Broadband Communities

MAR-APR 2015

BROADBAND COMMUNITIES is the leading source of information on digital and broadband technologies for buildings and communities. Our editorial aims to accelerate the deployment of Fiber-To-The-Home and Fiber-To-The-Premises.

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MARCH/APRIL 2015 | | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | 27 physical network from the services carried over that network. People have become so used to having the network and service provided by the same company that it is sometimes a struggle to remember that that approach is only an artifact of very old technology. Te copper twisted pair deployed for phone service was capable of delivering only one thing: voice phone calls. Copper coaxial cable was capable of delivering only TV content. Te development of high- performance fber and wireless network technology and the concurrent development of Internet (TCP/IP) protocols made building a separate network for each service unnecessary. Voice, Internet and video – along with many other kinds of services – can be carried over a single, high-performance network. In fact, building a separate network for each service provider is no longer necessary. A modern fber or wireless network can easily transport the services many diferent providers ofer; buyers can pick and choose the services they want based on the cost and quality of each service. Open-access networks unbundle transport of the services from the services themselves. Te network owner/operator is not a service provider. Instead, the network owner/operator function needs a new term: "local transport provider." Note that although the term "local transport provider" functionally includes both the owner role and the operator role, the owner could outsource operations – but from the customer and service provider perspective, the local transport provider includes both the owner and the operator. Why a new term? It eliminates the confusion between what a service provider does in an open-access network and what the owner/operator does. I have made lengthy presentations to service providers about how an open-access network represents an opportunity for them, and at the end of each presentation, the very frst comment is frequently, "So the network is going to compete with me." Again, this arises from the entrenched, vertically integrated business model in which the network owner is a service provider. DEFINING THE LOCAL TRANSPORT PROVIDER ROLE Identifying the owner/operator role formally as the local transport provider solves two problems. Te frst problem it solves is that it diferentiates between the open-access business model and the role of the owner/operator. "Local transport provider" accurately describes what the owner/operator does and clearly diferentiates the owner/operator from the service provider. An LTP delivers the data trafc of service providers from a common provider meet point on the network to a customer purchasing the service. Second, defning the role of the local transport provider helps clarify the fve parts of a modern open-access network: • Network infrastructure • Local transport provider • Service providers • Services • Customers. Te network infrastructure is required to deliver services from service providers to customers. Te local transport provider A local transport provider delivers the data trafc of service providers from a common provider meet point on the network to a customer purchasing the service.

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