NEW YORK, Feb. 18 -- Metromedia Fiber Network has awarded Nortel Networks a contract with an estimated value of $250 million over three years to build its optical network backbone. Metromedia Fiber already uses Nortel's OPTera Metro technology for enterprise applications within US cities; it plans to deploy OPTera Long-Haul to create a network connecting major cities across the country. Metromedia Fiber said Nortel's optical infrastructure would allow it to offer high-performance Internet access nationwide using high-quality, low-cost dedicated and private optical connections. We're seeing an explosive demand for services that can only be delivered via a customer premises-to-customer premises optical Internet infrastructure, said Nick Tanzi, Metromedia Fiber's president and COO. To meet this demand, we're deploying Nortel Networks' OPTera architecture - a highly reliable, long-haul optical networking solution.