21CN – 21st Century Network

21CN, or the 21st Century Network, is BT’s next generation network. An IP (internet protocol) network, it will offer communications from anywhere to any device, and will deliver a range of converged services including voice, data, mobile TV, and video.

At present, the BT network runs on a Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) – 21CN will see it move to an Internet Protocol (IP) network. PSTN is expensive to maintain – 21CN will bring together several systems and the new approach should be both more cost-effective, and ensure that next generation converged services are fast and efficient. The programme is expected to cost £10 billion, with savings of £1 billion a year expected.

On the 21CN network your calls from your home or business will still travel along copper wires to your exchange, as they do now – but at the exchange they will move onto the new IP system along with data traffic.

BT has already run a 21CN trial, linking BT exchanges in central London, Woolwich and Cambridge, carrying over 160 million calls. BT is now migrating live customers – 350,000 customers in Cardiff and the surrounding area are expected to be migrated onto the new IP network by the end of 2007.

By Sarah at UK Broadband Finder
Read my Broadband Glossary disclaimer

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