Virtual network operator Sirocom has made a dive for the expanding virtual private network market by offering a flexible IP-over-Ethernet service across the UK that could allow companies to expand or contract their bandwidth requirements as needed.

The new service is designed to allow companies to buy extra capacity as and when they need it and starts at a low 2Mbit/s all the way up to 100Mbit/s. The company said that it could provide extra capacity within 48 hours and the costs were very competitive. Simon Rogan, the company’s managing director said it was difficult to say exactly how much the service would cost but said that a 10Mbit/s service would cost about £40,000 and a further £18,000 for each subsequent 10Mbit/s. He stressed that companies upgrading to a higher bandwidth for a temporary period would only be charged for the days that the bandwidth was connected.

Despite its claim to be a virtual network operator, Sirocom is acting as a reseller for BT’s Net100 service. It does not know however who exactly the service is aimed at, with a spokeswoman telling us the company was broadly appealing to any and all large corporates and SMEs.

The idea is that companies that wish to upgrade their network for new applications such as new storage networks, or to connect different sites across the UK or world, will view Sirocom as a good, fast way of getting the capacity. The service is available from 118 access points, which cover 95 per cent of the UK, we were told.

The company CTO David Macfarlane had this to say: "Customers can now take delivery of a truly scaleable bandwidth service, offering them the opportunity to simplify their networks, consolidate storage and application servers and cost effectively collapse their networks into a truly converged infrastructure.”

Camille Mendler of the Yankee Group was also on hand to offer some words of wisdom: "Ethernet-based services offer a demonstrable return on investment for enterprises juggling complex and changing communications needs. Combined with VPN functionality, Sirocom's service also provides security features without compromise to the extended enterprise."

So there you have it.