Swift CEO Lenny Schrank has sought to reassure shareholders about continuity of services across the interbank network in response to user worries about the worsening financial plight of telecomms partner Global Crossing.
"Swift has implemented a range of contingencies that ensure the continuity, security, and reliability of its network offering will never be compromised," says Schrank.
The Belgian-based interbank messaging co-operative subcontracted its existing X.25 network - and responsibilty for the upgrade and operation of the next-generation Secure IP-based network (SIPN) - to Global Crossing last year. In its initial stage Global Crossing's role is to 'operate' the existing networks on behalf of Swift. In subsequent phases, Global Crossing will enhance the backbone SIPN network and, eventually, dismantle the X.25 network once all users have migrated to SIPN.
Under the agreement with Global Crossing, all FIN store and forward messaging traffic runs on the X.25 network, which continues to be managed out of Swift operations centres in US and the Netherlands.
Schrank says that the agreement with Global Crossing has contingencies for Swift to resume ownership and control of the network assets, and assume full responsibility for the X.25 service, should this be necessary. Similar statutes pertain to SIPN as well, he says.
Says Schrank: "Swift is deeply involved in its IP network design and stands ready to assume control of both its X.25 and SIPN networks, should it be required."
As part of the current contingency planning, and until the situation with Global Crossing is clarified, he adds, Swift is providing back-up lines for existing SIPN users who connect to the network indirectly via the telco's frame relay network.
Responding to current media speculation about Global Crossing, and the possibility that it may be forced to seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, Schrank comments: "We are fully confident that the contingencies we have presented guarantee 100% continuity of service should Global Crossing choose any number of restructuring alternatives."
From an operational perspective, he says the partnership is progressing to plan: "Operational service, provided by Global Crossing has been excellent."