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UPDATE Openreach Dark Fibre – New OSA Filter Connect Product for ISPs

Wednesday, October 18th, 2017 (11:41 am) - Score 4,378
fibre optic cable strands

Openreach has today advised us about the forthcoming launch of their new Optical Spectrum Access (OSA) product for ISPs (OSA Filter Connect), which appears to be a Dark Fibre style solution that has been designed to address many of the perceived failings of a “one-size fits all” regulated product.

Openreach were originally due to launch an Ofcom proposed Dark Fibre Access (DFA) product this year, which would have allowed rival UK ISPs to gain “physical access” to the operator’s existing fibre optic cables (i.e. enabling them to install their own equipment at either end of the fibre within cable ducts). But this plan was cancelled after BT won a legal challenge against the incorrect market definitions that Ofcom had adopted (here).

The news was greeted positively by major infrastructure builders, such as Openreach, Virgin Media, Cityfibre and Zayo, many of which feared that DFA would discourage operators from investing to build their own fibre optic networks. On the flip side a number of ISPs that had already planned to use DFA in order to boost their broadband and Ethernet networks were left disappointed (e.g. TalkTalk, SSE Telecoms).

Since then Openreach says they’ve been reviewing their product portfolio and consulting with other Communication Providers (e.g. ISPs) in order to better understand their Very High Bandwidth (VHB) connectivity requirements, which appears to have resulted in the creation of their new OSA Filter Connect product that aims to “give CPs scalability in the future at a competitive price“.

The proposal for OSA Filter Connect is for the operator to extend their current OSA portfolio to offer a new solution whereby ISPs can connect their own active equipment alongside Openreach managed wavelengths on a common OSA bearer (this seems like kind of a virtual fibre solution).

osa filter connect

Openreach has today launched a new consultation document on the OSA FSP3000 service and this will run for one month until 18th November 2017. After that the operator will aim to publish a final outcome by the end of December 2017, which could result in their proposed OSA product enhancements being launched during Q1 2018/19. ISPs should be able to get more details here.

Openreach – OSA Filter Connect’s Claimed Benefits

· Competitive high bandwidth pricing

· Low incremental scaling costs

· Flexible and configurable services that allow CP control

· Ability to support fast evolving technology (e.g. synchronisation)

· Space and power efficiency

· Speed to market

UPDATE 1:22pm

It’s a bit too early to know what the final pricing for OSA Filter Connect will end up being, although we understand that it will be priced similar to a base OSA FSP3000 10Gbps configuration. As an indication, this would lead to a range of £12,233 to £15,550 +vat for the connection (one-off) and £6,275 to £7,485 for rental.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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