Zen Internet invests in local exchange POP network

Zen Internet has announced that it is making an initial investment of over £3.5 million in its core infrastructure to build a network of local exchange PoPs (Points of Presence). This will enable the company to offer a broad range of highly competitive Ethernet services to customers.

The new PoPs will provide Zen with 200 Ethernet nodes at local exchanges across the UK, which will be connected to its existing MPLS core network via a new backhaul network provided by Cable & Wireless. Zen will use Openreach local loop access to deliver Ethernet services directly from Zen technology located in local exchanges. As a network operator in its own right, Zen will be able to deliver a more extensive range of Ethernet-based connectivity products that will also be very competitively priced.

As well as traditional fibre optic services, the new Ethernet portfolio will include delivery over EFM using multiple copper pairs and NGA Ethernet using the Next Generation Access of Fibre-to-the-Cabinet and Fibre-to-the-Premises technology. NGA Ethernet services will be available from Zen’s 200 PoPs plus another 270 exchange locations.

Andrew Saunders, Head of Product Management and Marketing at Zen said: “Our considerable investment in building a new network of PoPs reflects our long-term plan to develop our Ethernet business through our Partner channel. Expanding our own network in this way allows us to provide more affordable services in what is a highly competitive and price-sensitive market, and we can guarantee an exceptional level of quality. Ofcom’s recently announced proposal to increase price regulation of Ethernet leased line services demonstrates just how important these services are to UK plc, I am very pleased that we have already taken action to improve choice and value for business users. ”

During the summer of 2012, Zen upgraded its existing LLU presence at four North-Western exchanges and conducted a successful test pilot project to deploy four Zen Ethernet PoPs. It has now completed the build of 200 PoPs, 70 are already live and ready for service with the remaining balance going live over the next month.

Jon Dunning, CEO at Nomical Networks, an early adopter of Zen’s new Ethernet services, says: “Our business has grown considerably over the last few years and our requirements had moved beyond broadband, so we decided to move to a dedicated leased line. We looked at various options and realised that traditional Ethernet leased lines were prohibitively expensive. However, we realised that moving to Zen’s EFM service provided from their new Ethernet network would be both affordable and practical for us. We have experienced a marked change in the speed of delivery since upgrading and our confidence that the Zen Ethernet leased line would work well and offer us a stable, secure and cost-effective solution, adaptable to our future needs, has certainly been justified. We are now 3 months down the line and we are very pleased with the results.”

Andrew Saunders continued: “The new Ethernet services will be particularly appropriate and cost-effective for organisations that have several offices or buildings spread across a local area, such as local authorities. By using a range of access technologies we can offer 10Mbps, 100Mbps and 1Gbps services and we anticipate that customers looking to move away from older leased line technology or Broadband services will be surprised at how affordable it is to upgrade to our new Ethernet services.”

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