RealTime IT News

BT to Renovate IP Backbone

Aiming for a massive system overhaul, British Telecom Wednesday announced plans to expand its backbone network in the UK.

BT claims the renovated system will operate at speeds 60 times faster than the current network, and will have the potential to grow 300 times the size of its current capacity.

The number of points of presence (POPs) in the backbone will leap from 14 to 103 by the end of the reconstruction, giving BT the most access points of any UK IP network. BT will deploy 100,000 extra IP dial ports by next April, with up to 100,000 additional ports to be added by September of next year.

The new infrastructure will rely on multi-gigabit routers and wave division multiplexing (WDM) optical fibre systems to improve the system. Fourteen gigabit routers and seven node sites will be trialed up until the expected official activity date of March 2000.

The project is expected to be complete by March.

BT is calling the move part of its BeTaNet IP and multimedia infrastructure strategy announced in February. The telco will invest £5 billion ($8 billion) in BeTaNet over the next five years, though actual purchasing for the renovation began last year.

The company estimates that IP traffic will grow 400 percent annually. Even now, BT claims that one in every four calls made across its networks is for IP.