This is why EarthLink, a major bandwidth service provider, has recently completed a major buildout of fiber assets that cover Eastern TN cities. It includes a 343 mile fiber route from Nashville to Knoxville, a diverse fiber route from Knoxville to Chattanooga and another fiber route from Knoxville to Bristol. There are network interconnection points in Cookeville, Oak Ridge, Cleveland, Sweetwater and Morristown. Major POPs are located in Knoxville, Morristown, Johnson City and Bristol.
EarthLink’s Points of Presence (PoPs) on the Eastern Tennessee Middle Mile Broadband Project can deliver up to 10 Gbps DWDM optical services. DWDM or Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing is a technique used to multiply the bandwidth capacity of fiber optic links. Instead of using a single laser beam to carry the traffic, DWDM uses dozens or more lasers of different colors (wavelengths) to create independent high bandwidth carriers through the fiber strand. Each wavelength is an independent channel and does not interact with the other wavelengths on the strand. It’s like multiplying your fiber optic cable by 10x to 100x the capacity.
In addition to providing high bandwidth connections directly to businesses and universities, EarthLink has the capacity to offer fiber optic services up to 10 Gbps on a wholesale basis to Internet service providers (ISPs) that serve smaller businesses and consumers, especially in smaller communities. One of the big stumbling blocks to expanding rural broadband has been the lack of what’s called “middle mile” infrastructure. It is this middle mile backbone that EarthLink has deployed. Other ISPs connect to the backbone and then provide “last mile” connections directly to users. Some ISPs do this wirelessly and are known as WISPs or Wireless Internet Service Providers.
EarthLink headquarters are located in Atlanta, GA. More than a regional carrier, EarthLink owns and operates 28,000 route miles of fiber, 90 metro fiber rings and 4 data centers to serve nearly all of the United States. Business connectivity services include MPLS networks, Internet access, data T1 and bonded T1 lines, full and fractional DS3, SONET full and fractional bandwidth at OC-3 (155 Mbps) OC-12 (611 Mbps) and OC-48 levels (2.5 Gbps), metro fiber Ethernet and SIP trunking. In addition, EarthLink provides other network services, such as managed security, hosted PBX, colocation and cloud hosting.
What’s driving the need for all this fiber optic bandwidth? Business technology has changed rapidly over the last decade or so. Small and well as large companies now find their business processes IT driven. The benefits have been wider communication, faster agility and higher productivity. Some industries, like video production and delivery, are inherently high bandwidth in nature. They can’t function without fiber level bandwidth. Many others are finding that the large cost savings they can realize by moving to the cloud comes with a new requirement. Where once lower speed wireline services could handle communications in and out of the company, the cloud makes all servers remote and requires fiber speeds to prevent productivity killing latencies.
How about your company? If you are located in Eastern Tennessee or anywhere else in the country, there are new fiber assets available at better prices than ever before. Get competitive quotes on fiber optic services for business to support your demanding needs.
Note: Tennessee map courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.