MCI is dominating the headlines again, beating its likely parent company, Worldcom, to a $600 million (#375 million) outsourcing deal with The Nasdaq Stock Market. This is MCI's largest outsourcing contract to date. It will develop the new communications infrastructure for Nasdaq's electronic trading network, more than doubling both speed and trading capacity. The network will handle four billion shares per day initially, scaling up to eight billion eventually. Nasdaq is the fastest growing stock market in the US and the world's largest electronic market. Its existing system almost buckled recently under the strain of a record 1.37 billion share day, and the plan is to replace it within 18 months by the Enterprise Wide Network II. The custom Intranets will use Digital Alphaservers and Cisco's 7500 series and 12000Gb Switch Routers throughout the 45Mbps network. The heart of the network is an MCI intelligent node architecture designed for secure and simultaneous data transmission to brokers. MCI will manage the network at Nasdaq's data centres in Trumbull, Connecticut, Rockville, Maryland and at MCI's own network operations centre in Cary, North Carolina. Frank Zarb, chairman, chief executive and president of the National Association of Securities Dealers, Nasdaq's parent company, commented: "We need to stay ahead of the curve and enhance our system now to handle growth well into the future."
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