broadband Engineer internet

Broadband Growth Results in Network Capacity Increases

Been a busy week again. Where do they all go? This week was a milestone for Trefor Davies in that I got my first 622Mbps BT central pipe. It’s not mine really of course, it is Timico’s but it feels like mine – toys for the boys 🙂 .

Not everyone will understand the significance. When an Internet Service Provider starts life they begin with a small connection to the BT (Wholesale) ADSL network. They use this connection, known as a “central pipe”,  to carry broadband web traffic from their ADSL customers to the internet, email server, co-located equipment etc.

The ISP itself usually provides the applications (ie email) and contracts with a variety of network providers to offer resilient access to the internet.

As the number of broadband customers grows more BT central capacity needs to be added and this is normally done in affordable “chunks” rather than going straight for a big connection that would almost certainly be uneconomic for low levels of ADSL customers.

Unfortunately for the small ISP the bigger the connection the better the level of service experience  that can be offered. This is particularly the case if an ISP has many small (34Mbps) pipes.

So this week Timico moved into the bigger league with a 622Mbps pipe and cancelled 7 smaller pipes. What is more our second 622Mbps pipe is due for delivery in April giving us a huge headroom in capacity/expansion capability. This is in additional to the resilient 1Gbps links we have for 21CN.

Ironically although supposed to provide 622Mbps these pipes in reality provide more bandwidth than advertised. This compares with a 155Mbps pipe which typically only provided 120Mbps capacity in two separate 60Mbps halves and a 34Mbps pipe which only provided 25Mbps capacity.

Exciting eh? ! 🙂

broadband Business

Grown Up Networks

I’ve started the process of cancelling some of our smaller connections to the BT ADSL network. We have newer bigger better pipes on order (in the pipeline 🙂 ). This is on top of the resilient Gigabit hostlinks we have into the BT 21CN network.

This really does feel as if Timico is growing up. When we started, in 2004, we had a single 34Mbps connection. By the middle of next year we should have resilient 2,000Mbps capacity. That’s a big change. Big growth. By the end of 2009 and beyond we should be into the realms of 20,000+Mbps. That’s 2 x 10Gbps. I left it expressed as Mbps for effective comparison. Quite dramatic I think.

At the same time the size of project we are handling is getting bigger and bigger. Although the majority of network customers are small with perhaps 2 or 3 sites, networks with hundreds of connections are becoming much more common and this year we have started talking to customers about projects involving thousands of sites.

Thats when life starts to get really interesting.