Abica in vanguard of broadband revolution

TELECOMS firm Abica is set for a £1 million-plus boost to revenues as it launches a next-generation broadband system that promises to "revolutionise the way Scotland does business".

The Glasgow-based company is rolling out the new "fibre to the cabinet" (FTTC) product in partnership with BT and has already entered into a trial phase that will involve about 20 firms using the system.

FTTC is an advanced fibre optic technology designed to replace the traditional copper-based connection between local telephone exchanges and road-side cabinets. Its backers claim the system will "radically alter" data transfer and allow download speeds of 60 megabits per second – more than seven times quicker than a typical 8Mbps connection – while speeding upload times tenfold.

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The trials are set to run until the end of March. Within a year of the full launch, Abica hopes to have 1,000 Scottish companies accessing the system – business worth in excess of 1.2 million a year in revenues.

David Munro, joint managing director at Abica, said: "FTTC will make a transformational difference to the way business communicates and how people network.

"It will allow us to create wide area networks which will permit companies with geographically separate divisions to allow all their computers to talk to each other."

The move follows Abica's appointment to run the first trial in Scotland of BT's 3 billion roll-out of faster internet services.

Speaking at the recent Scottish Chambers of Commerce annual dinner, Chambers chairman Mike Salter said improving broadband access was vital to prosperity.

"The digital network and access to broadband is now essential," he said. "We must encourage not only the increase in speed and bandwidth of the network, but the spread of the network to allow 100 per cent coverage of broadband throughout the country."

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