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Corvis reaches optical industry milestone

The fiber-optic equipment maker says it has transmitted coast to coast network traffic without the need for boosting the signal along the way.

In what Corvis believes is a milestone for the optical industry, the fiber-optic equipment maker Tuesday said it has transmitted network traffic coast-to-coast without the need for boosting the signal along the way.

The successful test, completed with customer Williams Communications, is a key link in the company's strategy to extend optical-based systems so a network operator does not have to add expensive traffic regeneration equipment and other expensive technologies that make up an optical network.

Intense competition between telecommunications carriers for business has led many service providers to install low-cost optical and Internet Protocol-based equipment.

Fiber-optic networks deliver Internet and voice traffic at high speeds as different colored pulses of light. Those signals are carried over hair-like glass strands housed in conduits, which typically are buried underground. These light signals generally weaken after traveling a certain distance and need to be electrically regenerated.

But Williams Communications, a major wholesale communications carrier with a massive nationwide network, announced Tuesday that it has successfully transmitted data 6,400 kilometers, nearly 4,000 miles or greater than the distance from Boston to San Diego, without boosting the signal.

Williams, a Corvis customer and investor, recently extended its commitment to the company. Last week, Corvis introduced plans for new undersea equipment.