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Windstream Wholesale (Windstream) announced the industry’s first successful transmission of a 1 terabit per second (Tbps) wavelength over a 1,100-kilometer link across multiple routes on Windstream’s Intelligent Converged Optical Network (ICON).

This transport achievement was enabled by the Cisco NCS 1014 C-Band 2.4T WDM Transponder Line Card with Acacia’s Coherent Interconnect Module (CIM) 8, the industry’s first 1.2Tbps faceplate pluggable coherent solution. Powered by Jannu, Acacia’s 8th-generation digital signal processor (DSP) ASIC, the CIM 8 is designed to deliver industry-leading performance with single carrier 1.2Tbps operation. This transmission success proves the superior performance of CIM 8, which was demonstrated over a third-party line system (150Ghz Channel).

The successful trial deployments achieved the following key wavelength transmissions across Windstream ICON routes:

Successful roundtrip transport of 1Tbps over 1,100 km from Miami to Jacksonville, Florida

Successful transport of 800G over 1,387 km of mixed fiber from Miami through Tallahassee, Florida, to Atlanta, Georgia

Successful roundtrip transport of 600G over 2,774 km from Miami, Florida, to Atlanta, Georgia

“This tremendous achievement further proves our commitment to technology leadership and networking expertise,” said John Nishimoto, Windstream Wholesale senior vice president of products, marketing, and strategy. "We developed ICON to provide multi-vendor flexibility and seamlessly integrate the newest optimized technology into our disaggregated network. Achievements like this reinforce our 800G wave strategy and offer improved design and network planning options among our 100G and 400G solutions."

The trial results emphasize that disaggregated networking can be implemented successfully on production networks and demonstrate that interoperability between a vendor's transponder and a third-party line system is achievable. This accomplishment is an industry-first and is another of many successful milestones resulting from the long-term collaboration between Windstream Wholesale, Cisco, and Acacia.

March 2023 – Successfully deployed a 1Tbps wave over 541 km between Dallas and Tulsa in a live network trial across Windstream's ICON. The circuit was looped to establish an 800G route over a live network measuring 1,082 km, setting a leading benchmark using digital coherent optics technology.

April 2022 – Achieved successful establishment of 400G links in a production environment over a 1,027 km route, pioneering the interoperability of QSFP-DD form factor ZR+ pluggable modules from Cisco and II-VI Incorporated, now Coherent Corp. (NYSE: COHR).

February 2021 – Established a 400G ZR+ live network record, successfully deploying a 400G per second single-wavelength transmission over 1,027 km between Phoenix and Los Angeles using ZR+ digital coherent optics technology.

“Collaborating with industry leaders like Windstream, Cisco continues to demonstrate results leveraging our coherent technology innovation from Acacia and the Cisco NCS 1014 platform,” said Bill Gartner, senior vice president of Optical Systems and Optics, Cisco. “This 1Tbps over 1,100km exemplifies how Cisco is providing our customers with disaggregated networking solutions to deliver the capacity and speed for the future of networking.”

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