many carriers for T3 lines or DS3 service at 45 Mbps to support medium to large organizations and compressed video transport. Being a major telecom hub, you can also get optical carrier services not always available in smaller cities. These include OC3, OC12, OC48 and OC192 service, plus Ethernet, 1GigE and 10GigE bandwidth.

Here are some examples of competitive carrier networks running through Chicago. XO runs an national OC-192 IP backbone running at 10 Gbps with OC-12 uplinks in the Chicago metro area. Megapath as a POP with 2 x GigE circuits to destinations on the East and West coasts. Broadwing's all-optical network POP offers ATM, Frame Relay, Dedicated Internet, private lines and Ethernet access. Other carriers such as Sprint and ACC Business also offer the full spectrum of telecommunications transport services for small business to major corporations.

If you would like a complementary quote for services available at your business location in the Chicago area or anywhere else in the United States, please visit T1 Rex for instant online pricing.

Click to check pricing and features or get support from a Telarus product specialist.

Follow Telexplainer on Twitter