Cisco to supply Optical Equipment to expanded NCREN

Cisco ONS 15454 Solution Selected for Education and Research Network Expansion Into State’s Rural West and Southeast Communities

Hickory, NC (Oct. 8, 2010) – Cisco today announced that MCNC will deploy the Cisco® ONS 15454 MSTP Packet optical network solution as it expands the reach of the North Carolina Research and Education Network to underserved communities in rural western and southeastern North Carolina.

NCREN’s expansion will allow citizens in these areas to gain access to Internet-enabled solutions in education, health care and economic development. The expansion is funded by a $28.2 million grant won by MCNC in January from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s Broadband Technologies Opportunities Program.

“Cisco is proud to continue partnering with MCNC as it expands NCREN to reach underserved communities in North Carolina,” said Joe Novak, Cisco vice president and site executive for the company’s Research Triangle Park, NC site. “Cisco’s ONS solution will enable NCREN to provide citizens in these communities with robust broadband connectivity, which opens the door to new possibilities in education, health care and the local economy.”

“The implication of this award is critical to MCNC's future and builds on our long-standing relationship with Cisco,” said Tommy Jacobson, MCNC’s vice president of network infrastructure initiatives. “MCNC and its partners have proposed a ‘highway of innovation’ for rural North Carolina that will create jobs, educate our students, improve the health of our citizens, and lower the barriers to Internet access for many underserved North Carolinians. This work will ensure almost all North Carolinians will have an NCREN presence in their neighborhood.”

Cisco packet optical networking solutions use thin glass or optical fiber to transmit information in the form of light pulses. Optical networking offers higher reliability and greater transmission capacity than conventional copper-wire networks and is considered the transport medium of choice for mission-critical networks. Cisco has emerged as the industry leader in optical transport domain through continued innovation and investment.

The existing NCREN uses Cisco 15454 MSTP dense wavelength-division multiplexing equipment along the corridor from Rocky Mount to Charlotte, NC. Continued integration of Cisco ONS solutions will enable a seamless network expansion.

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