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CENIC Upgrading Network to Serve Growing Bandwidth Needs

June 29, 2021

CENIC Next Generation InfrastructureAs demand for internet bandwidth rapidly grows, CENIC is updating all of its major network hubs to Next Generation Infrastructure (NGI) to increase capacity, flexibility, and resilience.

By early 2022, CENIC expects to have completed its upgrade to NGI across the 17 major hub sites of the California Research and Education Network (CalREN) — including the newly operational nodes in Chico and Palo Cedro. NGI will support more high-speed data users as well as a variety of services to monitor performance and security on the network.

The new nodes in Chico and Palo Cedro became operational in December as part of a 260-mile fiber loop from Sacramento and back that travels through Colusa, Corning, Palo Cedro, and Chico, and has a capacity of 3.2 terabits per second (Tbps).

The NGI includes:

  • State-of-the-art optical, core, and service edge equipment deployed on CENIC’s fiber-optic backbone.
  • 100-Gigabits per second (Gbps) to 800-Gbps optical channels, with up to 34 Tbps of spectrum capacity per optical span.
  • A scalable switching core architecture coupled with a programmable services edge to facilitate high-speed data movement.
  • Services that monitor and measure the network around the clock to ensure it is operating at peak performance.
  • Advanced cybersecurity capabilities to assist connected sites in the event of a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack.

Exponential Growth

CENIC, the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California, said it is modernizing CalREN to support members’ growing and evolving needs. As an example, within the California Community Colleges, an effort led by the CCC Technology Center is in the process of upgrading network circuits at all campuses to 10Gbps and 1Gbps. Funding proposed in the 2021-22 state budget will allow the project to continue another three years.

The increasing need for bandwidth in California’s higher education and research sector mirrors a trend occurring around the world. According to the CISCO Annual Internet Report (2018-2023) White Paper:

  • There will be 5.3 billion total Internet users (66 percent of global population) by 2023, up from 3.9 billion (51 percent of global population) in 2018.
  • In North America alone there will be 345 million Internet users by 2023 (92 percent of regional population.
  • The number of devices connected to IP networks will be more than three times the global population by 2023. There will be 29.3 billion networked devices by 2023, up from 18.4 billion in 2018. That’s equivalent to 3.6 networked devices per capita, up from 2.4 in 2018.
  • By 2023, North America’s average fixed broadband speed will reach 141.8 Mbps, which represents 2.5-fold growth from 2018 (56.6 Mbps).