TODAY'S TOP STORYGlobal Crossing opens operations center in London's Docklands area

By Susan Fogarty, On-line Editor
This week, Global Crossing (Hamilton, Bermuda) announced the activation of its international control center supporting the Global Crossing Network. The $35 million Global Crossing Network Centre is situated in the business area of London's Docklands. With the help of regional support centers, the Docklands center will manage and maintain all of the terrestrial and submarine connections that make up Global Cross

By Susan Fogarty, On-line Editor
This week, Global Crossing (Hamilton, Bermuda) announced the activation of its international control center supporting the Global Crossing Network. The $35 million Global Crossing Network Centre is situated in the business area of London's Docklands. With the help of regional support centers, the Docklands center will manage and maintain all of the terrestrial and submarine connections that make up Global Crossing's worldwide network.

"The Global Network Operations Centre, or GNOC, as we're calling it, is fully operational and going through some operations-readiness testing," says Glen Cashian, director of the network operations organization for Global Crossing. All the systems have been tested, and Global Crossing is progressively moving all its operations to the new building. Cashian expects the facility to be completely populated by the second week of October and house 100 people by the end of the year.

The London center includes the GNOC, which is designed and equipped to manage and maintain state-of-the-art terrestrial and submarine connections. "The GNOC, by definition, is going to have global accountability and the ability to monitor the entire global network," says Cashian. The network management system will be able to send orders and trouble tickets, for example, to cable stations around the world. "We will have regional operations centers to support that, particularly in Japan. We'll also have one in Europe because of the size of the terrestrial network," Cashian explains, adding, "The regional centers will always be subservient to the global network center."

Assignment and provisioning of international services is managed directly from the operations center itself. Utilizing the state-of-the-art operating systems provided by Lucent Technologies, the central control from the operations center will provide an efficient organization that reduces overheads to customers and solves problems quickly. Telehousing, webhosting, and collocation services are also available. Cashian says, "This building encompasses a lot more than just the GNOC, we've got a large telehouse capability there, and that's part of our strategy also. We're going to have customers who are leasing space in our building, and we built a large space to accommodate that."

Global Crossing chose the Docklands as the site for the center for a variety of reasons. The area has been developed rapidly during the past few years, and boasts excellent telecommunications infrastructure and a highly qualified labor pool, combined with relatively low real estate prices, says Cashian. Several other telecommunications companies, many of which Global Crossing will be working closely with, are putting up shop in the Docklands area. Geography was also a consideration. Cashian explains, "It's close to our network landing point. We land AC-1 [Atlantic Crossing 1] cable at the southern tip of the U.K. around Cornwall. We bring many of our facilities into London, so the location is close to the network."

The network operations center will also manage and provision services for Asia Global Crossing, Global Crossing's new joint venture with Microsoft and Softbank, and for Frontier Corp., whose merger with Global Crossing was approved by the Federal Communications Commission and is expected to be final by the end of September.

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