Nigel Stevens, Product Director at Cable&Wireless Worldwide says “Today’s news abounded with claims that the UK’s network infrastructure is reaching a capacity crunch and the UK is now ranked 18th globally when it comes to quality and penetration of Internet services. However, when it comes to analysis of the state of broadband in this country a clear distinction must be drawn between consumer broadband networks and networks designed exclusively for the use of businesses. A large proportion of the analysis blurs this distinction and therefore draws incorrect conclusions. When it comes to enterprise broadband networks, the UK is actually one of the world leaders.
The next-generation network (NGN) infrastructure available for businesses today ticks all the boxes when it comes to providing a competitive national infrastructure. They are fast and affordable, providing speeds of up to 10Gbps which enable even the most data-heavy applications to run at blistering speeds. In addition, through advanced multiservice access node (MSAN) technology, networks are now capable of delivering speeds that are in excess of traditional leased lines. This means that backhaul and contention ratio service levels can now be tailored to support businesses requirements.
In the UK, there should be no barrier to the take up of feature-rich applications – networks of sufficient speed and intelligence are available today and are, in fact, being deployed and used across a wide range of sectors. State-of-the-art networks based exclusively on next-generation IP, run applications that businesses hadn’t even dreamed of a decade ago.
In the business world, Britain can provide Private and Virtual Private global networks that can compete with those of any other nation – a point that seems to have been underplayed in the recent claims that the UK’s broadband provision is under par. Whether the same can be replicated for consumers is a question for other operators to answer. But by looking at the business networks on offer today, these operators can get a good understanding of the technologies and service levels that will be required to provide consumers with data-rich applications and services that will be the envy of the world.”