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North American broadband network now underway

Gateway Networks deploys ribbon fiber project in Canada.

March 1, 2000  

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Telecom provider Gateway Networks of Toronto, which is currently gearing up to deploy its high-speed North American-wide broadband network, has signed a multi-million dollar fiber technology deal with Anicom, Inc., Rosemont, IL.

Anicom, a distributor of data communications products, will supply next generation ribbon fiber technology from Lucent (consisting of 432 strands of fibre per cable) for Gateway’s 2000 km network build-out that will connect Toronto, Montreal, Buffalo, Detroit and Chicago.

“Anicom’s technology investment is another significant milestone in Gateway’s vision to become North America’s first Multi-Service Carrier Network,” said Jim Blumsom, President and CEO of Gateway Telecom Canada. Mr. Blumsom says the network is expected to be complete by the end of this year.

The Gateway Multi-Service Carrier Network (MSCN) next-generation IP network will offer multiple services over its fiber optic network that cannot be accomplished through separate traditional voice, data, and video networks today, say the companies. Gateway Networks will offer all carriers and ISP/ASPs multiple point-to-point bandwidth, SS7, Internet wholesale and long distance services.

Gateway’s ribbon fiber solution is the largest application of 432-strand fiber optic cable in Canada. The 432 strands of ribbon are grouped into clusters of 24 fibers and spliced together in groups of 12. The companies say this configuration of ribbon fiber is particularly beneficial to customers looking for a cost-effective solution that will accommodate future technological advances.

“It’s very expensive to install fiber optic cable due to the cost of land and right-of-way,” says Scott Anixter, CEO of Anicom Inc. “With its average shelf life of 25 years, ribbon fiber helps alleviate the financial burden because it can be installed in high strand counts, allowing companies to build for the future rather dig again later on to lay more pipe. At thousands of dollars per metre to install fiber cable, you don’t want to have to do it a second time.”

The majority of the MSCN Canadian build-out is virtually complete. The 2,000 km of laid and owned 144-strand fiber will connect Sudbury, North Bay and Toronto, followed by a 432-strand connection linking Toronto, Montreal, Buffalo, Detroit and Chicago. Remaining routes will link Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Detroit, New York, Washington, Atlanta, Vancouver and San Francisco.

When the broadband network is complete, Gateway will have points of presence in 21 cities with a 4,000-km fiber optic network across North America.

Ten central offices are also scheduled for completion by May. The offices will house all of the SS7/ATM switching technology and will serve as the network and management operations for the MSCN.

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