Australia's largest futures broker, BrokerOne, has inked a managed Internet service deal with AT&T.
Financial details of the three-year agreement were not disclosed but AT&T is providing a dedicated direct Internet connection between the company's Sydney office and one of its major trading partners in Chicago.
BrokerOne uses its US Internet connection to provide Australian future traders access to offshore futures markets through online software applications.
Since financial trading is extremely time-sensitive and involves high-value transactions, it is imperative that BrokerOne's Internet connection is both fast and reliable - with the ability to handle the large spikes in traffic that result from periods of high price fluctuations and high trading volumes on the futures markets.
BrokerOne network manager Zlatko Hristov said the best measure of network performance is customer feedback.
"Traders know if prices are even a quarter of a second delayed," he said.
"Our previous Internet link was not as reliable, with major latency issues causing market data delays of up to 30 minutes in periods of extremely high network traffic. This translated into losses of thousands of dollars every second because displayed prices were incorrect and traders could get an incorrect picture of the current market status - which adversely affected not only our profits but our reputation." As part of the selection process BrokerOne used a trace route.
The company requested that the competing Internet connection providers submit a trace route from its Sydney office to Chicago to show exactly where the data travels as well as the delivery rates of the data over their networks.
AT&T Australia managing director Jeyan Jeevaratnam said the company has invested more than $US10 billion in upgrading its network across the globe.
"This allows us to offer Australian companies access to an IP-enabled, MPLS-based network that covers more than 90 percent of the world's economies and has unrivalled coverage in the US," he said.