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ISP Zen Internet to Grow its UK “Next Generation Network” Reach

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016 (1:19 pm) - Score 1,545
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UK ISP Zen Internet has announced that the reach of their “next generation” consumer broadband and high-capacity data network (e.g. Ethernet, FTTC, FTTP, EFM and ADSL) will be extended to 400 Points of Presence (PoPs) in BT exchanges by January 2017 (reaching over 500,000 postcodes).

At present Zen has around 270 PoPs in BT’s exchanges across the United Kingdom, which largely stems from a major investment of around £3.5 million into their core infrastructure that completed around 3 years ago. This also enabled the ISP to launch a new range of affordable “unlimited” usage packages, which has helped to fuel their growth.

The latest upgrade reflects a second “multi-million pound investment“, although this time Zen has chosen not to give a specific figure. Never the less the ISP does appear to have enough money floating around to deliver it, with their last full-year results showing a turnover of £54.2m (up from £50.6m in 2014) and strong operating profits of £3.4m (up from £1m).

Jon Bauer, Zen’s Technical Director, said:

“Zen’s expanded network has been designed and built to support the growth of the business and that of our corporate and mid-market customers, as well as bolstering our Wholesale, Channel and voice-based ambitions. We are building a network that is ‘Fit for the Future’, and one which will support our customers’ future growth by delivering an ever wider portfolio of services.

Carrier grade means customers can run their connectivity requirements on a network that has been tested and engineered to meet and exceed five nines high availability standards, with fast and automated fault detection, and recovery that can be achieved in milliseconds.

Zen already has a reputation for reliability. When complete this major expansion will deliver even greater flexibility, giving us the performance and capacity to supply all the industry-leading services our customers demand today and will increasingly demand in the future.”

The new network, which has been given the nickname of ‘Project Plexus‘, is currently being rolled out across the United Kingdom and Zen expects it to go live sometime in the New Year (2017). Apparently 20 of the new PoPs will be built in London alone, bringing their presence in the capital to 60.

Zen’s Technical Architect, Andy Furnell, added: “Zen will build upon our existing network assets, extending into two additional core network locations, and refreshing our national core network technology to meet the growing demands of our connectivity customers.”

The new network is also expected to support the latest “software-defined technologies.” Future drivers of growth are anticipated to come from services like voice and cloud hosting, with demand for storage growing by 65% in the past three months alone.

On top of all that Zen are no doubt anticipating the future launch of new consumer broadband technologies, such as 1000Mbps FTTP from Openreach (BT) and the new 330Mbps capable G.fast services, both of which will put a lot of extra strain on any network unless ISPs adapt.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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