Indeed, on innovative optical transport systems, such as the Cerent 454, the company’s early E-series 10/100 Ethernet modules provided for buffering and queuing options for that packet traffic transiting at the access-transport boundary. As it turned out, this capability was only really needed for individual traffic flows. The Bell Labs study confirmed that burstiness in traffic flows “vanishes in large aggregate streams of Internet traffic.” A spokesman for the study added, “The intermingling of packets from many different flows smooths out the aggregate traffic.”
Evident across large metropolitan networks, and especially core networks, traffic flow on these higher-capacity links becomes “more random, regular, smooth, and manageable,” which is a direct correlation to the number of users and their computer-to-computer connections emanating from the edge of the network.
The post-Cerent era witnessed the emergence of IP video. The challenge for service providers remained the same, except that speeds were much greater than those demanded of the Internet in the late 1990s.
Even in 2007, carrier network planners sped to avoid the tsunami of video-based network capacity demands. Ovum-RHK reported that bandwidth forecasts made just two years earlier were up 171 percent. This industry analyst firm predicted Internet traffic would keep growing annually at a rate of 40 percent .
The rise of YouTube pushed network traffic growth curves skyward. Optical transport planners felt the pressure to bulk up their bandwidth-carrying capabilities. Ed Gubbins of Telephony reported, “In mid-2006, XO Communications lit a 100 Gb/s intercity optical network to replace leased capacity that had leases expiring. Six months after the company started building that network, it set to work doubling the original capacity. ‘We blew through it very quickly,’ said Randy Nicholas, chief technology officer for XO.”
XO, one of Cerent’s early CLEC customers, recognized their escalating capacity needs, by 2007, were due to residential Internet traffic, more so than business traffic. Video would soon become the dominant form of packets crisscrossing the Internet.
“According to Cisco,” Gubbins adds, “the deluge of non-Internet IP video will cause metro traffic to swell beyond even core traffic in the next decade. To manage the coming crush, the router giant recommends a mix of content delivery systems, capacity upgrades and compression technologies.”
Maybe that’s why, almost a decade later, Infinera entered the metro fray (acquired Transmode), Juniper finally took ownership for metro traffic transport (bought BTI), and Ciena strengthened their metro portfolio (acquired Cyan) . When traffic swells, optical transport suppliers do well, especially in the metropolitan market. Fujitsu knew this too, but neither Alcatel nor Lucent ever really figured it out. It seems that the IP + Optical (R)evolution continues.
Just ask any Cerent alumnus.
 Bell Labs Discovery Could Mean More Efficient Networks, Fiber Optics News, June 18, 2001, p.7
 Getting over YouTube: Why the rising tide of video traffic is like nothing you've been told, Ed Gubbins, Oct 8, 2007
 Ciena previously acquired Nortel’s “Metropolitan Optical Ethernet” team, which essentially made their metro products “Nortel-like.” Then Ciena acquired Cyan, which had many former Cerent employees working for them – Mike Hatfield, Eric Clelland, and more. So, from one perspective, Ciena is a Nortel-Cerent hybrid organization that has been, in part, tackling the metropolitan transport networks for years.