updated 05:10 pm EST, Wed December 14, 2011
Higher bandwidth coming closer to last mile users
Eight metropolitan areas will soon be getting high-speed "middle-mile" networks. These are the backbones that feed the "last mile" that bring broadband services to customers and businesses. Last week, the city-owned DC Community Access Network (DC-CAN) lit up its 100-gigabit network in Washington, DC, while earlier this week, Verizon said it was upgrading seven cities in its FiOS backbone network to similar speeds.
Verizon plans on deploying Cisco routers in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York and Seattle during the first half of next year. The carrier is doing so to satisfy the growing appetite for bandwidth by consumers and businesses along the last mile, as well as for Data Centers and for the backhauling of mobile traffic from cell towers. Verizon will also need it to support the migration of IP traffic from the current IPv4 (32-bit) addressing system, which is running out of unique addresses (4.3 billion) with which to route Internet traffic, to the new IPv6 (128-bit) system, which promises 340 undecillion addresses.
For these seven cities, because Verizon already provides the last mile services via its FIOS network, it is committed to delivering higher bandwidth to the edge of the network using its metro networks. However, because DC-CAN has no such incentive, it's unclear who will use the new middle-network capacity. [DC, Verizon via GigaOM]