News Release

Surf Telecoms Provides Next-Generation Ethernet Broadband to South West England with Cisco Technology

Uses Cisco Metro Ethernet Switching to provide flexible, cost-effective Gigabit speed Ethernet bandwidth
Oct 30, 2002

LONDON, October 30, 2002 - Cisco Systems today announced that Surf Telecoms, the telecoms infrastructure division of Western Power Distribution, has selected Cisco Metro Ethernet Switching to help provide next-generation broadband Ethernet access to businesses, academic institutions, carriers and service providers in the South West of England through its fiber optic telecommunications network. The service can scale from 10Mbps to Gigabit Ethernet.

Surf Telecoms already has an extensive network of fiber optic cable and local points of presence (POPs) across Wales and South West England. Combining this network with Cisco's Metro Ethernet Switching portfolio helps enable it to provide flexible, scalable bandwidth to its customers.

"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," explained Steve Blew, sales and marketing director at Surf Telecoms. "Cisco's Metro Ethernet Switching portfolio gives us the performance and resilience expected by our customers, who are used to carrier-class levels of reliability."

Blew continued, "By providing Ethernet capabilities alongside our existing SDH fiber optic services, we're giving our customers maximum choice. The Ethernet service lets them pay only for the bandwidth they use, yet increase their available capacity quickly to cope with unexpected demand."

Surf Telecoms runs most of its fiber optic cable along its existing power cables, either as a separate cable or wrapped around the earth wire. This is only a quarter the cost of running underground cables, meaning it can pass the savings on to its customers and offer cost-effective broadband connections.

The company also locates its points of presence (POPs) within existing electricity substations, taking advantage of the existing infrastructure of parent company Western Power Distribution. Surf Telecoms is using Cisco 7600 Series Routers in its Ethernet backbone, and is deploying Cisco Catalyst® 3550 Series switches in smaller POPs and at customer premises. This architecture helps provide Surf Telecoms with the flexibility to add more local POPs according to customer demand.

"Surf Telecoms is providing the high-speed broadband access that business need, with the flexibility of Ethernet," commented Michael Bayer, director Service Provider Marketing, EMEA for Cisco. "Its customers can now cost-effectively get access to the bandwidth they need to make themselves more productive, and to take full advantage of services such as IP telephony, e-learning and storage."

About Surf Telecoms

Surf Telecoms was established in 1994 to provide managed bandwidth, dark fiber and site location facilities to customers throughout the South West of England and South Wales. Surf's #30 Million fiber network infrastructure, which has been developed through its relationship with Western Power Distribution, extends some 1400km across the South West peninsula of England and the Southern area of Wales. Surf's services provide links between cable landing stations and major towns and cities in the South West and Wales and the rest of the UK, via interconnections with carrier networks in Bristol. The network currently supports over 20 POPs in the South West and Wales with ring topology and use of carrier class technology ensuring high quality resilient services. Surf provides services for communications-intensive businesses, utilities, government agencies and educational establishments throughout the region. For further information please visit: or contact: Steve Blew,