National broadband innovator Internode is overcoming the dearth of international data capacity by using Cisco technology to deploy its own high bandwidth links to the US.
Scheduled to go live by mid-March, the fully redundant, 622 megabits per second "data pipe" will replace Internode's current international capacity suppliers, NTT Verio and MCI.
As part of the $2m project, Internode is also quadrupling the capacity of its inter-capital links from STM1 (155mbps) to STM4 (622mbps) to cope with continuing growth through 2005.
Internode CEO Simon Hackett said the international extension of the network would give the company end-to-end independence. " It gives us control over our own destiny," he said. "It lets us guarantee quality of service from Australia to the US - the centre of the Internet - and gives us the ability to ramp capacity as and when we require it."
Internode is currently establishing two Points of Presence in the US, one in Los Angeles and the other in San Jose, centred on carrier-class Cisco GSR 12000 switches. Four STM1 connections via the Southern Cross cable will independently link these POPs to two separate Sydney Points of Presence, also based on Cisco GSR 12000s.
Internode is installing a fifth Cisco GSR 12000 at its data centre in Adelaide. It is also upgrading communication links between Adelaide-Sydney, Sydney-Melbourne and Sydney-Brisbane from STM1 to STM4 links. Internode buys local capacity from Optus and NextGen.
Internode's network upgrade to international status was driven by a drought of data capacity from its current suppliers and disruptions caused by the overselling of available capacity.
Mr. Hackett said the aim of the project was to guarantee quality of supply. "We are a business focused provider, so it not about buying capacity from the cheapest supplier," he said.
"Our aim is to offer the highest quality so we can provide our customers with the same guaranteed quality of service that's available throughout the domestic side of our network."
Internode’s international reach will establish a stable foundation for its active program of deploying value-added services on top of its broadband access. These include:
Mr. Hackett said the success of Internode Business Connect, launched 18 months ago, had increased demand for US coverage. "With external providers, it was impossible for us to guarantee the quality of service required for Internode Business Connect," he said.
"Now our fate is in our own hands. Establishing this infrastructure means we can add capacity by deploying extra Cisco GSR 12000 switches and ordering new links."