British academic network Janet has teamed up with carrier Verizon Business to test 100Gbit/s optical service.

Verizon says it finished the trial in April after it sent 100G signals simultaneously with 10G and 40G optical signals over a 103-kilometre section of its global network located between London and Reading. The carrier tested the service in collaboration with Janet, the UK's network that is used to support bandwidth-intensive educational and research project and that consists of a backbone and 19 regional networks.

The test successfully showed that different optical signals "can be carried simultaneously without impact [and that] current networks can be upgraded to the higher bandwidth without modification to the physical network," Verizon said. The company purposely introduced signal impairments during its trial over Janet to see if they could be corrected by electronic hardware.

Verizon Business is planning to upgrade its major routes in the United States to 100Gbit/s next year. Verizon first tested its 100G capabilities in 2007 when it transmitted a live video feed over 312 miles from Tampa to Miami. Joseph Cook, Verizon Business' vice president for global network engineering, said the 100G test "showed us that we could deploy 100G on routes and not disrupt current wavelengths."

100G networks are seen by many as a logical progression from the current standard of 10G Ethernet. In 2006, the IEEE's Higher Speed Study Group (HSSG) voted to pursue 100G Ethernet as its next major Ethernet standard. The HSSG said last summer that it was aiming to have a single standard developed that covered both 40G and 100G speeds by 2010, marking the first time that an Ethernet standards group had agreed to create one standard for two different speeds.