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Windstream launches next-gen ICON network

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Windstream Wholesale has launched ICON, its intelligent converged optical network.

ICON enables Windstream wholesale and enterprise customers to select custom routes, maintain operational insights using network intelligence functions, and place their networks closer to the edge to better serve end-users. All of which is achieved using ICON’s open and disaggregated networking infrastructure.

Other capabilities include a network intelligence customer portal and API that provides Layer 0-3 network insights. A disaggregated network architecture enables open line system, scalability and alien wave support. It also features Flexgrid and C+L band support enable extreme bandwidth growth, and efficient architecture between local and long-haul networks.

“Windstream is deploying ICON in a holistic way so that businesses can leverage additional bandwidth with a low latency, cohesive infrastructure,” said Buddy Bayer (pictured), chief network officer at Windstream.

“We took time to be intentional about our network planning so we can ride the technology curve and won’t have to overbuild line systems every time there’s a stair-step advance in technology.”

ICON also gives end-users access to machine learning based predictive analytics about the health and performance of the network, plus proactive ticketing, monthly SLA reports, and inventory management.

In addition, the new ICON includes new routes from Hillsboro and Portland to Sacramento, and from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. The expansion into Hillsboro, will provide customers in the area with diverse connectivity to data centres across the country and lay the foundations for future demand from hyperscalers and cloud providers.

The two new West Coast ICON routes are powered by Ciena, providing the visibility, insight, and control needed to achieve optimal network performance.

“With Ciena, Windstream adds the industry’s highest level of capacity built on an open and automation-ready architecture, ensuring the ICON network can adapt to dynamic and new requirements from customers,” said Kevin Sheehan, chief technology officer of the Americas at Ciena.

“Our high-performance coherent optics ensures Windstream can continue to be very successful in their fastest growing markets.”

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