BT is piloting gigabit routers at its facilities in BT Tower, London, and Martelsham.
The company said it expects to install gigabit routers into its core network in the near future, but gave no specific timeframe.
Gigabit routers speed up the functions of routers on the network and should improve the efficiency of the network devices. However, they don't necessarily make the network run quicker - network speed is increased by advances in the fibre.
Four gigabit routers are running in the trials, two each at BT Tower, and BT's research labs in Martlesham. Traffic for the pilot is being sourced from the Tower and distributed to 800 users at Martlesham.
Services tested using the devices include business television, audio and video conferencing. The routers will be tested for reliability and stability in large IP networks.
Said Dave Hughes, manager of BT's Internet and IP services, "The Internet is evolving rapidly as a serious business tool with the results that traffic is more than doubling every year. New applications including video, multimedia, and ecommerce will continue to drive this trend."
BT is testing the Cisco GSR 12000, the Lucent Packetstar 6400 and the Juniper M40, which is supplied by Ericsson.
The telecoms giant is currently spending #800 million souping up its core transmission network to bring its business and residential subscribers into the multimedia age.
BT is installing synchronous digital hierachy (SDH) equipment on its existing infrastructure to enable the network to transmit data at up to 124Gbps.
Earlier this week, BT switched on BeTaNet, an advanced IP and multimedia network that uses SDH and dense wave division multiplexing technology. Services using the BeTaNet network, which interworks with BT's conventional telephone network, are expected in the next two months.
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