Entanet has become the first non-BT wholesaler to utilise IPStream Connect (IPSC) to deliver IPStream connections to its partners.
IPSC is the BT-developed platform that enables communications providers to deliver 20CN IPStream connections over 21CN backhaul. It provides the same experience to end users as IPStream but means communications providers can turn off existing IPStream Centrals, which now cost more to run following BT’s recent bandwidth price increases. Currently, Entanet is the only non-BT wholesaler in a position to utilise IPSC to deliver IPStream connections.
In order to utilise IPSC Entanet has installed Multi-Service Interconnect Links (MSILs), in 10 BT 21CN nodes around the country. It has already installed equipment at all 20 BT21CN nodes in order to take Wholesale Broadband Connect (WBC) and was also the first non-BT wholesaler to use this platform to deliver ADSL2+ broadband services on BT21CN in July 2008.
Commenting on the move to IPSC, Entanet’s Chief Technical Officer, Steve Lalonde says: “IPSC represents a step-change in broadband delivery. As a communications provider that’s taken WBC already, the utilisation of IPSC marks the end of our reliance on traditional IPStream Central delivery. Over the past three years we’ve needed to use multiple BT 622Mbps Central pipes to accommodate our growing bandwidth requirements. Moving to IPSC enables us not only to improve how we manage bandwidth but also shorten the lead time for increasing bandwidth capacity – it takes 20 working days to install a new MSIL on IPSC compared to 90 working days for a 622Mbps Central. It also enables us to begin switching off an ageing technology that’s recently become more expensive to use.” BT recently increased its wholesale IPStream bandwidth pricing by 24 per cent. “Unless other providers are adopting the same strategy as Entanet, it is unlikely that IPSC will become available to them until much later this year when it is consumed by BT’s managed WBC service, WBMC, which means that they will have to go on paying the higher price for Centrals”, Lalonde notes.
He also points out that providers will be compelled to make the switch soon after WBMC consuming IPSC is available. This will almost certainly mean that they will not be able to get the full value from some of their current investments. “Providers need to consider now how they’re preparing for the future delivery of IPStream connections because BT has signalled that it will start withdrawing Centrals as early as six months after WBMC is operational.”
Entanet meanwhile has already made its transition successfully and is therefore able to help other providers who wish to do the same. Lalonde said: “We moved the first realm in early January, with everything going according to plan. As a consequence we then moved the bulk of our remaining connections to IPSC mid-January, again with no issues. Initial end user feedback has been positive with no noticeable change to their service.”