Broadband News

BT launches network upgrade programme

BT Wholesale has notified ISPs it is upgrading its network infrastructure including moving IPstream users to larger ATM Virtual Paths to support faster speeds in the future. This move will affect every user of the service with loss of service expected for between 2 and 30 seconds.

At the same time, BT is offering ISPs the option to upgrade the speeds of each IPstream connections at 250Kbps, 500Kbps and 1Mbps to 2Mbps or if this is unsuitable for the line, the highest possible rate. These upgrades are on a "per ISP" or "per IPstream domain" (some ISPs have multiple domains for different types of customers) basis so it is not possible to upgrade individual end users through this programme. ISPs can also ask for an upgrade to a specified speed (e.g. 1Mbps) if they wish. Where this upgrade takes place, an outage of up to two minutes should be expected.

The work will commence 23rd February 2005 and ISPs will be notified of a one week window during which the upgrade takes place. You should expect your ISP to provide you with appropriate details at the appropriate time. We would advise you against contacting your ISP or BT at this time, since they have no more specific details as yet.

BT has also announced it is introducing a range of extra services as "BT IPstream Advanced Services" the first feature of which will allow end users to control the downstream speed of their line from 64Kbps to 2Mbps (subject to the maximum the line will support). This will enable more ISPs to provide "on demand" boostable services of the kind offered by Eclipse Internet and others. The service is expected to enter a trial in July and ISPs will need to opt in by the end of May. More information for ISPs can be found in STIN 427 here. [seb]


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