Bell Canada has announced a High-Speed Metro service that is designed to be a less expensive alternative than dedicated dark fiber for high-performance storage, back-up and disaster recovery applications.The service is powered by Nortel Networks Optical Metro 5200 Multiservice Platform, which makes it possible for ISPs to offer high-speed optical services over a shared infrastructure. The Nortel platform uses dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) technology.AT&T already offers a similar service using DWDM technology from Nortel.Bell Canada's HSM service provides customers with managed, high-bandwidth capabilities over optical data channels operating at 1.25G or 2.5G bit\/sec. These channels can be set up between two or more locations in a metropolitan area.Bell Canada's HSM service replaces dedicated, dark fiber storage connectivity solutions. Companies that need one or two wavelengths should find the HSM service to be much less expensive than having a dedicated service, Bell Canada and Nortel officials say."Instead of offering wavelengths that are custom-built to every customer - which is what a lot of service providers are doing - Bell Canada is deploying a number of our 5200s in the core of [its] network and in Toronto and other cities, which allows [Bell Canada] to provision services much more quickly," explains Jack Hunt, director of marketing for storage and photonics at Nortel."Since the DWDM rings are already deployed, Bell Canada can focus on customers like CIBC [a Canadian financial services company], which can just connect up to those rings," Hunt says. "It reduces the time and the cost of the service because it's shared across many customers."Hunt says enterprise customers should expect to see shared HSM services cost "50% less'" than dedicated optical wavelength services.Another benefit of shared HSM services is that they are scalable, so it's easier for a company to add more bandwidth or additional sites without reconfiguring its network. All that the customer has to do to add a new site is to add access circuits, Bell Canada says.So far, Bell Canada has signed up 10 customers including CIBC, which is using the HSM services to consolidate its storage servers at its Toronto area data centers. By taking advantage of Bell's HSM service, CIBC is reducing its storage servers by almost half, CIBC said in a statement.Natasha Latysh, product manager for the enterprise group at Bell Canada, says most of the customers for its HSM service are financial institutions like CIBC. "We see growing interest toward our service from transportation and big manufacturing companies."