Midcontinent Communications is giving its network a boost with Metro Ethernet optical equipment from Nortel Networks.

As part of the network upgrade, Nortel will deploy Metro Ethernet optical technology to provide a single converged network supporting Midcontinent's new high-bandwidth services, such as video-on-demand (VOD), as well as its current voice, video, and data services for business and residential customers.

"Consumers want more bandwidth, digital voice service, and innovative video programming like VOD and high definition television," said Jon Pederson, vice president of Technology, Midcontinent Communications, in a statement. "Our investment in advanced network technology from Nortel gives us a simple platform to offer an ever-widening array of entertainment options, along with the flexibility to offer new services to large and small business customers."

As part of the network expansion, Midcontinent is building out an end-to-end solution based on innovative Resilient Packet Ring Ethernet (RPR) technology to securely transport voice, video and data over a single network. Offering sub-50ms protection capabilities without the need to reserve bandwidth strictly for this purpose, Nortel said that RPR provides efficient aggregation, switching and transport of Ethernet services securely and efficiently over a shared optical ring infrastructure.

Sioux Falls, S.D.-based Midcontinent provides triple play services to its 220,000 customers primarily in South Dakota and North Dakota, with smaller footprints in parts of Minnesota and Nebraska.

Last year it started deploying VOD services in order to better compete against some smaller telcos in its service areas. Midcontinent, which is jointly owned by Midcontinent Media and Comcast, completed its last VOD launch in April.