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Q&A: Cogeco Data Services’ Virginia Brailey on Low Latency North of the Border

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When it comes to low-latency hot spots, it’s not all about NYC, and not even just about the US. Our neighbors to the north have plenty going on too in terms of electronic exchanges and new marketplaces. And there are local vendors, such a Cogeco Data Services. IntelligentTradingTechnology.com talked to Virginia Brailey, vice president, marketing and communications, at the company to find out more about the business need and the technology response up north.

Q: Can you describe what Cogeco Data Services does that would be relevant to our low-latency community?

A: Cogeco Data Services provides a range of business communication solutions to both public sector and private organizations, including some of Canada’s leading financial institutions such as the TMX Group and the TD Financial Group.

Over $892 billion in assets are managed and administered by banks and investment companies using the Cogeco Data Services all optical, standards-based network.

Q: For those who are not familiar with the Canadian financial landscape, can you give a quick overview of the major markets, what is hot, and what is driving the need for low-latency services?

A: Cogeco Data Services is not a financial services company, but as a provider of business communications solutions to many of Canada’s leading financial institutions, we have noticed positive growth across the entire Canadian market. In our opinion, this growth coupled with the increase in HFTs has resulted in a greater demand for low-latency services.

Q: What key exchanges, ATSs and proximity centres does your network have POPs in?

A: Cogeco Data Services has network presence in both the primary and secondary sites of the TMX Group (TSX, NGX, Montreal Exchange, TSX Venture Exchange, Shorcan), Alpha ATS, CHI-X Canada and in the primary sites of Pure Trading and Omega ATS.

Q: What are your key products/services that financial markets customers are buying and evaluating? For what needs?

A: In our experience, financial market customers – particularly high frequency traders – are currently purchasing and evaluating low latency products including Native Ethernet and DWDM services for connectivity to key exchanges.

Q: What technology/networking companies do you partner with to provide those services?

A: The Cogeco Data all optical network, including all last mile access points, is wholly-owned by Cogeco Data Services. The CDS Native Ethernet network is built using Cisco 76XX switches and the company’s DWDM network utilises Fujitsu Flashwave switches.

Cogeco Data Services also owns and operates its own state of the art Co-location facility located outside of Toronto’s downtown core.

Q: What are your customers telling you about their needs, in terms of latency and bandwidth and other performance metrics. What do they need now, and what are they suggesting they’ll need in the future?

A: Cogeco Data Services customers have indicated that low latency connections and network reliability are the most important aspect of the services they require. In some cases, 100% diversity to different venues is also required.

As a result of the technology used within the CDS network, Cogeco Data is well suited to meet these requirements and backs them with industry leading SLAs including 99.999% core network availability and a three hour time to restore.

Q: And where do you see Cogeco heading in 2011, and beyond?

A: Over the coming year, Cogeco Data Services will continue to grow its networkfootprint and the company will launch National IPVPN, Managed Ethernet and Voice Services to compliment its current suite of offerings.

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