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SSE Enterprise Telecoms New Network Offers 100Gbps to BT Exchanges

Tuesday, Jun 26th, 2018 (11:38 am) - Score 4,766

Comms provider SSE Enterprise Telecoms has today introduced a new technology platform with Infinera, which harnesses the XTM series for metro fibre optic networks and claims to create a “credible UK alternative to costly new cable laying projects” by offering a resilient “dark fibre-like” network to businesses.

The XTM Series is Infinera’s metro packet-optical platform that encompasses Layer 0 WDM and Layer 1 Optical Transport Network (OTN) networking and Layer 2 Ethernet and Layer 2.5 multi-protocol label switching – transport profile (MPLS-TP) networking in one system.

The new network promises access to multiple services with speeds of up to 100Gbps (Gigabits per second) to each BT exchange and connectivity to more than 80 commercial data centres across the United Kingdom.

Conrad Mallon, Chief Technical Architect of SSE Enterprise Telecoms, said:

“We’re working with Infinera because they have an elegant product set that scales effectively, and a unique approach to layer 1 and 2 connectivity. A network project on this scale makes us one of the few providers that can offer multiples of 100Gbps services between exchanges, commercial data centres and across our core, at an accessible price point.

The network expansion deal is also paving the way for our ambitious roadmap which will see SSE Enterprise Telecoms investing more in network reach over the next five years.”

The operator sees their new platform as being a response to Ofcom’s failure to get a new Dark Fibre Access (DFA) product introduced via Openreach’s (BT) national network (here), which would have enabled rival 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).

Ofcom’s first attempt at DFA was rejected after a legal challenge by BT, which resulted in the regulator’s market definitions being ruled “incorrect” (here and here). In addition, infrastructure builders such Virgin Media, Cityfibre and Zayo all warned that DFA could discourage investment in the construction of new fibre optic networks.

The regulator now intends to have another bash at DFA in their forthcoming Business Connectivity Review. In the meantime Openreach has recently launched their new OSA Filter Connect product, which is also a kind of virtual (grey) dark fibre style solution (here).

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 X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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7 Responses
  1. Avatar photo AnotherTim says:

    I suppose when the report says “each” exchange it doesn’t mean “every” exchange? I assume this will benefit just the large exchanges in heavily populated areas?

    1. Avatar photo Jackal says:

      Probably. Not a huge call for 100Gb to exchanges in sparsely populated areas.

    2. Avatar photo AnotherTim says:

      Well, 100Gbps might be slight overkill, but my exchange could do with some sort of network connection. BT Business refused to quote for a leased line, as they said the nearest available aggregation node was 11 miles away, and the ECC would be ridiculous. The best they could offer was 4 bonded ADSL lines (for quite a lot per month).

    3. Avatar photo Mike says:

      Can you get 4G or VDSL?

    4. Avatar photo AnotherTim says:

      Since last year I have been able to get reasonable 4G, so I’m currently load-balancing ADSL and 4G. ADSL gives a fixed IP address, 4G gives a bit of speed. It isn’t ideal as latency is very variable, as is the 4G speed, and the cost is quite high. I have an EO line, so no VDSL ever.

  2. Avatar photo Bob says:

    One of the problems is that many BT exchanges are children of another exchange and you cannot get direct/dark connectivity to the child exchange even in LLU. There is some weirdness for these exchanges. Offering an SDN approach for LLU operators is great but how deep does it go into the network?

  3. Avatar photo Conrad Mallon says:

    It is our intention that any new exchanges we unbundle will benefit from the Infinera technology. This will give us the capability to offer 100G, 10G and GigE services over lambda that can support 100G or 200G payloads from day one. Exchanges will be decided based on customer demand, including upgrading our existing exchanges.

Comments are closed

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