Windstream, which expects to emerge from bankruptcy later this year, is getting set to support 400G core transport. The company says that it has completed four sites in its nationwide core IP network upgrade using the Nokia 7750 service router platform.

Windstream says that the platform provides high port densities with both 10G and 100G interfaces and software-defined network-enabled transition to 400G when the need arises. The architecture is designed to simultaneously support 5G interconnectivity and significant growth in backbone traffic. The redesigned core network will support all of Windstream’s customers, including enterprises, residential broadband and enterprise users.

The project – which Windstream refers to as a “full core enhancement” – has been implemented in Dallas, Chicago, Atlanta and most recently in Ashburn, VA. That’s one-third of the project. Next up is New York City, which is scheduled to be complete by year’s end. The entire project is slated to be done by late next year.

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The SR-7s are live in three sites and have already been tested by increased traffic – as high as 30% over normal in some markets. The company said that the network performed without interruption.

The SR-7s feature FP4 network processors that Windstream says are highly programmable and enable deterministic packet forwarding. The modular system and line card architecture includes universal optical connectors.

windstream network map
Windstream Network Map (Source: Windstream website)

Motivation for Windstream to address its core network capabilities includes counting on both growing its broadband capabilities and subscriber base and continuing to leverage it’s core network for enterprise and wholesale business growth, as it plots its course post bankruptcy.

There are some encouraging trends for the company towards these goals. In May, it reported adding a net 18,000 broadband subscribers during the first quarter. That is the most it has ever netted in a quarter. Ten thousand of those net adds occurred after the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March. Numbers offered by the company when the results were announced suggest that it has significant room to grow.

On the network transport side, its announcement last December that Windstream Wholesale will provide core transport for “a major hyperscale” entity is the type of engagement it would like to see more of.

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