Zayo is upgrading its long haul network between Chicago and Seattle. 

The company expects to improve latency between those two points by anywhere from 5 percent to 15 percent on the Chicago-Seattle route, which would ultimately provide faster connections between service areas on the East Coast and Seattle.

One means of improvement will be to simply cut the overall length of the route. Zayo expects to reduce the distance by approximately 100 route miles. The system will also be engineered as an express route, with add/drop points being limited to approximately four locations, the company said.

The Wavelength system being deployed will be a native 100G system, which is scalable to 4 terabytes. Zayo will continue to offer service on its existing system, which provides add/drop points in many markets between the two cities.

"Seattle to Chicago is a strategically important route for many of our customers, and these customers are seeking lower-latency options," states Dan Caruso, president and CEO of Zayo. "Traffic from Asia terminates in Seattle, and many of the nation's largest data centers are located in northern Oregon and central Washington."

Google and Facebook are among the companies with large data centers in the Northwest.

The enhanced service is scheduled to be available in the third quarter of 2012.

Zayo is also assessing the potential to serve its Dark Fiber customers on this route, the company said. Certain sections of the route would require overbuild to provide Dark Fiber service. If sufficient demand for Dark Fiber service exists, Zayo expects to commence engineering, design and permitting as early as late 2012, with construction potentially beginning in the spring of 2013.

Zayo recently announced plans to acquire AboveNet, a provider to financial, content and other customer segments where latency is an important network attribute.