Breaking Limits, Boosting Insight: Windstream Wholesale and VIAVI Shake Up Network Intelligence Norms

By Greg Tavarez November 16, 2023

Fiber networks are the indispensable backbone of our interconnected world as they facilitate the transmission of large amounts of data at high speeds. Actually, after thinking more about fiber optics and the role it plays on our world, they go beyond individual connectivity. They have the potential to impact societies and economies.

Look at it this way. The fragility of our modern society becomes apparent when fiber cables break, and the consequences span a spectrum of sectors, from communication and commerce to healthcare and education. The flow of information comes to a halt, hindering not only personal communication but also the operations of businesses and essential services.  That’s why it is important to ensure the resilience and redundancy of fiber networks.

Windstream Wholesale, an optical technology provider of fast and flexible advanced solutions, and VIAVI Solutions, a provider of network test, monitoring and assurance solutions, are set to tackle that challenge with the integration of VIAVI's Remote Fiber Test System, or RFTS, into Windstream (News - Alert)'s Intelligent Converged Optical Network, or ICON.

Windstream Holdings, a privately owned communications and software firm, includes Windstream Wholesale. This segment of the company establishes strong collaborations with carriers, content and media providers, federal government agencies and Fortune 100 companies. Its focus is on providing swift and adaptable customized wave and transport solutions to meet the unique needs of its partners and clients.

Windstream's ICON provides open and disaggregated networking infrastructure. This enables wholesale and enterprise technology customers to select unique custom routes, maintain operational insights with Windstream's Network Intelligence functions and place their networks closer to the edge to better serve end-users.

VIAVI provides network test, monitoring and assurance solutions for telecommunications, cloud, enterprises, first responders, military, aerospace and railway. VIAVI is also a provider of light management technologies for 3D sensing, anti-counterfeiting, consumer electronics, industrial, automotive, government and aerospace applications.

VIAVI’s RFTS is a centralized system that combines strategically placed fiber optic test heads in key network locations to constantly sweep the fiber with an OTDR test signal to identify and locate fiber faults and degradations. The system provides fiber network visibility that scales for PON and point-to-point networks. The system can test dark or lit fiber while it is carrying live traffic. It scans the fiber network 24/7 to automatically diagnose faults and trend degradation and can switch across the fiber plant and/or test on demand.

Integrating this solution directly into Windstream's Dark Fiber and ICON network allows for the early identification of fiber breaks, the eradication of reactive truck rolls, quicker repair times and enhanced transparency and visibility into the health and performance of a customer's network.

The integration ensures constant monitoring of fiber routes to promptly identify various forms of cable damage. It provides instant notifications to Windstream Wholesale's network operations in case of cuts, outages or degraded service, keeping them informed on behalf of the customer. Additionally, the solution enables the expansion of Windstream's Optical Time Domain Reflectometer capabilities to routes where in-line OTDR is not currently accessible.

It also provides faster time to repair. Automation of fiber outage identification reduces coordination times needed with manual OTDR testing processes. Pinpointed outage data includes GPS location and impacted circuit information immediately identifying where the outage location is, and reduces Time to Repair, or TTR, due to immediate notifications sent to Windstream Wholesale.

“The partnership with VIAVI enables us to integrate a proactive functionality of OTDR technology into our network, reducing any network impact on our customers," said Joe Scattareggia, Windstream Wholesale chief revenue officer. "We're able to detect and respond to outages early and in real-time, communicate to our customers concurrently and repair those outages faster than anyone else."

Additionally, the integration expands visibility for Dark Fiber customers in Windstream Wholesale’s iconnect portal. Dark Fiber customers gain real-time outage location information on a map like Wavelength services.

"Service providers are increasing efficiency through enhanced visibility and intelligence as well as simplified troubleshooting processes,” said Luiz Cesar Oliveira, vice president, Americas, VIAVI. “VIAVI RFTS is delivering capabilities trusted by carriers globally to the Windstream ICON network."

Customers will be able to leverage this tool in the first quarter of 2024. 

Edited by Greg Tavarez
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