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France Telecom Connects Switchboards to IP Nodes

France Telecom is the first European telecom operator to connect its points of presence (POP) to the national switchboards.

This move brings many advantages such as cheaper Net access for consumers and new vocal technology service offerings that will soon be available on the national IP network.

Previously, French users would contact the local loop provided by France Telecom, which allowed them to call the closest POP. In six months, the IP 2000 program will allow the IP node to be directly integrated to the telephone exchanges.

"We have abandoned the point-to-point logic, and we are moving towards a logic which uses several points," says Jean-Yves Bouchet, attaché at France-Telecom. This new network will allow the ISPs to connect straight to the national telephone exchanges.

"According to France Telecom, IP telephony is likely to overcome classical RTC telephony in the years to come" says Bouchet.

A straight connection to the telephone exchanges will thus allow the French operator to deploy IP vocal services in France very quickly.

IP2000 will also enable an access to the local loop via ADSL. France Telecom announced throughputs which range from 155 megabytes to 2.5 gigabytes per second for the IP2000 network. The throughputs on the local loop will reach 1 megabyte per second, with a maximum of 8 Megabytes per second.

This national network will be connected to Europe via the European Backbone Network, a high-speed network which will connect the largest European cities. It enables 80 Gigabyte per second for each main branch, but it can be extended to 1,2 Terabyte per second.

This network is already working in cities such as Geneva, Paris and London. Spain will be added to the list by next month.