Brantano finds broadband replacement after BT dumps ISDN

Brantano, the UK's largest out-of-town shoe chain, has implemented a new company-wide network from Transaction Network Services (TNS) after the withdrawal of BTISDN services among consumers and businesses.

Brantano, the UK's largest out-of-town shoe chain, has implemented a new company-wide network from Transaction Network Services (TNS) after the withdrawal of BTISDN services among consumers and businesses.

Brantano went to TNS to combine all payment and non-payment traffic over a single, secure connection. The new network enables Brantano to share management information securely and process card transactions at greatly increased speeds over the same network.

Following the cancellation of BT's ISDN D-Channel service, Brantano had just 12 weeks to find a replacement solution. Within two months, specialist transaction carrier TNS scoped, installed, tested and connected all 149 Brantano stores to its managed broadband service.

TNS provides Brantano with a fully-managed wide area network, connecting its geographically wide-spread stores to its Leicester-based head office.

Each Brantano store is connected by an up to 8Mbps broadband service into TNS' private network, with its head office connected directly to TNS by leased line with a virtual private network back-up service.

Brantano uses TNS connectivity to transport everything from internal documents, e-mails, online customer orders, data polling and payment transactions, as well as to access the internet.

Kris De Moor, IT Director at Brantano, said, "The TNS team did a fantastic job in an extremely tight timescale, and our store managers have commented positively on the solution.

"Card transactions now take an average 1.2 seconds to authorise, which is great for both customer and staff satisfaction, and TNS' 24/7 network monitoring service gives us total peace of mind."

BT confirmed it was dumping consumer ISDN services this May, but at the time it said it would continue to support ISDN services among business users. It seems to have recently changed this policy.

Many consumers and businesses prefer ISDN as it offers guaranteed bandwidth both to send and receive data.

The base BT ISDN rate in both directions is 64kbps and with the axed BT Home Highway product consumer users could double up two lines to get 128kbps in both directions.

With broadband, users may get much higher top rate speeds but they cannot guarantee a base connection if the amount of public IP internet traffic gets too high.

The upstream sending speed of ADSL broadband is also far slower than the downstream access speed. While SDSL provides the same speed in both directions, BT and other telcos have limited SDSL networks.

Companies also use ISDN as a back-up data pipe if their broadband goes down - an increasing problem as more and more users sign up to high bandwidth broadband.

Comment on this article: computer.weekly@rbi.co.uk

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