BellSouth network access point up and running at four points
By Paola Iuspa
Using four sites in three South Florida counties, BellSouth is operating a network access point, or NAP, to carry Internet traffic between several switching stations.
The network is a public exchange where Internet data is directed and fiber-optic routes between the states, Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa and western Europe are connected. The BellSouth Multimedia Internet Exchange, or BellSouth MIX, is a four-node NAP , said Ralph de la Vega, BellSouth president of broadband and Internet services.
"It is its multi-nodal architectural design that makes it unique," Mr. de la Vega said. "We have taken the NAP out of a building and spread it across South Florida, unlike the other eight NAPs in the US, which are housed in single buildings."
The nodes are in the LightSpeed Miami Center, 11500 NW 25th St., and TeleSource, 36 NE Second St., in Miami; ImpSat Fiber Networks USA Colocation Teleport Facility, 2040 N Dixie Hwy., Wilton Manors and Emergia Cable Landing Station, 6503 West Rogers Circle, Boca Raton.
Each node, which now occupies a "small footprint in each location, will be expanded as growth materializes," Mr. de la Vega said.
Companies or organizations that have signed a letter of intent to use the optical-switch and carrier-neutral network include Qwest, Nova Southeastern University, IWC, UUNET, Sycamore Networks, Cisco Systems, FPL FiberNet and ImpSAT.
Mr. de la Vega said a "distributed architecture" design assures the network can operate under any circumstances. Each node, he said, has back-up power generators and is hurricane proof. The network can survive if only one of the four nodes working, he said.
He said having nodes in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties gives customers the chance to be close to the network where they have their business. Mr. de la Vega said if the MIX were in one location customers would need to move closer to avoid paying transfer charges from their Internet base to the network.
The MIX is one of many components that ranks Miami high among telecommunications hubs, Florida Lt. Gov. Frank Brogan said Tuesday.
"BellSouth," he said, "is an important player in the explosive growth in the information technology and telecommunication sector."
As more international sub-marine fiber-optic cables are set between South Florida and Latin America, Africa and Europe and resurfacing in South Florida ports, Mr. Brogan said, Florida is gaining the infrastructure needed to support high bandwidths and deliver future multimedia applications.
Mr. de la Vega said BellSouth's use of nodes in several locations, he said, make it different from the NAP of the Americas, 50 NE Ninth St. That network begins operating Sunday and is owned by Terremark Worldwide Inc.