Independent Fiber Network Upgrades 100Gbps Transport to Chicago on Core Backbone Network

As customer demand for additional transport capacity from the Independents Fiber Network regional network continues to grow, Independents Fiber Network has announced an infrastructure investment of over $625K to upgrade its core network to 100Gbps.

The initial phase of this investment equipped our Worthington, Ohio (Cologix datacenter) and Chicago (Equinix datacenter) PoPs with 100Gbps electronics and optics, allowing us to upgrade our interPoP transport from nx10Gbps to 100Gbps.

This will increase the available capacity for Ethernet Transport Services, CDN connectivity services at Equinix (which operates the world’s only global interconnection platform), and the bandwidth available today across our regional Ethernet transport network spanning Ohio, Indiana and Michigan.

What the Upgrade will Entail

In this upgrade, we will start with a single 100Gbps link from Worthington, Ohio, to Chicago.  We will also add 100Gbps link on our network from Worthington to Lima, Ohio.

We will then add our second 100Gbps link from Lima, Ohio, to Chicago when we finalize our upgrade from the nx10Gbps links used today.

How this Came About – and What it Will Look Like

Independents Fiber Network reviewed proposals from several manufacturers in order to provide the ability to accomplish this in the most economical method and at the same time provide the most growth ports for our future.  

We chose to go with Cisco and their NCS 5501 and NCS1K over our leased transport as well as transport over our existing Cyan DWDM platform. 

The NCS 5501s will provide (48) 10Gbps ports and (6) 100Gbps ports per chassis.

New Spine and Leaf Design for Network

This upgrade moves our network to a Spine and Leaf design that will have our Core Nodes being Worthington, Lima, and Maumee, Ohio. 

These will ultimately all be connected with 100Gbps links. Worthington and Lima will both have 100Gbps to Chicago, and our DIA backbone connections will be in Maumee and Worthington.

The Upcoming New Advanced Technology

Along with our increased bandwidth in our network and to Chicago, this equipment upgrade will let us start using more advanced technology such as Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Segment Routing to not only have redundant routes, but create a mesh network.

This investment along with others we are making in upgrading our fiber backbone reflects our commitment not only to our existing customers but to all businesses and residential users across our regional coverage area.   

As voice, video and data services continue to move to IP, either through private or public cloud solution, these upgrades set the foundation for allowing us to continue to deliver unparalleled redundancy, low-latency and high-capacity Ethernet-over-Fiber services across our region.