Bell Nexxia launches LAN services

Bell Nexxia recently announced the availability of a new high-speed managed LAN service for companies, and has already signed a three-year agreement with one firm to provide it with the offering.

According to Brock Philp, the general manager of sales at Bell Nexxia, “it’s a Layer 2 bridged service that provides connectivity between two or more customer sites. The service provides a virtual private connection over a wide area network, delivering transparent LAN services.”

Scotia Capital and ScotiaMcLeod have been provided with coast-to-coast broadband network facilities through the service, creating a single network to connect the company’s retail investment banking branches. The service, known as Nexxia.LAN, enables the company to implement applications such as data, voice and video, and audio streaming.

The relationship between the two companies is a partnership, Philp said. “They’ve given us the infrastructure on which their mission critical applications are going to run on, and increasingly the 78 retail investment banking branches and their corporate locations are going to require more applications and hence higher bandwidth.”

The network provided consists of broadband facilities, equipment, and management to support the network connectivity between service interface points at the customer sites, he said, adding that companies that would benefit from the service would be large firms with multiple locations across the country, such as manufacturers and retailers.

Philp noted that ScotiaMcLeod’s service is business-class DSL. ScotiaMcLeod’s WAN has been executed through Nexxia’s network across the country, at 2.2Mbps downstream and 640K upstream, he said.

The first connected branches have been up and running since last January, according to Robert Fournier, the assistant general manager at Scotiabank, while the rest were completed by February. He explained that the service was put in to replace old technology.

“The goal was to retire the frame relay technology that we had previously implemented five years ago,” he said. “We wanted to provide more bandwidth to the branches, and DSL seems to be the correct technology to use to provide the bandwidth in the branches.”

The company also saw an increase in the convergence of voice and data technologies, which it felt the DSL would allow it to do, according to Gail Smith, senior vice-president, Scotiabank. “[It was] our desire to do voice over IP — we certainly saw DSL as a way to achieve that,” she said.

The implementation was a joint effort for Nexxia and ScotiaMcLeod according to Fournier, and the process included testing and deployment to the branches.

Getting the service up and running is fairly simple, according to Philp, as the Nexxia backbone and DSL access in major city centres are already in existence.

Bell Nexxia identifies the locations, does facility checks to see what the local access is, finds out if the locations are near a point of presence (POP), and also looks at the types of applications that the customer would like to run over the network, Philp said.

He explained that the bandwidth requirements could also play a part in the length of the implementation process, pointing out that “the Nexxia.LAN service goes at 10Mbps and 100Mbps as well on the access piece of it.”

If it was just data, the bandwidth that a customer would require may not be as high, for instance, than if they wanted videoconferencing as well, he explained. “What we find is most of our customers want to have, I would say, more bandwidth than less because their business is growing and they want to have flexible offerings to their customers.”

There is also some hardware that would have to be installed on the customer’s premises, he pointed out.

Pricing for the service depends on the status of customer locations, he said, and on where the customer locations are. The implementation process could take anywhere form two to four months.

Bell Nexxia is at