A clear growth path for HighNet


Established in 1994, HighNet is one of the fastest growing Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the U.K., managing over 17,000 business lines and billing over 70,000,000 minutes a year.

With an extensive product range - from unified communications (UC) through broadband and data services, and everything in between - HighNet built and launched its own ISP network in 2012 to provide the best possible Internet access and data centre capacity for its customers and partners.


HighNet was at an inflection point: it needed to continue to serve current customers with the same degree of quality of service, whilst at the same time expanding the network to accommodate the rapid growth in customer demand it was experiencing.

Whatever path HighNet chose to upgrade its current network, it wanted a future-proof design that could not only accommodate increases in bandwidth demand, but also increased use of cloud services and ‘big data’ analytics.

Achieving this required a solution with greater capacity and improved performance that also leveraged new technologies such as Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV).
HighNet needed a partner with extensive Juniper Networks experience, a successful track record of designing and deploying networks, and high quality engineering, professional services and project management support. As a Juniper Elite Partner, Alternative was perfectly positioned to meet HighNet’s needs, and to provide a clear, simple and investment-protecting evolutionary path to even greater network scale and performance.

Business Requirements

  • Create a full 10GB optical core to improve network scale and performance.
  • Utilise Juniper Networks® EX Series Ethernet Switches and SRX Series Services Gateways at independent data centre Points of Presence (PoPs) to cope with high data volumes, provide redundancy, and keep customers connected and their data backed-up.

Business Outcomes

  • Completely replace legacy Cisco routers with Juniper Networks® MX480 and MX104 3D Universal Edge Routers, underpinned by Junos® OS, Juniper’s single operating system.
  • Prior to the upgrade, Cisco routers in London and Manchester were working at nearly 80 percent CPU load; the new MX Series 3D routers experienced CPU load peaks of less than 20 percent.
  • Memory usage on the legacy Cisco routers was also at nearly 80 percent load, and are now at 15 percent on the new MX Series 3D routers.
  • The MX Series 3D routers have considerably greater capacity for establishing peering routes and reducing the volume of traffic sent across IP Transit than the legacy Cisco routers they replaced. Consequently, Highnet has been able to increase peered traffic by 20 percent, which improves the customer experience and also reduces costs.

Throughout the planning and deployment of the new infrastructure, Alternative’s technical expertise was vital, and their willingness to support us in out-of-hours work made a huge difference.  Having their technical lead working on-site with our NOC team during the preparatory phases ensured that we had the most productive and efficient knowledge transfer, and the engagement of Alternative’s entire technical team has been excellent.  We now have the high-capacity, future-proof network that we need to make our growth plans a reality.

David Alldritt, Technology & Innovation Director, HighNet


HighNet supplies a wide range of communications products and services to businesses across the UK through its network of dedicated channel partners. Its extensive product range includes fixed IP and hosted telephony, broadband and data, mobile services and unified communications.

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