Plans by BT to migrate 350,000 customers in South Wales to its 21st Century Network (21CN), have fallen well short of expectations, writes the Western Mail. On announcing that Cardiff and a number of other locations in South Wales would be the first in the UK to migrate to the new IP-based network back in 2005, BT said 350,000 customers would be connected by the end of 2007. However, only a small fraction of that number are currently connected to the new network. BT has said that while it is still committed to its 21CN roll out, it has shifted emphasis to the delivery of new services to customers. A BT spokesman declined to reveal the exact number of customers, both households and businesses, currently on the new network in South Wales, although it is understood to be fewer than 10,000.
On the change in emphasis to the 21CN project in South Wales the company said in a statement, ‘BT is the first telco in the world to undertake a pioneering project of this type and we are learning all the time. As we moved forward with the programme, it became clear that there was a better way to best meet the needs of our customers than the original ‘mass migration’ plans. The new approach agreed with the industry involves us prioritising the delivery of new services, such as Ethernet and next generation broadband, ahead of migrating existing services. This ensures that the new services become available as quickly as possible.’