By the end of 2004, BT's pan-European fibre networks, currently operating in two sections—one in the United Kingdon and the other the "Farland" network running through 12 countries on the continent—will be integrated into a seamless IP network.
"This will give us a very economical route to an integrated pan-European network and put us in the position of being a tier one European services provider," explains Gary Shainberg, BT's head of technology support MPA & UK. "It's a commercial decision, planned at the beginning of 2003, and upon completion it will save us about EUR1 million per month."
BT's main IP network is built on STM-16 fibre rings in a fully meshed network. In the U.K., BT has already begun delivering Ethernet services "right to the enterprise door". Adds Shainberg, "As far as the network evolution goes, we are committed to SDH and moving toward Ethernet delivery." The new network's management centre will be in Brussels, and merging the networks will mean the introduction of new routers in key locations. "The advantage of us becoming a tier one provider," he notes, "is that we will ubiquitously appear across the continent and be able to offer better peering, which will give service providers what they want—quick latency times and faster performance."