How virtual unbundling could transform ISPs’ ability to offer fibre broadband

Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) is one of several connectivity options for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) with a business or consumer fibre broadband offering. Capable of delivering faster speeds than traditional ADSL, at a cost-effective price for the end-user, it’s certainly an appealing option, and one that most ISPs either offer or would like to provide to their customers.

But when it comes to deploying fibre broadband ISPs face a number of barriers, not least the need to unbundle new BT exchanges. These challenges inhibit their agility, ability to scale and customer acquisition capabilities. If ISPs are going to reach fresh markets and win more customers, a new solution is needed – and it’s that very solution that SSE Enterprise Telecoms has been hard at work developing.

The challenges of deploying fibre based broadband services

Unbundling exchanges for fibre delivery is a time consuming process with long lead times. This can have a negative impact and limit some service providers when testing new regions and attempting to reach new customers.

Cost is another common barrier, particularly since fibre broadband can’t be sold to a new customer before the exchange is unbundled. Unbundling a new exchange requires significant upfront capital investment, with an operational payment structure that can make this an expensive option overall, particularly when looking at new regions.

ISPs need a more flexible solution. With the launch of our new product, Scalefast FTTC, that alternative is finally a reality. By utilising Scalefast FTTC, the challenges discussed here can be overcome – meaning ISPs will soon be able to offer fibre connectivity to more customers, more quickly, and at a competitive price.

Scalefast FTTC: how does it work?

Scalefast FTTC can be used either by those with a current fibre broadband offering, or those who are considering launching this product. ISPs with an existing Openreach GEA FTTC service (or other services from the FTTx family) will have the ability to ‘virtually unbundle’ BT exchanges, thus gaining access to our resilient network for the backhaul service. Our network footprint is increasing, as our dedicated expansion programme, Project Edge, continues. The latest phase, Edge 3, is expected to grow our network by 132% over the next year, meaning Scalefast FTTC customers will have access to 733 exchanges, made up of 179 parent exchanges and 544 child exchanges.

As a result of virtually unbundling exchanges, providers could take customer orders within three months – a significant reduction in the time it would typically take to unbundle exchanges directly. To avoid over-routing and failovers, ISPs will also have the ability to control oversubscription, as multiple network-to-network interfaces (NNIs) can be procured.

Scalefast FTTC can also help ISPs tackle issues around spend, reducing upfront investment into the exchange as well as ongoing costs. Once live, Scalefast FTTC operates on a usage-based billing model, based on the volume of traffic passing over the customer’s NNI.

Ready to learn more?  

With the introduction of this product, SSE Enterprise Telecoms is set to alleviate many of the problems ISPs face when it comes to delivering fibre broadband services. As a result, providers can become high quality local loop unbundling (LLU) players, winning new customers and enhancing their service offering. If you’d like to know more about how Scalefast FTTC works, download our brochure now.

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