C&W completes first phase of global IP network

Cable and Wireless PLC (C&W) has completed the first phase of its planned $US3.5 billion global IP (Internet protocol) network, the UK-based telecommunications company announced yesterday.

The IP nodes -- or connection points -- in London, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Paris, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Sydney have all been completed on schedule, the company said in a statement.

The seven newly completed nodes for the OC-192 (capable of 9.6G bits-per-second) IP network also connect to the US backbone by way of five new international nodes in New York, Miami, Washington, Los Angeles and San Francisco, C&W said.

In November of last year, C&W announced it had begun building an international IP network that would have 84 international nodes by 2001.

Plans progressed when last January, C&W said it was investing $500 million in its European IP network and that it had purchased eight independent European ISPs (Internet service providers) in Austria, Belgium, France, Italy, Spain and Switzerland as part of that expansion.

And last month, C&W increased its stake in Brussels-based, pan-European IP network carrier Ipergy from 10 percent to 51 percent with an agreement to fully acquire the company by 2001. According to C&W, that acquisition will allow it to launch its European IP network and services nine months ahead of schedule.

The IP network will be based on a single architecture design, known as AS3561, C&W said. According to the company, such a design allows traffic to pass through a single network as opposed to moving -- or "hopping" -- over a number of networks.

C&W has already begun work on "phase two" of the node installation for the global network, the company said. When completed, nodes will be built in Spain, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, Denmark and Sweden. Furthermore, additional nodes will also be installed in the U.K., Japan, France and Germany, C&W said.

Though C&W said it completed its first phase of the construction for the IP network on time, the company did not disclose the time line or phase completion dates for the entire project.

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