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Core Router Upgrade Status

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After a successful first installation, the remaining five core routers will be installed on an aggressive schedule. The objective is to complete installations before the winter break, in part to meet a deadline for trade-in credit and also to avoid problems with the expiration of maintenance contracts.

The first router is on a three-step installation process. During the first step, routing was moved to the new router, but the cabling which attaches buildings to the router remained connected to the old router. During the second step, the cabling was moved to the new router. The last step involves changing some administrative IP addresses on the router to match the old router. This last step will be completed tomorrow, Nov. 17th.

The other routers are moving forward, and delays are primarily due to site preparation issues. Power, air, space and cabling are the key issues. Electrical work is planned or underway at three locations, and the other two locations are complete. One location has insufficient cooling and we're working on a schedule to address that issue. The new routers are big, so proper installation requires new cabinets; two locations will require multi-hour outages as the old routers are removed, the new cabinets are placed, and the new router and cabling are installed. Cabling preparation involves identifying the correct fiber jumper types and lengths for the core location in question. New jumpers are required because the connector types have changed from the old routers, which used GBIC optics and have SC connectors, to the new routers which use SFP/SFP+ optics and have LC connectors.

The second router migration is scheduled to begin on Thursday, Nov. 18th. If all goes well, a second outage to complete the migration will occur the following week.