BBC NEWS | Wales | Phone users switch to new service

BBC NEWS | Wales | Phone users switch to new service

This is the first concrete announcement of BT 21 Century Network (21CN) plans. BT are rolling out the network in Cardiff, Pontypridd and Bridgend in 2006 with other areas following and the PSTN switched off by the end of the decade.

Though it's a 3-4 year roll-out period BT are likely to rapidly install 21CN into metro areas then move into more rural areas, so large proportions of the UK's population will actually be migrated in the initial phase of the roll-out. BT have also stated they are bringing out new Ethernet based services which will rely on at least some of the technology needed for 21CN (IP/MPLS for national and city backhaul).

21CN is a revolution for BT, and though they are under fierce pressure to seperate their access and retail arms, in some ways 21CN blurs the distinction and being all IP, Ofcom have less regulatory hold over them (without taking a tough stance over IP services with everyone).

Without very careful regulation and industry cooperation, everyone (i.e. traditional telcos) will all just be BT resellers once again.
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