BT has announced details of its switch to a new 21st-century network (21CN), beginning with a roll-out in Cardiff from November.
The £10bn network will be based on the IP format and able to support converged voice and data traffic. It will allow BT to offer services such as voice over IP and video-on-demand to businesses and consumers.
The planned overhaul of voice and broadband services will be carried out at BT’s exchanges in three phases, with the first stage covering an upgrade of voice services to 10% of lines in Cardiff and the surrounding area between November and March 2007. A second phase, from April to mid-May, will upgrade another 10% of lines.
The third phase, due to be completed in summer next year, will see all 350,000 lines in the area upgraded – including 90,000 that support broadband and ISDN services.
But BT warned that private circuit-based services used by businesses to support critical corporate applications would not be migrated to the new network until much later in the upgrade programme.
The communications giant and other providers will carry out an in-depth review of the South Wales upgrade before they begin the transition of 30 million lines across the rest of the UK, expected after January 2008.
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