Verizon FNS’ Passive Optical LAN experts, Mike Watts and Eric Welty, had just successfully deployed the first-ever Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) for the U. S. Intelligence Community when they were tapped by Sandia National Labs (SNL) to stand up a GPON test-bed at its vast facility in Albuquerque.

Eric Welty, who is now president of Noovis, recalled that “The technology was finally getting the attention it deserved.  The energy savings were drastic and unquestionable.  Who better to vet our statements than the Department of Energy?  We were thrilled.”

Knowing that SNL would need the most efficient infrastructure available, Verizon assigned one of its most renowned GPON experts, Mike Watts, now also with Noovis, to the job.

“The sheer scale of their infrastructure’s footprint was massive,” said Watts. “This type of installation required much of the same architecture that we had refined during the Verizon FiOS rollout in Maryland.  I knew what they would need to be successful so I insisted we support the evaluation with TE Connectivity’s rapid fiber solution.”

Within weeks Watts and Welty were on site racking and stacking electronics, pulling fiber and placing Optical Network Terminals (ONTs).

“The SNL team led by Steve Gossage and Joe Brenkosh was easily one of the most professional groups we’ve worked alongside,” said Watts, “They were welcoming of the technology and we knew they’d give it a fair trial.”

How did the technology perform?

Fast forward to today.  SNL is serving 13,000 users across 265 buildings and expects to save 1,000,000 kilowatt hours of electricity each year, which is expected to ultimately result in a $20M in savings over five years.

Read the SNL evaluation

The solution included:

  • 265 buildings
  • 13,000 computer network ports
  • high-speed communication to some of the lab’s most remote technical areas for the first time.
  • Saving an estimated $20M over five years through energy and other savings and not having to buy replacement equipment.
  • Sandia expects to reduce energy costs by 65 percent once the network is fully operational.