News Release

Fastweb Brings Innovative Service Billing to Over 500,000 Customers with Cisco Systems' Enhanced Routing and Switching Technologies

New Fastweb Infrastructure Scales to Support Expansion of Services Portfolio, New Subscriber Billing Options and Improved Access Security
Apr 27, 2005

MILAN, April 27, 2005 - Cisco Systems announced today that Fastweb has introduced enhanced Cisco routing and switching technology in its current broadband network upgrade program to become the first service provider in Italy to deliver flexible pay-per-use (PPU) high-bandwidth Internet services to its rapidly expanding fibre and DSL customer base. Fastweb worked with Cisco Systems and Cisco Strategic Alliance partner, Italtel, to complete the deployment within three months.

The new network architecture was designed to optimise bandwidth to support both flat-rate and pay-per-use network traffic and to add data packet tracking functionality for residential customers in all Fastweb's points of presence (PoPs). This helps Fastweb to more accurately monitor network usage, differentiate between on-net (or peer-to-peer) and regular Internet-bound traffic, and strengthen its network security by improving user identification and traffic control, and distributing security resources throughout the network to reduce the impact of denial of service attacks.

"Successful telecommunications companies must continually seek out an advantage," says Guido Garrone, chief technical officer for Fastweb. "Our goals require us to accommodate rapid growth while increasing our portfolio of value-added services and continuing to deliver the high service levels that Fastweb is known for."

Antonio Carlini, IT project manager for Fastweb said: "We already have a highly reliable Cisco network, and we knew that choosing Cisco again would help us use that investment and assure a rapid, successful implementation. Secondly, the Cisco solution was the most complete and the most flexible. It would enable us to continuously adapt our offerings in response to customer reaction and introduce new services in phases."

Fastweb is the only service provider in Italy offering different time-base rates for different internet services, as well as free access to email and portal services, including the ability to view bills online, to update anti-virus software, and to post digital photos for development. These value-added services differentiate Fastweb from other ISPs who bill the connection with a time-based or volume model.

Enrico Deluchi, managing director, EMEA Business Development and Marketing, Service Provider Wireline, Cisco Systems, said: "The challenge was to scale pay-per-use services to over 500,000 customers, helping Fastweb to capture billable peer-to-peer traffic and deploy more revenue generating services. With Cisco's intelligent solutions for IP Next Generation Networks and through the close cooperation of the Fastweb, Cisco and Italtel project teams, we successfully overcame that challenge within the deadline."

In the new network, Cisco Catalyst 6509 switches in each main PoP aggregate traffic and connect the core to the access network. Cisco content switching modules provide load balancing, while the Cisco Firewall Services Module translates the network IP addresses. The access infrastructure uses Cisco 7609 routers which provide Service Selection Gateway (SSG) functionality and are controlled by Cisco Service Exchange framework to provide session control and service personalization. Cisco Catalyst fixed configuration switches provide final connectivity to the client.