The London Stock Exchange has installed a high-capacity network that will link the Exchange and its customers using Internet protocol (IP) communications technology.
The IP network, which was built by WorldCom, will provide increased technological capacity, flexibility and reach, and is the key component of the Exchange's new customer communication service, named ExtranexÔ, which will replace its current communication network.
Once the transition has been made, the Exchange's customers will have access to a range of new services. These include the RSP Gateway - an efficient centralised solution for routing messages between retail brokers and retail service providers. The Exchange also plans to roll out a secure gateway that will enable customers to use a single connection to both the Exchange and Crest, the UK electronic book entry platform.
David Lester, chief information officer at the Exchange, says: "This IP network will enable us to provide capacity for future growth in existing services as well as playing a key role in our provision of our new communication service, Extranex, which is the delivery platform for a range of new and enhanced trading, information and settlement services."
A new trading service for covered warrants is also planned which will allow retail investors to buy and sell geared products in exactly the same way as they trade equities - through their stockbroker, holding the covered warrants in Crest.
Four new information messages - Continuous Volume Weighted Average Prices, Daily Cumulative Volumes, Uncrossing Price with Volume and Enhanced Best Price information - that will satisfy the market demand for standardised, and officially badged, London Stock Exchange data, will also be established.