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Network Rail and aql develop 100Gbps fibre connection between Leeds and Manchester


aql, a business communications service provider, has launched a new wavelength "express service" between Leeds and Manchester.

By leveraging Network Rail's new high-capacity trackside fibre network, aql can provide broadband ISPs and mobile operators with access to a 1-100Gbps fibre optic link.

The fibre infrastructure is part of the Trans Pennine Initiative's previously announced Building Digital UK and Network Rail-funded Local Full Fibre Network (LFFN) project.

The LFFN part of the project focuses on installing high-capacity fibre throughout the Trans Pennine route from Manchester to York in order to offer backhaul capacity for open access points along the way and to develop a marketable model for fibre deployment on train lines.

The very same initiative also establishes a high-capacity link between the Manchester and Leeds Internet Exchanges, bolstering vital internet infrastructure in the "Northern Powerhouse" area.

aql's managed wave service provides a first-line network operations centre that monitors network performance, corrects equipment problems, and troubleshoots possible issues 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It also offers “unrestricted bandwidth at output speeds of 1, 10, 40, or 100 Gb/s or faster.”

Chairman of aql, Professor Adam Beaumont, said: “Working collaboratively with Network Rail means we can further grow our portfolio to offer a fully managed service that will provide faster direct fibre routes that cut through cities and geographies. This huge capacity between Leeds and Manchester can only serve to bring the two cities closer together collaboratively. We’re already seeing a lot of interest from the vibrant media industries within the two cities.

“This new managed service will also support the wholesale ISP (internet service provider) industry, providing a new route option for the operators, driving further resilience between the cities. We look forward to plugging in other cities in the future.”

National Rail’s Senior Account Manager, Richard Francis, said: “With businesses more dependent on super-fast connectivity than ever before, it is important to provide full fibre connectivity in areas along the Trans Pennine route. Our trackside fibre is the most direct and protected fibre route across the region, and the managed service offering is well placed to enable better social and economic outcomes for the business communities along the Leeds to Manchester route.”

Harry Pererra
Harry Pererra

Harry turns on his experience in journalism and programming to write about the latest news in the world of tech and the environemtn. When he isn’t writing for usave he is working towards his Blue Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and prefers dogs to cats.

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