Autumn 2017 Optical Connections Magazine


added uncertainty of Brexit. OFCOM’s attitude has opened too; the UK regulator is currently in “watching and waiting” mode; a seismic shift from its previous attitude which heralded neutrality as the only priority. Although its ocial stance has not significantly changed, a study OFCOM is due to publish on the revised EU Commission stance could change this position. Meanwhile, in the USA, the Trump administration is looking to abolish net neutrality: these days, the world’s global superpowers compete financially and America’s leaders have recognised and acted on that. If a country such as the USA abolishes net neutrality, it will pave the way towards utilising the new capabilities that software defined networking can bring – resulting in new business models and new ways of competing. SDACCESS IN ACTION ● In October 2016, Israel’s incumbent network operator Bezeq announced an initial phase, involving a suite of distribution point unit (DPU) and CPE solutions from Adtran’s’s Mosaic SD- Access portfolio. ● Australian provider Vocus Communications is also poised to deploy a range of next generation access technologies to further enable high utilisation of Vocus’ extensive

metro fiber network whilst enabling 10Gbits/s symmetrical business grade capacity. Additionally, Vocus is set to use the Adtran Mosaic Cloud Platform as an open microservices architecture providing network management and SDN control for the 10Gbps services access network. ● Announced recently, CenturyLink has deployed a field trial of Adtran’s virtualised OTL 10G-PON solution. This marks the first US deployment of a disaggregated software-defined access solution to create a more flexible, scalable and manageable access infrastructure. An ageing net neutrality policy in the UK will realise fears of being put at a competitive disadvantage, which, if Brexit does go through, will only be exacerbated by having to compete against its European neighbours instead of alongside them. That’s why I expect OFCOM’s autumn statement to either declare or project a softening of its stance on net neutrality. If both of these things happen, service providers need to stay ahead of the curve if they want to remain competitive and attractive to suitors at the point of exit; for smaller, nimbler companies for whom SD-access is far easier to implement, the argument to do so is doubly compelling.

transactions in environments such as the software defined network provide a great opportunity for start-up service providers, which can go straight to network providers for enhanced services. WHY NOW? Regulators are noticing that the potential benefits of this shift to business, and are either responding by softening their stance, or keeping their ears to the ground. At the latest FTTH Europe Conference in February, the EU Commission’s director of electronic communication networks and services, Anthony Whelan, recognised publicly that while net neutrality rules were put in place for good reason, the potential to pose an obstacle to service innovation exists. Whelan clarified that the EC wants to protect against the negative discrimination of OTT services (Over The Top content), but not at the expense of service providers’ ability to expedite new and improved services. He added that if providers are in breach (i.e. negatively discriminating against other trac flows), they will have to answer to the Commission, but over and above that, they will be allowed to apply a higher QoS as they deem fit for dierent trac flows. Of course, EU Commission rules do not automatically extend to regional territories, and for the UK there is the

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ISSUE 10 | Q3 2017

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