Traditional open access networks lack sufficient automation and software control to enable a dynamic marketplace.
As local authorities consider the importance of communications infrastructure and services to the future vitality of the community, it is critical to carefully consider the implications of having incumbent carriers control both the communications infrastructure and services. As communities across the UK plan for the digital future, the same model that is used for roads should be adopted for communications.
"Open Access" is the name for the communications model where any Service Provider is allowed to deliver services over open infrastructure. Whilst this approach has been implemented in various forms by established players and altnets in the UK, provisioning models are flawed in terms of sufficient automation and software control to enable a dynamic marketplace, alongside restrictive commercial models for passive [fibre] infrastructure ownership.
The ideal open access implementation is one which creates an open marketplace with many services and is not just a marketplace for Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Ebay and Amazon are examples of digital marketplaces where buyers and sellers can dynamically interact to exchange a wide variety of goods and services.
Creates an ecosystem based on a marketplace for investors in infrastructure and technology based on Service Providers offering applications and services across multiple sector markets.
In a robust digital marketplace, Service Providers should be able to self-provision their services onto the network without significant time or expense. Subscribers should find competitive options for the things they want to buy and the marketplace provisioning portals should be web-based and easy to navigate. Services should be available on-demand with self-service automation and pay-as-you-go pricing models. A true digital markeplace will grant anytime-anywhere-any-device access.
This next generation digital marketplace must provide the level of security, privacy and reliability needed for many services and applications, and equally important, support the necessary high bandwidth, resilience and low latency requirements.
The ideal infrastructure provider for this next generation marketplace is one that will work with local authorities to ensure the network is truly open – many of the solutions that will run in this marketplace are essential for communities to be vibrant. The transport to these cloud-based services will happen across virtualised private networks.
Our open access network and unified partnership approach allows multiple fibre owners to co-exist in the same location, including fibre owned by the Local Authority. It does not exclude new entry fibre owners or vertically integrated operators, but encourages new entrants to embrace dynamic open access for mutual benefit. A variety of Service Providers can use the network, from ISPs to ASPs, to OTT providers. The applications, even if device-dependent, can co-exist on the same fibre, in for example, a citizen’s home.