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AT&T Expands New-Generation IP/MPLS Backbone Network


Company Delivers Coast-to-Coast 40-Gigabit IP Backbone Connectivity — Leading the Industry

San Antonio, Texas.-To stay ahead of the ever-increasing demand for online video, photos, music and Internet Protocol (IP)-based business applications, AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) has lit the nation’s first coast-to-coast network connections over new-generation IP/Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) technology.

The new-generation backbone network carries data at 40 Gbps without the need for multiplexing (combining multiple digital signals into a single optical channel). AT&T has deployed 40 Gbps (or OC-768) technology on more than 50,000 wavelength miles of its U.S. IP/MPLS backbone network to date, connecting major U.S. cities with the fastest available transport technology. This includes 18,000 miles of recently enhanced optical ultralong haul routes capable of eventually carrying customer voice and data traffic at speeds up to 100 Gbps with minimized latency (packet travel time). By year’s end, more than 40 percent of the IP traffic carried over the company’s backbone network will ride on this new-generation platform.

AT&T will continue deploying this advanced network technology and ultimately connect major IP/MPLS network hubs in 25 major U.S. metropolitan areas in the coming months.

The new-generation AT&T backbone network carries a full range of IP-based services, including wireless data, business video, data and voice services, private line and wavelength traffic, as well as IP-based residential services and Internet access for AT&T’s 13.8 million DSL and AT&T U-verseSM customers.

“As the demand for Internet and IP-based applications continues to explode, IP traffic on the AT&T network has doubled throughout the past two years, and we fully expect this substantial growth to continue in the future,” said John Stankey, group president of Telecom Operations at AT&T. “Our industry-leading deployment of 40-Gigabit technology enables us to stay ahead of our customers’ growing need for bandwidth and to continually deliver the fast, reliable connectivity our customers need to connect with their world.”

The deployment of 40 Gbps connectivity is part of an ongoing AT&T initiative to deliver one of the world’s most extensive, capable and advanced IP/MPLS networks. The new-generation network connections quadruple the bandwidth of previous 10 Gbps technologies and enable transport over much longer distances without the need for regeneration.

Additionally, the AT&T 40 Gbps backbone is designed and managed for maximum resiliency in the event of a natural or man-made disruption, including the ability to continue transport in the event of disruption of any single network link or node. In the coming months, the network will be enhanced with diversely homed edge sites, which provide multiple network paths through each network hub, as well as MPLS Fast Reroute technology, which enables service restoration in less than one second.

To support the current network upgrade in the U.S. and planned future upgrades internationally, AT&T has selected the Cisco Carrier Routing System (CRS-1) as the core platform for the backbone expansion. The Cisco CRS-1 service flexibility and scalability position AT&T to accommodate increased customer demand for IP-based managed communications services and broadband Internet access for years to come, while maintaining the highest levels of service quality, reliability and security. It is designed for continuous system operation while scaling system capacity up to 92 Terabits per second (Tbps).

“Cisco and AT&T have worked closely over the past several years to develop an extensive range of IP-based services that change how people live, work, learn and play,” said Kelly Ahuja, vice president and general manager of the core routing business unit at Cisco. “We’re extremely pleased today to announce support for the deployment of AT&T’s OC-768 backbone network, the critical foundation for both its managed business services and consumer traffic.”

AT&T operates one of the world’s most advanced and powerful global backbone networks, carrying more than 13.4 petabytes of data traffic on an average business day — the equivalent of more than 2.1 megabytes for every man, woman and child on the planet — to nearly every continent and country, with up to 99.999 percent reliability. In all, the AT&T global network includes 547,000 worldwide fiber route miles for delivering local, long distance and international voice, IP and data services.

AT&T has led industry development and deployment of 40 Gbps OC-768 technology since the turn of the millennium and conducted its first field tests of the technology more than three years ago. Researchers at AT&T Labs are also leading the development of future generations of transport technology; in 2006, it completed field trials with 100 Gbps transport.

AT&T also was among the first to incorporate Reconfigurable Add/Drop Multiplexer (ROADM) functionality into its core network, allowing customers to reconfigure the long-haul transport bandwidth they use on the fly. ROADM technology allows customers to allocate bandwidth on demand using the company’s award-winning BusinessDirect® customer portal. More information on AT&T’s global connectivity and access services can be found at


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