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Fiber Optic Network to Connect NYC and Pennsylvania

Wall Street firms are one step closer to getting a fiber optic network connecting lower Manhattan with northeastern Pennsylvania as part of a total back-up solution in the event of a disaster. Level 3 Communications, a global provider of telecommunications solutions, has been selected as the company that will build the fiber optic network, following an agreement between the governor of Pennsylvania, Edward G. Rendell, and Wall Street West.

Wall Street firms are one step closer to getting a fiber optic network connecting lower Manhattan with northeastern Pennsylvania as part of a total back-up solution in the event of a disaster.

Level 3 Communications, a global provider of telecommunications solutions, has been selected as the company that will build the fiber optic network, following an agreement between the governor of Pennsylvania, Edward G. Rendell, and Wall Street West.Wall Street West is a $40m federal and state-funded initiative created to attract New York City-based financial institutions to establish their back-up and back-room operations in the Pennsylvania region. The group secured a $15 million Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development (WIRED) grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to help fund its effort. The new highly resilient optical network will enable redundant, instantaneous data transmission between New York and Pennsylvania, providing business continuity, recovery and data replication for the financial services industry. To provide synchronous data transmission, fiber optic lines cannot exceed 125 fiber miles in each direction, Wall Street West said in a release. The group said portions of northeastern Pennsylvania will be the only locations within the 125 fiber-mile limit surrounding Manhattan to also meet Federal Reserve and Securities and Exchange Commission recommendations that backup sites do not rely upon the same infrastructure components as those used by financial firms' primary sites.

"Northeastern Pennsylvania is ideally situated to provide back-up operations for Wall Street firms - close, but not too close," Catherine Bolton, Project Director at Wall Street West, said. "With the implementation of this fiber network, we are able to meet the diverse needs of the financial services industry, while providing a low cost of doing business and exceptional quality of life."

Level 3 will build what is known as a Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) optical network. The network will provide integrated data communications and support a variety of applications, including synchronous data replication, streaming video, video instruction and workstation video conferencing, converged networking, storage-area networks, Intranet and Internet access support for the end-user employees.

The fiber optic network could be built within 18 months and Wall Street firms could start operating data centers in the area by early 2009. Melanie Rodier has worked as a print and broadcast journalist for over 10 years, covering business and finance, general news, and film trade news. Prior to joining Wall Street & Technology in April 2007, Melanie lived in Paris, where she worked for the International Herald ... View Full Bio

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