Road Runner Adopts Regional Architecture

March 25, 1998

New York State regional deployment reflects first cooperative effort between Road Runner & MediaOne Express

Road Runner unveiled today a new regional architectural and operational model that is the foundation for the next Road Runner deployment in upstate New York.

The new technical design has been developed in cooperation with MediaOne Express and will provide the Road Runner service to the communities of Rochester and Syracuse New York, both served by Time Warner Cable. All necessary hardware has been shipped to these locations and the service is expected to be online by early summer. Over the longer term, the new regional backbone is expected to provide service to several additional upstate New York communities.

Road Runner has adopted a regional model as the technical and operational blueprint for future deployments. The new strategy will enable the company to provide all MSO's, large and small, with turnkey, one-stop-shop, broadband IP infrastructure. Approximately 12-14 regional operating centers will be created across the nation. The centers will be managed by the Road Runner Group which will own and operate the IP networks and systems down to the RF interface of the HFC plant.

Essentially, the new regional model transfers significant operating and technical responsibilities from the cable operator to the Road Runner Group. These responsibilities include:

-- Day to day network and system management and monitoring including such key functions as email and network news feeds. -- Internet access -- Customer care services (2nd and 3rd levels) and remote Network Operations Center (NOC) -- Billing interface, provisioning, account management and security -- Content distribution (seamless integration of broadband multimedia national content with local content)

"We have been developing this concept for sometime now," said Tim Evard, President of Road Runner. "Our goal is to provide all of our affiliates with the most cost effective business model possible. By assuming financial and operational responsibility for all networking, including the distribution routers, we are providing a turnkey solution that allows the cable operator to focus on the business."

In addition to financial savings, the new model offers several technical advantages to affiliates. Mario Vecchi, Chief Technical Officer for Road Runner explains, "In the regional model, the demarcation line is the distribution hub RF interface. The system operator owns and operates the HFC plant and the modems, as well as all the physical fiber plant. Road Runner owns and operates all the IP infrastructure beyond the distribution hub. We are layering the network so that we (Road Runner) assume responsibility for systems, applications, IP networking and a portion of the transport. The cable operator manages and owns the physical plant and a portion of the transport. This structure creates a hierarchy that separates functions and keeps protocols isolated as we build a total system. This is a manageable architecture that will facilitate the integration of ever-evolving new technologies into Road Runner affiliates."

In the upstate New York design Road Runner will interconnect the headends of Syracuse, Rochester and Binghamton. All work has been completed to interconnect Rochester and Syracuse. Binghamton will be added to the regional backbone in the near future. Transport is over dual OC-48 SONET rings, provided by Fujitsu and built and operated by the Road Runner Group. The high-availability GSR routers and switches (also built and operated by the Road Runner Group) are being provided by Cisco Systems. In addition to redundant OC-48 rings, the advanced network facility combines highly efficient Packet on SONET (POS) technologies to achieve stability and best in class performance for IP networking in the region.

The advanced infrastructure from Cisco's new Cable Products and Solutions group is intended to provide a robust foundation for growth and new services. "This infrastructure brings advanced fiber based networking technologies to upstate New York, laying a foundation for reliable data, communication, and entertainment services. We are very pleased to be teaming with Road Runner and the regional cable systems. Together, we will deliver new networking leadership to New York State", said Paul D. Bosco General Manager of the Cable Products and Solutions group.

Other technology suppliers for the NY Regional deployment include Toshiba America and Motorola Corp. Toshiba is providing the integration services for the overall system based on Sun Microsystems servers and Motorola is providing its CyberSurfr cable modem technology.

Road Runner, a Time Warner company, is available to over 2,000,000 homes in 17 cities and counties serving over 35,000 customers.

Contact Info: