Keeping the North-east connected

TECHNOLOGY and innovation are two things that go hand in hand.

Like rhubarb and custard, fish and chips, and Punch and Judy; technology and innovation sit side by side.

If inventors over the last 150 years hadn’t thought outside the box we wouldn’t have some of the technologies we take for granted today.

Tim Berners-Lee and the worldwide web is just one example.

In order to reach for the future we all need to look at the possibilities outwith the norm.

It is something we at Converged Communication Solutions have always striven to do since we were established in 2005.

Today we all rely on connecting to the Internet to communicate and do business.

This reliance means that we should consider our Internet connection as a utility, in the same way we treat electricity, gas and telephones.

In order to do that, consumers need to be aware of connectivity options and have access to a range of them.

One of our aims at Converged is to use our knowledge of available technologies and services to provide reliable and cost-effective network connectivity options for companies.

We are committed to providing businesses across North-east Scotland with a range of flexible internet connection options – along with telephony and IT support services – and have been investing in expanding our network.

We have become the first Scottish Internet Service Provider (ISP) to unbundle eight Openreach exchanges in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, with access to a further four via datacentres and Internet points of presence (POP).

Unbundling allows independent companies such as ours to place our own equipment in established exchanges, with direct 24-hour access.

Ultimately it means that businesses of all sizes across the North-east can access a wider range of internet connection options, offered on more flexible terms and competitively priced.

Another innovation that we are actively exploring is the establishment of the first peering point or internet exchange in North-east Scotland.

A peering point is the preferred way for traffic – e-mails, web pages and phone services – between customers of different ISPs to be exchanged between those ISPs.

The geographically closer this happens, the better the performance.

Currently, nearly all such data that is generated in the North-east is sent via a peering point in Edinburgh, or more often London, before it reaches its end destination.

That means if someone in Aberdeen is sending an e-mail to a customer in Inverurie, the e-mail may travel down to London and back north again before it reaches Inverurie.

With an Aberdeen peering exchange that e-mail would never leave the North-east, therefore speeding up the time it takes to get from A to B as it has less “distance” to travel and less “traffic” to compete with.

This is a project we are working on in conjunction with brightsolid and LINX – the London Internet Exchange – and something about which we would like to hear the views of Business Bulletin readers.

The internet has become an intrinsic part of our lives, and whether we like it or not that won’t diminish going forward.

Therefore, by arming local businesses with tools that can reduce costs, improve connection speeds and increase efficiencies, we can help support the North-east economy to grow stronger.