News Release

Genevan Residents Gain Access to Next-Generation Ethernet Broadband from Services Industriels de Genève (SIG) using Cisco Technology

SIG provides 10 Mbit/s Metro Ethernet broadband connectivity over fibre to citizens and businesses
Jun 18, 2003

Geneva, June 18, 2003 - Cisco Systems today announced that Services Industriels de Genève (SIG) has selected Metro Ethernet switching technology from Cisco to support an innovative next-generation broadband project in the Charmilles district of Geneva. Charmilles' residents will now have access to broadband at 10 Mbit/s - or roughly 20 times the speed of standard DSL - right into their apartments.

The project will open up 10 Mbit/s connectivity to 53 apartment blocks, 1,000 flats and 40 shopping arcades up to the end of 2003, with the aim of fostering greater interactivity between citizens in the district. As the main utility player in Geneva, SIG is using a key asset - its underground energy distribution network - to help extend fibre cost-effectively to the district.

"SIG is working in tandem with the local government of Geneva to develop a new broadband model for the Charmilles area which aims to promote greater interactivity between citizens and hopefully an enhanced standard of living," commented Raymond Battistella, CEO of SIG. "We also decided to develop our own fibre infrastructure, which will provide us with a way of coping with greater demand in the future. In the year that Geneva hosts the world's premier telecoms show, we believe this project demonstrates that next-generation Ethernet broadband is becoming a pre-requisite for cities wanting to attract the interest of forward-thinking organisations."

SIG is using underground utility ducts to lay 'last kilometre' fibre to strategic basement Points of Presence (PoPs), where Cisco Catalyst® 4500 Series switches help provide 10 Mbit/s Ethernet-based broadband connectivity right into individual apartments, and business premises in the Charmilles Centre Commercial. SIG is using fibre in the 'last meter' inside the apartment blocks to connect apartments, shops and businesses to these Cisco switches.

"This project shows what can be achieved when utility companies work in tandem with the local government and service providers," commented Mark de Simone, VP marketing, Cisco Systems EMEA. "When local government combines with a cost-effective way to extend fibre out to citizens and businesses, bringing Ethernet-based broadband into cities can provide a tangible way to stimulate local economies by helping to increase the productivity of a region."

In this first phase, SIG is providing local interest content using a web-based streaming format, but SIG also aims to extend full IP-based voice and video services such as video on demand over the basic Ethernet broadband connectivity, and take advantage of revenue-generating services in the future.

By using Cisco IOS software-based configuration, and taking advantage of the fibre infrastructure, SIG will be able to upgrade bandwidth provided to customers to 100Mbit/s and beyond as requirements grow in the future. SIG is connecting the Catalyst 4500 Series switches in the basement PoPs, via an aggregation layer, to a Dynamic Packet Transport/Resilient Packet Ring network core based on Cisco 7200 Series routers. SIG is also using Cisco 3550 Series switches to support the Metro Ethernet switching architecture.