Spread Networks Lights Chicago-NY Link

Ridgeland, Miss.-based startup Spread Networks has gone live with its high-speed trading connection between Chicago and New York, according to vendor officials.

The new network line promises a roundtrip latency time of 13.33 milliseconds for the route.

In theory, light traveling in a vacuum should make the trip from Chicago to New York in approximately 8.5 milliseconds, taking in consideration the earth's curvature, explains Brennan Carley, senior vice president of product marketing at Spread Networks. That time increases to approximately  12.5 milliseconds when a light pulse is run through a fiber optic line without any slack in the fiber, he adds maintaining that 13 milliseconds is the fastest realistic time that can be achieved.

However, Spread Networks cut the latency time to 13.33 milliseconds by creating a new fiber optic transmission path between the locations. The company obtained permits to blast rock, dig a new trench and install a completely new fiber optic cable from Chicago to New York. "Spread Networks chose the shortest possible path, rather than following the traditional routes that telcos follow along rail lines," says David Barksdale, CEO.

The vendor also partnered with network equipment providers to provide users with equipment to access the network, without the latency caused by equipment in traditional telco networks, according to Barksdale. "Spread Networks built the network using a dispersion compensating fiber, TrueWave RS from OFS [an optical fiber company], to reduce the need for additional dispersion compensation that adds latency," he says.

Spread Networks located optical amplification and regeneration facilities to minimize hops and therefore further reduce latency, according to Barksdale. In addition, Spread's network is a dedicated, private fiber network, designed for low-latency messaging, and not the wider range of services handled by traditional telcos on their cables, he notes. In June, the company first announced its intention to launch the connection.



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