UK telecoms firm British Telecommunications (BT) has launched its Radianz Ultra Access connectivity service in Chicago. The company is also planning to roll the service out to other US cities and connect Chicago to New York, where Ultra Access has been available for two years.
Implementing Ultra Access in Chicago will grant local users sub-millisecond connectivity to the city’s trading venues. Kevin Covington, head of product and propositions at BT Global Financial Services, estimates that current connectivity networks available to the city’s traders introduce latency of around 3.5 milliseconds.
He added that the introduction of the link between New York and Chicago could shave 10 milliseconds off the current 25-33 millisecond roundtrip latency between the two cities.
“Even in the local market you are seeing a very significant difference in terms of network performance,” Covington told theTRADEnews.com. “And if you start combining that with proximity services and other initiatives, customers can get a significant benefit.”
The Ultra Access service is aimed at latency-sensitive market participants, according to Covington. “We are seeing a mixture of organisations taking this service up,” he said. “The early adopters tend to be the high-frequency hedge fund-type players, followed by the big brokers.”
According to Covington, the benefit of Ultra Access is that it is a shared infrastructure. “Whereas a number of firms might have previously connected themselves using lots of separate circuits and separate resiliency, building a spaghetti of connectivity to reach the venues, Ultra Access grants you access to venues through the same pipe,” he said. “This offers a consistent service level across connections, a better total cost of ownership and clearly defined availability.” The network has 100% availability.
Covington declined to comment on which US cities would be next to get Ultra Access, but he said that the firm could announce the next location in a couple of months. “We are also quite far down the line of being able to launch Ultra elsewhere around the world,” he added.