MSOs forge IP backbone for a post-@Home world

Thu, 01/31/2002 - 7:00pm

Preparing for the inevitable shuttering of Excite@Home Corp. at the end of this month, the high-speeder's affiliates began tapping outside parties to create their own national IP backbones.

Cox Communications, for one, said it is deploying Cisco Systems Internet routers and switches to create a backbone capable of handling traffic for its 779,000 cable modem customers. Specifically, Cox is using the vendor's 10G-supported 12406 Internet Router for the backbone and the company's 7609 Internet Router and Catalyst 6509 and 6513 switches to support the MSO's regional and service data centers.

"Cisco and Cox have enjoyed a long-standing successful relationship dating back to our days pioneering the DOCSIS standard," said Cox Vice President of Data Engineering Jay Rolls, in a statement.

Separately, Cox, which had been working on a contingency plan for more than six months, tapped Level 3 Communications to provide broadband infrastructure services for the MSO's own national IP network. Under terms of the deal, Cox purchased Internet access and co-location service in five U.S. markets in order to link its cable modem customers to the public Internet, as well as other networks and content providers. Cox is also using Level 3's OC-48 metropolitan dark fiber to connect its regional data centers and fiber-optic networks to the Level 3 network.

Mediacom Commun-ications, an affiliate of the failed ISP Channel before switching to Excite@Home, is now in the process of taking just about every element of the service in house, including the brand name of the service: Mediacom Online. Mediacom customers, who had been using e-mail domains, will also be swapped over to a new domain. To push the technical side forward, Mediacom signed on AT&T Corp. to provide the MSO's IP network backbone and "certain" core Internet support functions.

"We are on track with transitioning our customers from the Excite@Home service with minimal disruption, if any, before Feb. 28, 2002," Mediacom Chairman and CEO Rocco Commisso said, in a statement.



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