News Release

Telewest Accelerates Next Generation Network Evolution with Cisco IP Technology

Delivers TV-on-Demand to more than 1 million customers by early 2006
Jun 15, 2005

LONDON, UK, June 15, 2005 - Cisco Systems announced today that Telewest, the UK cable broadband communications and media group, is accelerating its national core and edge network upgrade to converge four networks, for voice, video, Broadband and business data, onto a single platform using Cisco's Internet Protocol Next Generation Network (IP NGN) solution.

The Cisco solution is designed to provide the substantial broadband capacity required for the national rollout of Telewest's TV-on-demand (TVOD) services, with ample additional bandwidth to support the growth of broadband services and extend Telewest's high-bandwidth Ethernet and IP Virtual Private Network (IP-VPN) services to more business customers by doubling the number of business hub sites in the network. In addition to rationalizing the transport of all services onto one IP network, Telewest is simplifying the network by converging layer 2 and layer 3 switching infrastructures, resulting in cost savings, accelerated network upgrades and greater flexibility to add new services.

Telewest offers a significant service portfolio in four markets: voice, pay TV, Internet access and business data services*. "Cisco was able to fulfil all the complex requirements of each area of our business with one design," explained Howard Watson, Chief Technology Officer and managing director of Networks, Technology and IT, Telewest. "The benefits of moving to an IP next-generation network are obvious, but there are also risks to consider. Working with Cisco helps us to make a smooth and fast transition so that we can continue to make market-leading service innovations and fully exploit new opportunities in the broadband market."

"It was clear from the outset that Telewest's vision for convergence focused on improving services to its customers, which meant an aggressive schedule for the rollout of TVOD services," said Geraint Anderson, vice president, Service Provider Wireline EMEA, Cisco Systems. "Through our depth of customer experience with over 10 million subscribers using IPTV and video-on-demand services on a daily basis, delivered on Cisco networks, we have proven cases that Cisco's IP NGN solutions are providing a rich quality of user experience and sound investment protection, not only for cable but also for DSL and fibre-based broadband access networks."

Telewest is upgrading 14 regional head-ends and 64 hub sites to Gigabit Ethernet, using Cisco 7609 Series routers at its regional head-ends and hub sites, with integrated Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) pluggable optics, to provide a highly-resilient dual 10Gbps capacity network to support its distributed TVOD service deployment. The Cisco 7609 Series routers with Supervisor Engine 720 comprises the multiservice edge platform for TVOD services, Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPNs and Cable Modem Termination Systems (CMTS) aggregation, together with Cisco Catalyst 6748 and 6704 Ethernet line cards with Distributed Forwarding Cards to create a high performance and scalable Gigabit Ethernet infrastructure.

About Telewest

Telewest, the UK broadband communications and media group, currently passes and markets to 4.7 million homes and provides multi-channel television, telephone and internet services to 1.8 million residential customers and 3.78 million revenue generating units. Telewest Business, the company's business division, supplies broadband communications to the public and private sector markets. Telewest's content division, Flextech has 5 wholly owned pay television channels and one free-to-air channel and is also the BBC's partner in UKTV. Together they are the largest supplier of basic channels to the UK pay television market with a portfolio that combines wholly owned and managed channels, including the ten UKTV Channels.