CENIC Announces New and Diverse Fiber Route from Sacramento to Northern California


CENIC has built a new and diverse fiber path between Sacramento and northern California, adding to its inland route. The new path creates a diverse 260-mile regional loop from Sacramento and back, traveling through Colusa, Corning, Palo Cedro, and Chico. The path has 3.2 terabits per second of capacity and includes new nodes in Chico and Palo Cedro.

CENIC’s California Research and Education Network (CalREN) serves the vast majority of K-20 students, educators, researchers, and individuals at other vital public-serving institutions. CalREN operates over 8,000 miles of fiber optic cable and serves more than 20 million users.

“This new and diverse path demonstrates our commitment to provide reliable, high-capacity, low-latency network connectivity to our members in northern California,” said CENIC President and CEO Louis Fox. “Upgrading our core backbone network infrastructure provides CENIC’s members with a more robust and efficient network on which to conduct data-intensive research, support teaching and learning, provide cutting-edge medical care, and enhance community engagement.”

Adding network diversity ensures that there are alternative paths available for network traffic in the event of a disaster or technical failure, preventing any disruption of system operation and maintaining continuity of service. This new route also increases backbone capacity at Corning to 100G and opens up potential aggregation sites for local networks to connect to CalREN.

To construct the new path, CENIC staff deployed new optical nodes at Palo Cedro and Chico, and augmented existing nodes at Corning and Sacramento. CENIC staff defrayed some project costs by repurposing equipment from recently completed upgrades on CENIC’s coastal route. The new path has begun passing traffic and will be fully operational in December 2020.

This article originally appeared in CENIC News, December 1, 2020, and is re-posted with permission in the UC IT Blog.

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