Ciena’s Converged Packet Optical and Packet Networking Solutions Deployed by Colorado Department of Transportation

Ciena® Corporation, the network specialist, today announced that the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is deploying Ciena’s converged packet optical and packet networking solutions to improve resiliency, capacity and manageability of its private fiber optic network that spans nearly 560 highway miles across the state.

This upgrade, being completed through Colorado’s Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) program, will support an increased amount of intelligent communication devices that allow travelers and transportation agencies to be better informed about roadway conditions. For example, data generated by CDOT’s ITS can provide transportation operations centers with detailed, real-time data on traffic volume, speeds, transit schedule status, evolving weather conditions, and other roadway conditions. CDOT’s transportation agencies can also use the information collected to understand traffic patterns, and then use this data to predict and alleviate traffic issues moving forward.

Key Facts:

  • The ITS in Colorado is a statewide network backbone that is managed by the Colorado Department of Transportation. The network helps the state to improve transportation safety and increase societal productivity by adding advanced communications technology into the transportation infrastructure.
  • According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, drivers across the U.S. spent an average of 42 hours, more than a week of full-time work, stuck in traffic in 2012. This average was even higher for the Denver region in 2011 according to the Urban Area Report, where commuters spent an average of 45 hours stuck in traffic.
  • The network upgrade enables CDOT to connect more hardened and weatherproof devices – up to 20 devices per fiber with complete diversity and resiliency, and without any shared or constrained bandwidth. The devices will be linked by an underground network of fiber optic cables to provide up-to-date roadway conditions to travelers and transportation agencies. When the deployment is complete, the ITS will support approximately 1,500 devices, which include traffic cameras, traffic message signs, speed sensors and weather monitoring devices. Adding more connected devices will enable CDOT to better manage the transportation system, thereby reducing congestion and crashes.
  • Ciena’s 6500 Packet-Optical Platform will allow CDOT to support the wide range of devices that sense and optimize vehicular traffic flows, monitor weather and road conditions, and warn operators of impending delays or dangers. Ciena’s 5100 and 3900 families of switches, part of its Packet Networking portfolio, will provide CDOT with a scalable and highly resilient network that can quickly add new intelligent devices to the network.
  • CDOT will also be able to better manage, monitor and control ITS network performance using Ciena’s OneControl Unified Management System, which provides complete visibility and control of the network that connects the roadside sensors and displays. An excellent example of Ciena’s OPn network architecture, this network enhancement provides CDOT with a more scalable, intelligent and programmable communication platform.
  • CDOT is also using a range of professional services via Ciena’s Specialist Services portfolio.

Executive Comments:

  • “Colorado residents and the traveling public depend on the Colorado Department of Transportation for real-time traffic and roadway information so that they can enjoy safer and more efficient travels. With Ciena’s advanced fiber optic solutions, we will be able to better address safety, mobility and environmental impacts, while also helping travelers manage their trips, improve operations of transportation agencies, and increase business efficiencies.”
    - Ryan Rice, Director of Transportation Systems Management & Operations, Colorado Department of Transportation
  • “Traffic volumes are growing significantly on today’s roadways. Innovative transportation authorities like CDOT recognize the benefits of deploying a scalable and flexible network that supports road sensors, variable message signs, CCTV cameras and other devices to keep travelers and highway safety personnel informed. Ciena’s optical and packet networking solutions help make this possible by creating a more intelligent, programmable and reliable communications system that can scale to support more devices and efficiently monitor activity and issues on the transportation network.”
    - Jason Phipps, General Manager and Vice President North American Field Operations at Ciena

Technology Background:

  • Ciena is the pioneer and market leader of coherent optical technology with 35,000 coherent 40G/100G line interfaces shipped to over 150 customers across the globe, with more than 35 million coherent kilometers deployed. Designed for network modernization, Ciena’s 6500 converges Ethernet, TDM, and WDM capabilities into one platform for cost-effective delivery of emerging and existing services—from the access edge to the backbone core.
  • Used by more than 150 providers worldwide, Ciena’s packet networking solutions improve service agility, economically support higher densities and increases overall network capacity.
  • OPn is Ciena’s approach for building open and programmable next-generation networks with flexible architectures and service offerings, providing differentiated network operator benefits for a myriad of applications, including: wireless backhaul, data center connectivity, cloud networks and private network builds.

Supporting Resources:

  • Product Overview: 6500 Packet-Optical Platform
  • Product Overview: Packet Networking Solutions
  • Product Overview: OneControl Unified Management System
  • Application Note: Building Better Networks for State and Local Governments



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