South West England to power up business broadband

It may not do much for rural broadband, but businesses in South Wales, Devon and Cornwall will get Ethernet over fibre, thanks to power companies

Surf Telecoms, the telecoms division of utility company Western Power Distribution, is offering broadband to businesses in the Southwest of Britain thanks to a deal with Neos, a national optical network, as well as using Surf's own fibre network. The connections,which will go up to 10Gbps, will be run over Ethernet technology, not the DSL which mass broadband roll-out to domestic users depends on.

"Ethernet provides our customers with the high bandwidth they need with a new baseline of 10 Mbps, yet gives them more flexibility than traditional leased-lined connections. It lets them pay only for the bandwidth they use, yet increase their available capacity quickly to cope with unexpected demand," said Steve Blew, sales and marketing director at Surf Telecoms.

Ethernet will be offered alongside Surf's existing SDH fibre optic services. Surf Telecoms' 1400km fibre network is run along power cables as a separate cable or wrapped around the earth wire, a much cheaper option than laying fresh underground cables.

Surf currently has 20 points of presence in sub-stations, having recently added Exeter, Plymouth, Land's End, Newport, Cardiff and Swansea to Neos' national network.

The Neos network runs on Riverstone switches, and Surf has also installed Cisco Catalyst 3550 switches in its points of presence in Cornwall.

See the Broadband News Section for the latest on cable modems, ADSL, satellite and other high-speed access technologies.

Have your say instantly, and see what others have said. Go to the Telecoms forum.

Let the editors know what you think in the Mailroom.