• United States

U.K. BT’s transatlantic push

May 19, 20032 mins
Internet Service ProvidersNetworkingTelecommunications Industry

* BT tries again in the U.S.

BT, the incumbent telecom provider in the U.K., is bolstering its presence in the U.S. in an attempt to reach more companies stateside.

BT announced earlier this month that it’s deploying 14 additional switch sites throughout the U.S. to expand the reach of its IP network. The new nodes will bring the carrier’s total points-of-presence up to 23.

The international service provider is deploying Cisco IP gear that supports Multi-protocol Label Switching (MPLS). While BT’s network is using the latest MPLS gear, it is not going for super high-speed nodes.

The switches support up to OC-3, 155M bit/sec transmission speeds. While fast by most measurements, many other providers are deploying gear that supports connectivity at the Gigabit level.

BT is primarily collocating its switching gear at telecom facilities owned by other service providers. These facilities are sometimes called telecom hotels. The carrier is also leasing capacity and dark fiber to support its network expansion.

BT is targeting both European companies that have a presence in the U.S. as well as companies with headquarters in the U.S. that have offices around the world, says Chuck Pol, chief operating officer at BT Americas.

“Of the top 2000 customers we target, 50% in that top 2000 have a presence in the Americas,” Pol says. BT can address 65% of their needs in the U.S., which is fueling the carrier’s expansion plans to meet all of those customers’ service needs.

Some of the new sites are in Charlotte, N.C., Cincinnati, Cleveland, Denver, Detroit, Miami, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Seattle, St Louis, Tampa and Washington, D.C. BT is also building network nodes in Mexico City and Toronto.

While BT is now making a concerted effort to win over more U.S. business, the carrier has been offering services in the states since 1988. Its failed joint venture with AT&T called Concert may have also put its U.S. plans on the back burner. Concert was to use each carrier’s networks in their respective dominant markets.