Posts Tagged 'wholesale ADSL2+'

Leased line services on copper?

Over at FD Wholesale, we’ve been doing some trials in our R&D department bonding Annex M tails together and we’ve been able to get throughput normally associated with leased lines. We’re roughly 1.5Km from our local exchange, and when bonding 2 lines, the total sync rate was 26.7Mbps down and 4Mbps up. When we bonded 4 lines, we obtained 56Mbps down and 8Mbps up.

The applications for this are wide ranging. Consider having a client who lives 5Km+ from their local exchange. 1 DSL would offer them little throughput to sustain a number of users. Aggregate 2 or 3 together and suddenly they can start to look at IP applications that may improve business processes such as SIP or Video conferencing. Another example may be where a client can’t gain wayleave agreement to obtain a fibre run. In this instance, they can have a bonded Annex M service offeirng up to 80Mbps down and 10Mbps up. Obviously these are headline speeds and are dependant on quality of copper and line length, but in all but the worst circumstances, a bonded Annex M service can start to become a compelling alternative to EFM or FTTC. Using the BE network, this is also available immediately, nationwide. No waiting for 2012 to have a coverage of c.300 exchanges.

Currently this is something that all our channel partners are utilising, as it gives them a cost effective alternative to a leased line. Based on the Cisco proprietory protocol, traditionally the stumbling point has been the high initial price point associated with the routers. However, we’ve been conducting some trials with a manufacturer called Virtual Access using their GW7000 boxes, and they’ve been very successful in terms of throughput and stability. However, even more compelling is the fact that they lower the initial price point of the solution to sub £500.

Personally I feel that bonding Annex M tails, at the core is a lot more resilinet solution than trying to aggregate them at the client end, using an external aggregator, as it means that there is little overhead, lower packet loss and less latency. In my opinion, the main thing to take away from this is that even though fibre will still have it’s uses, the applications for DSL are ever increasing. Whereby traditionally a leased line was the only method available to provide large amounts of throughput, the landscape is ever changing to incorporate DSL.

What people want

So far, our new wholesale department has been receiving a lot of publicity in relavant publications. This has resulted in a lot of enquiries from other ISP’s looking to have access to Be’s AnnexM services. A number of interesting converastions have been had with various commercial and technical bods, as to the level of service they require for this to fit into their portfolio, and as such, it’s been extremely interesting for me to see what people really want from their carrier.

Having been on the other side of the fence for so long, it’s nice to see how some of these requirements mirror my own image of how a carrier should provide a service. Features such as full visibility and control of the DSLAM for diagnostic purposes shouldn’t only be provided to ‘premier’ partners, but instead should be made available to every partner. Having access to a UK based support team that talk ‘your language’ (instead of the language of BS…) should also be something that is prevalent. Having to raise a ticket and wait for up to 4 hours for a response stating that “our enquiry has been received” in this day and age is not how ANY company should operate. Let alone someone in telecomms.

It’s also interesting to understand how partner’s envisage their client’s usage, and how their requirements change appropriately. For clients who want to provide a redundant tail for resiliency to sit alongside a BT circuit, the fact that there are no ongoing monthly management costs and no central pipe charges sits well with them, as it can offer full visibility of ongoing costs for frugal finance teams . For clients who have a large voice estate, the amount of bandwidth afforded helps them to provide a large number of channels to their client base. For clients who use these within a bonded platform, the ability to look at live DSLAM stats, see error seconds and turn off interleaving means that you can obtain the best performance for your platform.

There are going to be requirements that the channel does not meet. However, in these instances, it is important to keep the lines of communication open between partner and carrier, so that any feedback that is obtained, is seen to be acted upon. This is exactly how I would want to be treated as a partner, and hopefully is the level of service our partners will come to expect as the norm in their dealings with us.


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