Thursday, 16 August 2007

BT 21CN Interconnect

Have just returned from a BT conference about the roll out of their 21CN network and how it affects existing broadband ISPs. Its a good job the coffee was strong as otherwise I could have had a free afternoons' sleep.

Anyhow, we are going to lodge an objection to their plans (many ISPs already have so we may as well join the list). The deal is that in the new 21CN network, BT will hand off "broadband" traffic to ISPs at a number of locations around the country. They are zoning regions and creating two (or more) aggregate nodes in each zone from which an ISP can gain access to local broadband customers' traffic. They have also proposed a charging model based on how far the ISP interconnects on BT's network from the customer.

While this all sounds fine in theory, they seem to have left Northern Ireland out fo this equation. NI has two "metro" nodes which are multi-linked back to the mainland via resilient and redundant routes which is all fine. However there is no Core node (where the ISP interconnects) which means all ISPs will have to take their NI customers' traffic in Manchester or similar, making the distance based charging model a bit of a farce for NI customers as they won't have the (potentially) cheaper "local user" based charging model available.

In reality I would imagine most ISP's will only interconnect with BT in say three locations and will take a balance of some local and some more distant customers and average the charge per customer, but we were looking at putting a local interconnect point in NI bringing the cost right down for local customers.

I will write and propose an objection to Ofcom and BT tomorrow to see if we can have any effect...


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