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Enabling Next-Gen Technology: Zayo’s 400G Network Upgrade Across North America and Western Europe

By Brian Lillie, Chief Product and Technology Officer, Zayo

This month, the Senate approved the infrastructure bill, H.B. 3684, bringing us one step closer to unlocking billions of dollars in funding that will help close the digital divide. Businesses are also looking to bridge access gaps as they plan for the future of work, which will likely be overwhelmingly hybrid and dispersed. Additionally, the demand for bandwidth is reaching a fever pitch – there are currently 4.66 billion active internet users worldwide. Of this total, 92.6 percent (4.32 billion) accessed the internet via mobile devices. Americans alone generate 3,138,420 GB of internet traffic every minute. This ever-increasing number of users, applications, and devices is driving exponential demand for increased bandwidth to support the expansion of 5G, the growth of the Internet of Things, and other emerging technologies (e.g. edge compute) bringing us to an accelerated push for deploying ubiquitous 400G networks.

As a leading global provider of fiber-based communications solutions, Zayo’s network will be a key driver towards enabling digital transformation across North America and Western Europe. This week, we announced a significant upgrade to our existing network footprint, enabling 400G client-side wave capabilities on thirty-one high capacity long haul routes in the United States, Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. Here are the top 3 highlights of the announcement:

These Upgrades Will Quadruple Our Speed

The current prototypical high-speed connection is 100Gbps — a transmission speed that was unheard of at the turn of the century yet has been the prevailing network for almost a decade. Exceeding the current long haul standard of 100G, Zayo’s new routes will provide a fourfold increase in maximum data transfer speed available to our customers, supporting digital transformation across industries and enabling 5G across the country.

Our Goal is to Enable 5G Technology and Digital Transformation

The excitement around 400G is largely due to 5G enablement, which has been a major driver for networks pushing to the new 400G standard. 5G enablement will support the Internet of Things, cloud-based computing, edge computing, smart cities, autonomous vehicles, virtual and augmented reality…nearly every exciting technological innovation that’s on the cusp of full-blown adoption. It’s also vital for streaming high-quality content over mobile and fixed networks, as live video is expected to grow 15-fold by 2022 and reach a 17% share of all internet traffic.

And at the same time that 400G will be enabling the technologies listed above, it will also benefit people every day, including online education, telehealth, and working from home. With a distributed workforce likely to remain hybrid for the foreseeable future, 5G has the ability to connect coworkers in dispersed working environments via a cloud-enabled, high-quality network.

Enterprises Receive Higher Transmission Rates at a Lower Cost

The availability of 400G client-side wave capabilities will allow Zayo to deliver multi-terabit capacity across its global network, enabling higher transmission rates, reduced cost per bit, increased data transfer speeds, and greater bandwidth capacity. These are key features that support enterprises on their digital transformation journeys. In some areas, up to 800G transmission will be available as Zayo deploys significant speed enhancements in anticipation of future network needs.

The optimized wavelength network is designed to provide a direct route for multi-cloud and multi-market connectivity ideal for content providers, hyperscalers, carriers, and data centers. Upgrades to the network will continue through the first quarter of 2022, with many milestones and route completions to celebrate along the way. For a full view of where Zayo’s network will be available, visit zayo.is/400G.

We are excited about the future and fully plan to be ready to support our customers and partners as we rally together to help enterprises achieve their digital transformation goals. Onward and upward!