TDM Services

Introduction

Product portfolio review – Update (Nov 2012)

This statement has been written in response to customer enquiries about BT’s plans for its retail TDM services, and supersedes the previous update published in November 2011.

BT has a well established portfolio of retail Point to Point Time Division Multiplexed (TDM)1 services and understands that customers have come to rely on the stability and performance characteristics of these products.

However it is also clear that market demand for these services is changing as technologies evolve. Consequently BT has undertaken a commercial review of the product portfolio and their expected demand profile in future years, as well as a technical review of the platforms on which they are delivered. This has enabled us to determine the future roadmap for these services and  plan for possible changes to the portfolio such that we can continue to meet customers’ current and future needs.

As a result, BT has concluded that where demand levels for these products remain commercially viable, we will continue to support them on existing platforms until the end of March 2018, at which point they, unless otherwise stated in the product specific sections below, will be fully withdrawn from service. Existing product definitions and performance characteristics will therefore remain largely unchanged. Where practical, BT will withdraw products from new supply approximately two years in advance of full service withdrawal.

Where individual products are expected to reach the end of their commercially sustainable life before March 2018, BT intends to provide at least three years notification of their full withdrawal in recognition of the challenges some customers may experience with planning the migration of their critical applications.

Notes:
1TDM, in this context, is the generic term for private circuit type services typically running over “traditional” or legacy platforms such as the Digital Private Circuit Network (DPCN) or legacy Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SDH) platforms, and includes products such as Analogue, KiloStream, KiloStream N and MegaStream private circuits.

Retail Digital Services 1Mb and above (BT MegaStream)

BT has now withdrawn the MegaStream 1Mb product, and any associated commercial variants from new supply, also known as stop sell new (or SSN).

This means it’s no longer possible to order new MegaStream 1 circuits or re-site existing services. BT will, however, continue to maintain any existing circuits until this product is fully withdrawn from service. We currently expect this full withdrawal to be approximately, but no less than, two years after its SSN date (3rd December 2012) - i.e. around, but no earlier than, December 2014. Any new supply orders in the course of provision on the SSN date will be allowed to continue to completion of the order.

We will continue to support all other existing MegaStream products nationally, (at and above 2Mb) as long as it is commercially viable to do so, and subject to the availability of the relevant Partial Private Circuits (PPC) until at least March 2018, i.e. there is currently no planned withdrawal date for these services.

In addition to MegaStream 1 the following MegaStream products have previously been withdrawn from new supply:

  • MegaStream Directly Cabled
  • MegaStream 8
  • MegaStream 622.

Retail Sub 2Mb Digital Services (BT KiloStream and KiloStream N)

BT has now withdrawn the following products, and any associated commercial variants from new supply, also known as stop sell new (or SSN).

  • All KiloStream products at speeds below 48Kb (i.e. 2.4Kb, 4.8Kb, 9.6Kb and 19.6Kb) thus removing the X.21bis (V.24) interface option from the KiloStream portfolio
  • All KiloStream N speeds except 128Kb, 256Kb and 512Kb (i.e. 192Kb, 320Kb, 384Kb, 448Kb, 576Kb, 640Kb, 704Kb, 768Kb, 832Kb, 896Kb, 960Kb and 1024Kb)

This means it’s no longer possible to order new circuits or re-site existing services of these types. BT will, however, continue to maintain any existing circuits until these products are fully withdrawn from service. We currently expect this full withdrawal to be approximately, but no less than, two years after its SSN date (3rd December 2012) - i.e. around, but no earlier than, December 2014. Any new supply orders in the course of provision on the SSN date will be allowed to continue to completion of the order.

We will continue to support all other existing and currently available KiloStream and KiloStream N products (including current aggregated bearer variants) nationally, (at and above 64Kb) as long as it is commercially viable to do so, and subject to the availability of the relevant Partial Private Circuit products (PPCs) until March 2018. Services will continue to be provided on the existing access and transmission platforms therefore minimising service disruption, performance uncertainty and reactive migration planning.

In addition to the services listed above the following KiloStream products have previously been withdrawn from new supply.

  • KiloStream Assured Restore
  • KiloStream Plus
  • DealerStream 7-10

BT is not currently planning to develop directly equivalent 21CN replacement services to replace sub 2Mb digital private circuits.

National Analogue Services

We will continue to support existing analogue point to point products nationally (i.e. circuits with inter-exchange main links), as long as it is commercially viable to do so, and subject to the availability of the relevant BT copper access circuits where required, until March 2018. This means active (or amplified) products such as analogue standard {EPS 1 & 21}, analogue premier {EPS 25B} and analogue network {EPS 3N} product variants. Power feeding and line isolation facilities will also continue to be available for these services where required. These services will continue to be provided on the existing access and transmission platforms, therefore minimising service disruption, performance uncertainty and reactive migration planning. However it should be noted this timeframe does not apply to any analogue products already withdrawn from new supply.

Although no stop sell new or final withdrawal dates have been set for sales of DealerStream (1-6) Multipoint, Omnibus or other multi-terminal services it should be recognised many installations of these services also rely on the same national network as those analogue products listed above. We therefore expect likely SSN and full withdrawal dates for these DealerStream and multi-terminal services to broadly align with those for other national analogue services described in this section.

BT is not currently planning to develop directly equivalent 21CN replacement services to replace analogue private circuits.

Own Exchange Analogue Services

These services do not rely on inter-exchange transmission networks. We will continue to support Analogue Private Circuits that have both ends served from the same local exchange (own exchange circuits), as long as it is commercially viable to do so and where local BT copper access is available until at least March 2018. This includes both baseband services (indirectly wired EPS 8 & 9 services) and active (or amplified) products (analogue standard {EPS 1 & 21}, analogue premier {EPS 25B} and analogue network {EPS 3N} products). BT will also continue to provide power feed and line isolation facilities on these services where required.

Other BT Private Circuit Services

As of 3rd December BT closed CitySure and CircuitSure business continuity products to new customers. Existing customers of these services will be unaffected, and will be able to continue to reconfigure their business continuity requirements as required for as long as they continuously maintain at least one instance of either service from 3rd December 2012 onwards. Although no stop sell new or final withdrawal dates have been set for sales of CitySure and CircuitSure to existing customers it should be recognised these services offer disaster recovery backup to many services that will be fully withdrawn in March 2018.  We therefore expect likely SSN and full withdrawal dates for CitySure and CircuitSure services to broadly align with the normal point to point services protected by them.

Only specific products detailed in this document should be considered within scope of this update. All other current private circuit products and products referenced without specific dates including DealerStream, Prime, Analogue Multipoint and Analogue Omnibus products will be the subject of additional future updates as the roadmaps of these products are refined.

If you have any questions about this product update please contact your BT Account Manager.