Last mile connection infrastructure

The "last mile" connection infrastructure, between the NRO and the end customer site, concentrates the structural characteristics that determine the final performance and guarantees mentioned in the contracts. The possible configurations can be summarised as follows:

Prioritisation of flows within a backbone

Focus on the different characteristics of fibre optic offers

The priority of data routing within the backbone can be decided independently of the category downstream of the infrastructure (FTTO, FTTE, FTTH...).

In the case of a dedicated optical fibre between the backbone and the NRO (FTTO), several prioritisation modes are possible. The priority flow is a standard FTTO offering a symmetrical and guaranteed flow, while the non-priority flow is a FTTO light. The latter is called FTTO access, bulk, basic or burst according to the commercial names of the operators. Its price is lower, despite the fact that its SLAs are equivalent to those of standard FTTO, with the exception of the non-priority flow, which is not guaranteed.

Prioritisation can be effective on different perimeters: voice, television, data, etc.

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BLOD and BLOM

Shared and dedicated local loops, respectively BLOM and BLOD, refer to passive infrastructure networks allowing the connection of users (individual or professional). The BLOM has a shared optical fibre between the NRO and the PM, while the BLOD has a dedicated fibre.

BLOM

From the point of sharing, the BLOM can remain shared and is associated with FTTH services, serving individual homes or buildings. The associated quality of service offers only a GTI (guaranteed response time), and no GTR (guaranteed recovery time).

If the optical fibre becomes dedicated from the pooling point, it is associated with the FTTE service, intended for professionals or small businesses. The quality of service is better than FTTH, thanks to a GTR.

The BLOD

As the optical fibre is dedicated from the NRO to the PM and up to the end customer, the quality of service associated with this FTTO offer is higher: it includes a GTR, a symmetrical throughput, and potentially a throughput guarantee depending on the prioritisation of upstream flows.

What role for SLAs (service level agreements)?

Unless a specific option is subscribed to, FTTH generally offers little commitment to quality of service, whether in terms of guaranteed speed, guaranteed recovery time or intervention. The speed indicated when subscribing to FTTH corresponds to the maximum downstream speed. It is asymmetrical, which means that the upload speed is lower.

FTTE implies little or no commitment to quality of service, except for certain infrastructure operators who offer SLAs identical to FTTO. The GTR is often of the order of D+1. Weak QoS commitments exist in terms of ITSM and maximum service interruption (MSI).

In contrast, FTTO is characterised by high quality of service commitments. The data rate indicated is generally guaranteed, which means that the subscribed data rate corresponds to the actual value available. It is symmetrical, i.e. of equal level whether it is up or down. The standard GTR is 4 hours on working days, and can often be extended to 4 hours 24/7. In the event of non-compliance with these commitments, penalties are applicable by the operator. These are usually expressed as a percentage of the monthly payment due.

Proposal for labelling of commercial offers

It is difficult to put forward clear and precise commercial offers with this multitude of distinctions relating to data collection technologies, routing and guarantee levels. The specificity of the information architecture must be reflected in the commercial name so that the end consumer (business or individual) knows what level of service to expect. Alternative telecom operators in particular suffer from this lack of clarity, due to the difficulty of explaining simply and clearly the nuances compared to the competition.

This is why Netwo proposes an additional label, with an additional notion that accompanies the name of the commercial offer.

Identification of market offers and proposal for labelling:


Conclusion

The continuity of operations and the quality of service to the end customer therefore depend on a succession of structural choices. Beyond the simple will of a player, it is a question of controlling the network infrastructure and the choices applied to it from end to end. The "Infrastructure" perimeter (between the infrastructure operator's network and the NRO), the "Aggregation" perimeter (from a point on the infrastructure to the routers in charge of service production) and the "Service" perimeter (from the service routers to the interconnections allowing access to third-party service providers) are all areas in which a bottleneck can occur and limit service quality. As an aggregation player, Netwo has invested heavily in the design of its backbone to ensure that it meets expectations.

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