In this article we study the problem of designing a nation-wide communication network. Such networks usually consist of an access layer, a backbone layer, and maybe several intermediate layers. The nodes of each layer must be connected to those of the next layer in a tree-like fashion. The backbone layer must satisfy survivability and IP-routing constraints.
Given the node locations, the demands between them, the possible connections and hardware configurations, and various other technical and administrational constraints, the goal is to decide, which node is assigned to which network level, how the nodes are connected, what hardware must be installed, and how traffic is routed in the backbone.
Mixed integer linear programming models and solution methods are presented for both the access and the backbone network design problem. The focus is on the design of IP-over-SDH networks, but the access network design model and large parts of the backbone network design models are general and also applicable for other types of communication networks. Results obtained with these methods in the planning of the German research network are presented.