NTL Picks Nortel for Optical Backbone

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NTL Telewest, the United Kingdom’s largest cable operator, is deploying Nortel Networks optical-networking equipment as part of expanding its backbone network to support quadruple-play services.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

NTL will use Nortel’s Optical Multiservice Edge 6500 dense-wavelength-division-multiplexing system, the same optical-networking platform Comcast is using to build out its backbone.

Tom Buttermore, general manager of Nortel’s Global Cable Solutions unit, said NTL will use the Nortel gear “networkwide” but he did not know how many OME 6500 units will be part of the deployment. NTL has more than 5 million residential customers and passes 12 million homes.

Buttermore said the NTL deal was closed two months ago. “It’s another proof point for us in terms of the utility of our optical platform,” he added.

As part of the agreement, Nortel's services group will provide network staging, engineering, implementation and stability testing.

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