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Cable Technology Feature Article

October 30, 2009

GCI Expands Network Bandwidth Capacity with Harmonic's SUPRALink Solution

By Nathesh, TMCnet Contributor

GCI, an Alaska-based telecommunications company, has reportedly installed Harmonic’s SUPRALink 1550nm DWDM transmission system and PWRBlazer segmentable nodes to expand its network bandwidth capacity.
The company has been using a centralized broadcast/narrowcast architecture with optical combining at the hubs and now it is upgrading to a distributed architecture using IP transport and full-band SUPRALink transmitters at the hubs for transport to the nodes. SUPRALink will not only help GCI (News - Alert) increase network bandwidth capacity but also enhance reliability by removing single points of failure, simplify node segmentation and make the network easier to troubleshoot.
GCI said that Harmonic’s (News - Alert) HFC access and digital video solutions enhance the reliability, performance and efficiency of its cable network and the company will be easily transitioning to a scalable, distributed fiber-deep architecture using a high quality solution like the SUPRALink system.
Harmonic said that its 1550 nm SUPRALink transmitter modules are compact and user-friendly and are designed for advanced broadband networks. Each module can each carry 1 GHz of analog and digital content, allowing deeper deployment of optical nodes and minimizing the expense of deploying more fiber. The transmitters boast unparalleled fiber reach and can operate alone or with Harmonic's node products.
The PWRBlazer is a compact high-output node designed to facilitate the construction and expansion of deep fiber networks. The nodes will help operators extend the capacity and reach of their networks making them capable to cater to the rising demand for bandwidth-intensive broadcast and narrowcast services such as high-speed Internet access, HDTV and VOD.
Sunil Frida, director of HFC solutions for Harmonic, said that SUPRALink is being deployed by MSOs throughout North America and around the world. Its unique design increases fiber reach without requiring an increase in the number of fibers, freeing up fiber for commercial services or cell tower backhaul applications. This solution offers a clear savings in capital expenditures, and because it is an all-passive network, it provides a savings in operating costs, as well for the cable operator.
In other news, Green Dot recently expanded terrestrial TV service with Harmonic’s video systems and Harmonic helped Altibox enable advanced IPTV (News - Alert) offering in Norway.

Nathesh is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Nathesh's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Amy Tierney