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NPL offers precise timing for Intercontinental Exchange data centre in Basildon, UK

New service is robust, resilient and proven to help users achieve compliance with new MiFID II regulation

NPL, the UK’s National Measurement Institute announced an agreement to offer NPLTime, a certified and precise time signal that offers trusted time, for co-location customers at Intercontinental Exchange’s (NYSE: ICE) data centre in Basildon, UK. NPLTime will also be used to provide precise time for ICE’s operations at the data centre to ensure customers’ systems are based on the same time as the Exchange.

NPLTime provides a certified precise time signal by fibre, directly traceable to UTC and independent of GPS, which is susceptible to vulnerabilities. The service provides users at ICE’s data centre with underpinning timing capability for traceable timestamping, latency monitoring and synchronisation, in compliance with MiFID II requirements. The precision of the time service also aids forensics and audit, subsequently improving the functioning of financial markets and strengthening investor protection.

The rapid expansion of computer-based high-frequency trading has increased the need for synchronisation of trading systems and traceability to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). This need is being reflected in upcoming regulations such as the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II), which takes effect on 3 January 2018, and requires financial organisations to achieve up to 100 microsecond level traceability of trading events.

Dr Leon Lobo, Strategic Business Development Manager at NPL said, “In today’s markets, timing is everything. High frequency trading represents around 30% of UK trades and 50% in the US – precise timing offers competitive advantage. Current systems rely on GPS which is vulnerable to jamming and other interferences and uses equipment that can be inaccurate. Timing issues have led to trading irregularities with the potential to disrupt markets. The new MiFID II regulation will set new standards for timing to prevent this, and organisations will be under pressure to comply. NPLTime not only helps to minimise the cost of regulatory compliance, but also helps make timing systems completely reliable and robust.”

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