Maryland Broadband Cooperative Picks Ciena for Middle-Mile Network

Maryland Broadband Cooperative

The Maryland Broadband Cooperative (MdBC), a middle-mile network provider, has tapped Ciena for new transport gear to upgrade its existing 2,500 fiber mile statewide optical network.

With this initiative, MdBC will provide 400G transport services to its more than 80 members, which include telecom companies, internet service providers (ISPs), utilities, health care facilities, universities, and state and local government.


“MdBC was founded to help address the lack of broadband access in unserved and underserved areas throughout Maryland. It’s the core of who we are,” said Drew Van Dopp, President and CEO of Maryland Broadband Cooperative. “Ciena’s leading optical and network management solutions afford us greater performance and reliability to improve broadband access – and thereby digital inclusion – across every county in the state. This will help fuel economic development, jobs, education and telehealth, improving quality of life in our rural and chronically underserved communities.”

Steve Alexander, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Ciena, said: “With Ciena, MdBC is creating a connectivity ‘superhighway’ that will flexibly scale to meet the digital needs of residents, businesses, schools, hospitals and public safety agencies in rural Maryland. MdBC will have the network capacity required to advance digital equity in its communities for years to come. This is particularly exciting for us as a Maryland-based business.”

MdBC’s network will utilize Ciena’s 6500 T-Series Packet-Optical Platform and WaveLogic Ai coherent technology for on-demand, high-capacity 400G connectivity with adjustable programmability, allowing for improved transport efficiency and reliability. Ciena’s Manage, Control and Plan (MCP) domain controller will provide coordinated multi-layer management for the new optical network and an existing cell site network that utilizes Ciena’s 5171 routing and switching platform. With integrated PinPoint OTDR (Optical Time Domain Reflectometer), MdBC also gains proactive maintenance capabilities and faster troubleshooting of fiber cuts. Additionally, Ciena Services is providing implementation services to speed time to market, plus maintenance and managed services across the entire network to ensure it runs at peak performance.

Maryland Broadband Cooperative (MdBC) is a non-profit organization located in Salisbury, Maryland, dedicated to bringing high-speed broadband services to the rural and underserved areas of the state.

The Cooperative consists of approximately 80 member organizations throughout Maryland including telecommunications companies, internet service providers, utility companies, universities and colleges as well as government organizations.