Viennese utility selects Cisco for metro Ethernet over fibre directly to subscribers

1 November 2002 -- Utility company Wienstrom has selected Cisco Systems' Metro Ethernet Switching portfolio to help deliver its Blizznet next-generation broadband service to residential customers in Vienna.

1 November 2002 -- Viena's Wienstrom - the largest utility company in Austria - has selected Cisco Systems' Metro Ethernet Switching portfolio to help deliver its Blizznet next-generation broadband service to residential customers in Vienna.

Blizznet started as a pilot aiming at 3-5000 homes. Wienstrom will also participate in the Cisco Powered Network programme in building out the Blizznet network. Using a combination of metro optical fibre networks and Cisco technology, Wienstrom is now providing 10Mbit/s Ethernet-based access to consumers.

The holding company, Wien Energie, consists of Wienstrom, Wiengas and Fernwarme Wien and distributes energy to more than 1.2m households and about 90,000 companies in the Vienna region. The duct and pipe network owned extends more than 31,400km. Wienstrom is therefore using access to "rights of way" under public streets to extend fibre directly into its residential customers' premises, over which it is delivering next-generation Ethernet-based broadband access.

Wienstrom selected the Cisco Catalyst 4000 Series switch, and is evaluating the Catalyst 4500 Series switches to serve individual apartment blocks, together with the 7600 Series Internet Router in the aggregation layer of the metro network. Cisco 12000 Series Internet Routers will provide an MPLS-based backbone for the core IP network.

Cisco and Wienstrom are also working closely with Cap Gemini Ernst & Young for network management in the metro network, Cisco Gold Certified Partner Getronics to supply Cisco network equipment, and VA TECH SAT for project management.

Chief technology officer Reinhard Brehmer says, "Ethernet-based broadband provides simplicity for our customers together with a level of connectivity usually only found in corporate LANs. Cisco's insights into the metro Ethernet model, together with innovation such as IP multi-cast, convinced us they were the right choice."

Wholly-owned by Wiener Stadtwerke, the Viennese City Government Wiener BildungsNetz is a joint project of the Municipality of Vienna, the local school authority, the Wiener Stadtwerke (Vienna Public Utilities) and private companies. These fibre-optic networks connect up all municipal and governmental institutions and pass through many residential areas to connect up all Viennese primary schools. As a result, this existing network infrastructure is now helping Wienstrom to extend the iBlizz service to consumers and SMBs. Wienstrom also has agreements with the Vienna transport authority and the Vienna heating organisation to lay additional fibre.

"This next-generation broadband network will provide a solid, secure base-line for Internet connectivity in Vienna," added Mark de Simone, VP technology and solutions marketing, EMEA. "Wienstrom is now well placed to be able to deliver advanced services such as Voice over IP, broadcast TV and video on demand over its IP network in the future. Many utility companies in metropolitan areas in EMEA now potentially have access to the key resources needed to make Ethernet over fibre a successful business model."

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