British Telecommunications has recently announced ambitious plans to reengineer its UK backbone Internet service, pushing network capacity up by a whopping 30 000% and increasing backbone POPs (points of presence) from the current 14 to 103.
The move follows hard on the heels of BT's recently announced plans to offer UK Internet service providers (ISPs) access to a flat-rate Internet service that will allow end users up to eight hours in any 24 h period free access to the Internet.
Plans call for the service to launch to ISPs in mid-December, with the first ISPs ready to offer their service at around $25 a month by early January 2000.
By March 2000, BT says it will have dramatically expanded its Internet protocol (IP) backbone network using its high-speed, high-capacity multiservice broadband platform.
This will, the carrier says, give it the greatest number of access points of any UK IP network, opening the way to significantly faster and more efficient on-line communications for residential and business customers.
Dave Hughes, BT's head of Internet and IP network services, said that the move forms part of the company's BeTaNet infrastructure - an advanced IP and multimedia network unveiled in February this year.
Plans call for the service to support the massive growth in IP traffic generated from Internet, e-commerce and multimedia services, expected to grow at around 400% every year.
Hughes said that BT is also announcing plans to deploy 100 000 extra IP dial ports (the modem gateway to the Internet network) by April 2000, with up to a further 100 000 planned by September 2000.
"BT's IP network is fundamentally much better suited to carrying Internet traffic than the public telephone network and does so at lower cost, making it possible to reduce prices for Internet service providers and their customers," he said.
Hughes said that BT envisages that, ultimately, this network will carry many tens of gigabits of backbone IP traffic and tens of millions of dial Internet calls.
"Currently, one in every four calls made across BT's networks is for IP. The IP dial access market alone is now forecast to grow to 35 billion call minutes by March 2000 and to 140 billion call minutes by March 2004," he said.
Source: Steve Gold, Newsbytes