Silk Telecom completes Metro Ethernet network

Service providers forced to use costly transport technology

Optical telecommunications network provider Silk telecom has just completed Australia's first Metro Ethernet network valued at more than US$1 million.

Based on Nortel technology, the network features Provider Backbone Bridging (PBB) and Provider Backbone Transport (PBT) technology, which uses industry standard Ethernet to drive a radical change in the economics of carrier networks.

PBT makes it simpler for service providers to use Ethernet, a transmission technology originally used to connect PCs in local area networks, as the fundamental carrier-grade transport technology.

This allows Silk to deliver high-bandwidth services such as mission-critical business applications and full-streaming video at new levels of quality, savings and operational simplicity.

Silk CEO Simon Perkins said last year the company built a new DWDM optical backbone network using Common Photonic Layer (CPL) technology to support a wide range of high-speed managed services for customers in both metro and rural areas.

Perkins said the Metro Ethernet solution works seamlessly with its CPL backbone providing a fully integrated solution at a reduced level of cost and complexity when compared to other technologies.

"Previously, service providers had no choice but to use complex and costly transport technology to be able to offer high-bandwidth services to their customers," according to Mark Stevens, A/NZ managing director of Nortel.

"BT's decision to deploy PBT in its 21st Century Network demonstrates that other service providers are following our lead by moving to Ethernet for their metro networks."

Nortel's Metro Ethernet Networks solution for Silk includes Metro Ethernet Routing Switch 8600s at the network core and aggregation layers, Metro Ethernet Services Unit 1850s at the access layer, with PBB/PBT technologies enabled for carrier-grade point-to-point and point-to-multipoint Ethernet transport.

Nortel's PBB/PBT technologies are designed to enable Silk to offer improved performance to its customers such as reserved bandwidth and 50ms switchover - matching benchmarks set by circuit-based networks - and enhanced Quality of Service (QoS) monitoring through performance metrics via a Web-based information portal.

Silk telecom is owned by the global Cheung Kong Group and originates from the combination of the telecom interests of three Australian electricity distribution companies: Powercor Australia, CitiPower and ETSA Utilities.

The company operates extensive optical telecommunications networks in Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, and key regional centers in South Australia and Victoria.

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