French ISP FREE deploys metro Ethernet broadband aggregation from Cisco to support new television-over-DSL services

December 18, 2003

2 Min Read

PARIS -- Cisco Systems announced today that FREE is deploying a multi service Gigabit Ethernet-based Broadband Aggregation architecture to support the launch of new television services over DSL to help attract and retain residential customers in France. FREE has deployed Cisco Catalyst 6500 series switches to underpin a Quality of Service-enabled video distribution network. FREE already offers up to 2 Mbit/s high-speed ADSL services as well as voice over DSL to French consumers in the 20 largest French cities, and is now launching TV services directly over DSL with a bundle combining the major French terrestrial free to air channels as well as optional subscription-based premium channels. Customers decode signals using the Freebox, an integrated ADSL set top box which connects directly to the TV, telephone and PC standard cables.

"FREE is adopting a Quality of Service-enabled approach to its core network architecture to provide the flexibility to continue to launch new services over DSL," commented Nicolas Stéfani, Backbone Architect at FREE. "In evaluating our roll out of TV services, we realized that advanced features such as Cisco Express Forwarding, Quality of Service, and IP Multicast in the Catalyst 6500 series switches would help underpin the network scalability needed to provide DVD quality TV services to large numbers of subscribers. The clear evolution option to 10 Gigabit Ethernet also provides us with a way to scale our network."

FREE selected Cisco Catalyst 6500 series switches to combine a scaleable high-speed backplane switching capacity with hardware-accelerated support for IP Multicast and for Cisco Express Forwarding, to help implement strict QoS policies. FREE is also deploying Cisco Gigabit Ethernet Interface Modules to provide Gigabit Ethernet aggregation in the Metropolitan Area Network.

"FREE's swift evolution to providing TV services over DSL to its customer base in under one year underlines the benefits of deploying a multi-service QoS-enabled core network architecture based on IP and Metro Ethernet Aggregation. With this network core, FREE has both the flexibility to add further compelling services, as well as the technical capability to scale to support larger volumes of users," said Paolo Campoli, Technology Solutions Manager at Cisco Systems EMEA. "With large volumes of customers already subscribed to high-speed broadband services, the need to manage large data volumes as well as rapidly-changing traffic patterns due to Peer-to-Peer traffic was also influential in FREE's choice."

Cisco Systems Inc.

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