Minnesota Telecom to Deploy the Industry’s First CDC Optical Network


CALIENT Technologies, Inc., the global leader in photonic switching technology, and Cyan Inc., a global innovator of software-defined packet-optical transport systems announced that Minnesota Telecom’s Northeast Service Cooperative (NESC) has picked the two companies to deploy a revolutionary fiber-optic network to deliver a wide range of data services, at speeds up to 10Gbps, to customers in rural Northeast Minnesota.

Cyan and CALIENT have built the industry’s first colorless, directionless, contentionless (CDC) reconfigurable optical add-drop multiplexer (ROADM) using 3D MEMS photonic switching to deliver a cost-effective high add-drop ratio solution with complete remote management, provisioning and testing capabilities. These capabilities allow NESC to leverage its resources to support the entire network spanning 14 network nodes and 915 fiber miles.

NESC is building the network with $43.5 million in funds from a federal broadband stimulus award under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act through the USDA’s Rural Utilities Service. The new network will bring broadband services to more than 340,000 residents and hundreds of schools, colleges, clinics, hospitals, libraries, critical services government agencies, tribal governments and telecommunications partners within those counties.

“The Northeast Service Cooperative is a key regional resource for education, health care, information technology and economic development in Northeast Minnesota,” said Paul Brinkman, executive director of NESC and CEO of Minnesota Telecom. “Our mission to bring much-needed high speed data services to such a diverse, rural area has been a collaborative effort among our members and partners. The flexibility and scalability of the Cyan/CALIENT network solution uniquely solves the challenges of this project and we’re excited to be the first application to successfully deploy this architecture.”

The NESC CDC ROADM network is based on a hybrid solution consisting of Cyan’s Z-Series packet-optical transport system and CALIENT’s new S320 3D MEMS photonic switch. The Cyan 360 software-defined operations system completes the solution integration to provide integrated provisioning, configuration and fault monitoring for the entire network.

NESC’s CDC ROADM network will enable the organization to provision high-bandwidth connectivity to any anchor site in its service area and provision new services or change customer bandwidth levels on the fly based on demand.

Tim Martin is a Technology specialist, who gives us insights into the technology and software that helps us to get through our day. Technology is everywhere, an increasingly pervasive part of our lives. Tim helps us make sense of it in many ways.