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Openreach Trial Fibre Infrastructure Pre-build with Comms Providers

Tuesday, January 15th, 2019 (8:34 am) - Score 3,994
fibre optic cables bt engineer hands

Openreach (BT) is to trial a new UK Fibre Infrastructure Pre-Build product for Communication Providers (ISPs etc.), which a briefing says will “allow them to start the fibre infrastructure build in parallel to their own site or network readiness.”

The new solution appears to be based off the existing Network In Advance product. NIA supports the delivery of connectivity to sites in locations which are “remote from existing fibre network or that present additional route challenges in reaching the siteIt’s a project managed service where the [providers] can request that Openreach build off-site network (duct infrastructure and fibre delivery) in advance of placing a formal product order.”

The advantage of NIA, which was launched in June 2017 at a cost of £1,750, is that it allows providers to remove from the projects’ critical path, the delays associated with finalising the site design and wayleaves (land/building access agreements) and so “de-risk the overall delivery“. But in order to take NIA the site has to be of a certain size (e.g. must have more than 100m of duct and / or 1000m of cabling).

By comparison we understand that the new trial will focus on offering a cheaper NIA type product (likely to be around the £1,000 mark) that can be used where only minimal fibre build is required, which will be called NIA – Simple. Naturally any communications provider that takes such a solution will follow it by later ordering one of Openreach’s Ethernet (EAD) or other fibre optic (OSA) data services.

The trial is due to begin in February 2019 and run for three months. At present this is still all about learning and testing, with the usual caveat being that the final solution may change; assuming there’s enough industry appetite for it to be turned into a product.

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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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6 Responses
  1. Avatar Tim

    Where would this product be used? Hyperoptic ordering in readyness to connect a new build tower block? I’m assuming no use for rural projects?

  2. Avatar AnotherTim

    Well I fit the “remote from existing fibre network…” part – the nearest FTTP node is 11 miles away, but I also have clear ducts and fibre running 20m from my house, so there wouldn’t be any ducting to build. All I need now is an ISP that is interested in providing a service…
    I think this is probably intended for “profitable” urban areas where Openreach want to provide a way for ISPs to get in before the non-Openreach FTTP builds get there.

  3. Avatar Jim Weir

    This product and its original NIA isnt for housing estates or specifically for single residential properties.

    It is intended to allow CP’s to pre order the civils and fibre for a planned future deployment of a EAD circuit or similar. A good example would be MNO’s planning a new mast site within say 100 acres but the exact location isn’t agreed. Ordering an NIA gets the fibre nearly there so once the final position is agreed the EAD tail can be ordered and delivered to the exact location without a long leadtime.

    Likewise altnets who use EAD for backhaul can use NIA to order a build to a village before agreeing where their cabinet or host site is to be located.

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