RealTime IT News

Cable & Wireless Completes Phase One of Global Build

[May 10] Telecoms group Cable & Wireless announced Wednesday the completion of phase one of its $3.5 billion program to build a global IP network.

The network, which will link 84 international nodes by 2001, already links London, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Paris, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Sydney.

The seven nodes connect to the U.S. backbone at new international nodes in New York, Miami, Washington, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

With the new nodes comes local access to the global network -- which is a faster, more cost-effective means of connection to the IP backbone. ISPs and telcos will no longer need a private circuit to the U.S. to gain access to backbone content.

Because the network uses a single-hop architecture, customers outside the U.S. will be able to get the same high quality service as that available to U.S. customers, says the company.

Graham Wallace, chief executive of Cable & Wireless, said that business customers around the world were demanding improved connectivity and quality. By extending its network into Europe and Asia, C&W was now able to offer the same guarantees that it gives to U.S. customers.

"No-one else is offering this kind of consistent level of quality guarantee," claimed Wallace.

With almost 80 per cent of Web content being hosted in the United States, international links to and from the U.S. are becoming critical. ISPs outside the U.S. that enjoy either Tier One or Tier Two status can now access the content locally, avoiding the costs and delays of a direct U.S. link.

C&W is itself building Web hosting centers, with a 130,000 square feet facility opening in Swindon, U.K. next month. It is large enough, says the company, to host every Web site currently running in the U.K.

Phase two of the global build will see the installation of nodes in Spain, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, and expansion of the network in the U.K., Japan, France and Germany.