OPTK Networks, headquartered in Lincoln, Nebraska, is a leading regional fiber carrier. It facilitates a wide range of network solutions, including dark fiber, wavelength, carrier Ethernet, and high-speed internet access across Colorado, Nebraska, and Iowa. Committed to technological innovation, OPTK Networks has invested significantly in a self-healing optical network. This network spans over 4,000 miles, with approximately 1,600 miles recently constructed. The new infrastructure is a vital backbone for long-haul connectivity along the critical I-80 corridor, connecting Denver and Omaha, thereby reinforcing OPTK Networks’ regional prominence.
Identifying a need for change
With the digital landscape rapidly evolving, OPTK Networks acknowledged the need to adapt and enhance its infrastructure. Its existing optical transport network, capable of scaling up to 100Gbps, was no longer sufficient. To meet customer expectations, OPTK Networks embarked on a journey to modernize and expand its network with the following key goals:
- Integrate sub-100G client aggregation, OTN switching, coherent optics, and optical line systems into a unified platform to optimize operational efficiency and reduce costs
- Deliver services at speeds over 400Gbps while maintaining very low latency
- Minimize the need for on-site interventions and manual provisioning during service activation
- Establish comprehensive performance monitoring and network management capabilities
The journey to network transformation
To achieve these objectives, OPTK Networks conducted a detailed evaluation process, issuing a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the project. After careful consideration, it chose to work with Ciena, a global leader in networking systems, services, and software. This collaboration was chosen for its potential to support OPTK Networks’ growth in the coming years.
The deployment of Ciena’s flexible 6500 packet-optical platform, featuring WaveLogic 5 Extreme 800G and WaveLogic Ai 400G coherent optics, has been implemented along OPTK Networks’ long-haul route from Denver to Omaha. This addition enables OPTK Networks to scale and adapt dynamically to changing traffic patterns and customer needs without requiring regeneration. Furthermore, OPTK Networks has integrated Ciena’s Manage, Control and Plan (MCP) domain controller into its network management environment.
MCP provides centralized control over network resources and services. Its real-time intelligence and visibility enable proactive identification and resolution of connectivity or performance issues, ensuring optimal service delivery. MCP’s integrated lifecycle operations, including online planning, streamline the introduction of new services and expedite time-to-market.
In conclusion, OPTK Networks’ strategic investments and teamwork with Ciena reflect its commitment to advancing network infrastructure. It aims to meet the demands of an evolving landscape, delivering high-performance data services, cloud applications, and connectivity to a diverse clientele, including businesses, enterprises, service providers, financial institutions, public sector agencies, utilities, and educational institutions across the region. As OPTK Networks continues to evolve, it remains a key player in shaping the digital future of the Midwest.