Windstream Wholesale announced Regional Rapid Fiber, a 400G pluggable-based wave service designed to support point-to-point connections within multiple regional sites across the Windstream Intelligent Converged Optical Network (ICON) beginning early this summer.

The service on the expanding ICON network is deployed by using ZR+ pluggables.

Windstream positions Regional Rapid Fiber as the next step in a process that began in August 2020 with a successful LR8 trial with Everstream and the subsequent expansion of 400G to more than 120 400G points of presence (POPs). This led to an exclusive partnership with Coherent Corp. (formerly II-VI) to co-develop 400G using ZR+ coherent technology.

“We’ve been in the business of 400G for a while now and have had time to harden our processes and systems,” Windstream Wholesale chief revenue officer Joe Scattareggia said in a press release. “We’ve lowered connectivity risk for our customers who are seeking trusted, coast-to-coast expansion and upgrade to that next generation of 400G, introducing the first flexible regional 400G wave service (Regional Rapid Fiber) which we know is going to be a market disruptor, both in terms of connectivity and customer cost.”

Regional Rapid Fiber, which will be accessible within about 50 regional points of presence (POPs) in the ICON network, includes:

  • Pre-deployed 400G capacity for rapid turn-up;
  • Service flexibility, including technical proof of performance options;
  • Short-term, event-based 400G options that are priced like long-term services;
  • A migration path from 100G to 400G;
  • Capacity reservation services,
  • Dual, diverse, economic 400G wave options.

The Windstream partnership with II-IV/Coherent was announced in October 2022. The goal was to develop transceivers to streamline 400G service deployment while reducing cost, power consumption and network complexity.

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