Cardiff is set to be the first area of the UK which switches to the BT 21st Century Network. Starting in November 2006 and running till March 2007, BT will move around 10% of customers lines to the 21CN platform, phase two running until May 2007 will move another 10% of lines, and by the end of Phase 3 all 350,000 lines in the area will have moved. This includes 90,000 broadband connections, and various ISDN2 and ISDN30 services. Full details are on the Press Release section of the BTplc.com website.
It should be emphasised that customers need to do nothing, and there will be no roadworks associated with the upgrades, all the work is done inside the BT telephone exchange buildings. The 21st Century Network programme is about moving telephone and other services away from existing BT hardware onto MSAN's which is a DSLAM handling multiple services in addition to DSL. These DSLAM's will then feed the data back out of the exchange onto an IP based network, which should give BT cost savings and be more flexible for higher bandwidth applications and connections in the future.
A review will take place after Cardiff has been upgraded and if all goes well the rest of the UK will start to be upgraded from January 2008, which will affect some 30 million telephone lines across 5,500 telephone exchanges.
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