The Roanoke Valley Broadband Authority (RVBA) recently deployed a new municipal network leveraging converged packet optical and packet network solutions from Ciena® (NYSE: CIEN). Scalable to 200 Gb/s speeds, the network improves internet accessibility, affordability, and capacity to help advance long-term economic prospects. While primarily focused on supporting economic development through enterprise level service, the network will also provide high-speed broadband connectivity to schools, libraries and government facilities. The network will also provide mobile backhaul for wireless carriers in the region.

Key Facts:

  • The RVBA is made up of the Cities of Roanoke and Salem, and the Counties of Botetourt and Roanoke. The new 47 mile network will serve more than 200 business parks, large institutions, government facilities and businesses. The network will begin serving customers on May 1st
  • The open-access, high-speed network will provide transport speeds faster than typical service available in the region today. The network is supported by Ciena’s 6500 Packet-Optical Platform equipped with eMOTR high speed packet switching modules and WaveLogic Coherent Optics for high capacity 200G connectivity. RVBA will also be able to seamlessly add new customers to the network with Ciena’s 3904 and 3942 Service Delivery Switches. 
  • Additionally, Ciena’s Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC) certified portfolio gives RVBA’s customers the confidence that the network meets the federal government’s standard for assured network services.

  • Ciena is also providing RVBA with Remote NOC Management Services to quickly provision new offerings for its customers. Walker and Associates, a Ciena BizConnect partner, provided a variety of consultation, engineering and design services for this deployment.

Executive Comments: 

  • “The Roanoke Valley Broadband Authority was established to help provide our citizens and businesses with greater access to high-speed connectivity – a critical component to making sure we are not left out of the ongoing digital revolution. By working with Ciena we are able to provide our community with new communications capabilities to support high-bandwidth applications and services.”
      Frank M. Smith II, President and CEO, Roanoke Valley Broadband Authority 
  • “Broadband access is important to the success of any region, as today’s digital communications include richer content, more video and many features that demand high-speed connectivity. This project is a great testament of what can happen when private and public entities come together to create opportunities for economic development and improve the way people live and work.”
    -    Jeff Verrant, Vice President and General Manager, Ciena Government Solutions Inc.

Press Conference and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony:

  • April 26th at 10:00 am ET - RVBA, Blue Ridge PBS, Ciena and Walker and Associates will host a joint press conference event for local, regional, and national media. Following the press conference more than 150 local business leaders, community officials, and regional technology and regional economic visionaries will gather at noon for a formal ribbon cutting event to celebrate Roanoke Valley’s new Open-Access Fiber Optic Broadband Network. Interested press is welcome at both events. Please RSVP at to reserve your seat.

History of the Roanoke Valley Broadband Authority
In 2011, at the urging of several concerned citizens and local business owners, four regional municipalities (The City of Salem, The City of Roanoke, Roanoke County and The County of Botetourt) joined forces to finance a study on fiber-optic Internet access across the region. 

When it was discovered that the Roanoke Valley lagged behind the rest of the country with only 8% of the metro population having access to fiber networks (compared to the national average of 24%), a task force was formed to develop specific recommendations that would make the Roanoke Valley a better place to live and work. 

In January of 2014, the four municipalities officially took action on these recommendations by forming the Roanoke Valley Broadband Authority to expand the regional broadband infrastructure and make it easier for both new and existing providers to deploy their technology across the Roanoke Valley. 

The RVBA was charged with a number of specific initiatives to implement, including: 

  • Developing a master plan for construction and operation of a high-speed, redundant regional network "ring" to reach schools, industrial parks, large employers and other economic centers
  • Developing cooperative agreements for localities with technical specifications and commercial terms for operating the network and exchanging data across municipal boundaries
  • Developing dig once requirements for construction projects, including the placement of open-access conduit for optical fiber cable
  • Communicating broadband related activity to the public 

Taken together, the RVBA was tasked with driving measurable improvements to fiber-optic Internet accessibility, affordability, reliability, and Internet speeds for the purposes of advancing the long-term economic prospects of the region.

About Walker:
Walker and Associates is a national distributor of network products for broadband providers, including wireline, wireless, cable TV, government and enterprise network operators.  Walker’s extensive range of products from over 250 suppliers provides a host of physical plant products such as fiber and copper connectivity, power systems, indoor and outdoor enclosures and outside plant products facilitating carriers’ delivery of broadband services to residential, business, and mobile users. Walker supports communications technologies such as Switching, Routing, Wi-Fi, Microwave, NFV, Carrier Ethernet, VoIP, WDM, ROADM, Packet Optical Networking, SDN, Access Technologies, Active Ethernet, Fixed Wireless, DSL, and more. 

About Ciena
Ciena (NYSE: CIEN) is the network specialist. We collaborate with customers worldwide to unlock the strategic potential of their networks and fundamentally change the way they perform and compete. Ciena leverages its deep expertise in packet and optical networking and distributed software automation to deliver solutions in alignment with its OPn architecture for next-generation networks. We enable a high-scale, programmable infrastructure that can be controlled and adapted by network-level applications, and provide open interfaces to coordinate computing, storage and network resources in a unified, virtualized environment. For updates on Ciena news, follow us on Twitter @Ciena or on LinkedIn. Investors are encouraged to review the Investors section of our website at, where we routinely post press releases, SEC filings, recent news, financial results, and other announcements. From time to time we exclusively post material information to this website along with other disclosure channels that we use.

Note to Ciena Investors
Forward-looking statements.
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements based on current expectations, forecasts and assumptions that involve risks and uncertainties. These statements are based on information available to the Company as of the date hereof; and Ciena's actual results could differ materially from those stated or implied, due to risks and uncertainties associated with its business, which include the risk factors disclosed in its Report on Form 10-Q, which Ciena filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 9, 2016. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding Ciena's expectations, beliefs, intentions or strategies regarding the future and can be identified by forward-looking words such as "anticipate," "believe," "could," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "may," "should," "will," and "would" or similar words. Ciena assumes no obligation to update the information included in this press release, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.