[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.