Friday, 6 July 2012

Is this the first FTTC / GEA / Etherway?

Some of you may have heard these terms before... To elaborate :-

Etherway is a term for the end point access technology for BT plc's Ethernet services (t/a BT Wholesale). It allows various "layer 2" (i.e. Ethernet) wide area connectivity services. Etherway is the end point access technology, and can be FTTC, fibre, EFM (Copper) and all sorts. Etherflow is the point to point layer 2 (Ethernet) connectivity. Can be point to multi-point and all sorts, but we do VLAN tag one end to VLAN tag other end (or untagged if only one) layer 2 Ethernet services using this and connect people to other sites and/or the Internet.

Mostly Ethernet services are long lead time and expensive. Often they involve digging and extra cost. But FTTC is a new way to connect at the end user and quicker, cheaper, and simpler.

Basically, BT plc do GEA (Generic Ethernet Access) to allow telcos, such as, well BT plc, to connect to services such as FTTC and FTTP with a VLAN tagged Ethernet service in the exchange and connecting to end users using Fibre To The Cabinet (FTTC) or Premises (FTTP) services. It works well for normal broadband.

The service of GEA Etherways allows a layer 2 (Ethernet) end to end service from an end user on an FTTC line (with BT plc supplied modem) to connect to us in the data centre.

It is new. Up until now they have used copper (EFM) and Fibre (EAD) services to the exchange. They worked, but are expensive. The FTTC/FTTP (GEA) is new. And, on top of that, it sounds like we (AAISP) may be the first to try it! I have to say that I am not surprised.

Now, we have a very understanding customer (Tim, in Basingrad) who is trying this.

Seems that there may be some source filtering which is stopping any IPv6, and stopping all IPv4 unless DHCP allocated IPs. My guess is PPPoE would work. But it is far from right, and our friends in BT plc are struggling to make it work.

Fingers crossed they sort this as it is a very cool product - proper IP over some sensible connectivity with no BRAS in the way. Proper (all you can eat pricing) Internet for businesses. So thanks a lot to Tim for putting up with being the first - we'll see him right on this.

11 comments:

  1. I was trying to talk $work into getting this installed.. somewhat glad I didn't now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am sure it will all be sorted soon and will be awesome.

      Delete
  2. I'm sure it will get resolved one way or another. It is a cool product, and one that I'm sure will find a good market. I'm just geeling the pain of being the pioneer on this one. Well, someone has to !

    ReplyDelete
  3. Despite gr0mit and AA-* people explaining it to me, I still have a mental block on exactly how it's charged - too many TLAs and no one single "This is how much it costs" table as far as I can see.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OK, if you can get it, you put the phone number in our Ethernet quoting tool on the web site, put the speed you want, and it says the price :-) But sales can go through it in more detail if you need.

      Delete
    2. This is what is confusing me... Surely if it's based on FTTC and if it's available to us, the costs should be the same for me in John O'Groats and Fred in Land's End?

      If that's not the case, why not?

      If it is the case, why should I have to put my number in - why can't there just be a simple table showing installation and running costs - exactly what you do for 'normal' xDSL?

      Delete
    3. Err, the cost of the FTTC will be the same, yes, of course. However the back-haul across the country will depend on the distance just like the rest of the Ethernet services. On top of that the phone number is needed to check availability of the FTTC part and check which exchange to confirm if the back-haul is available at that exchange yet (slowly rolling out).

      Delete
    4. OK, so based on the distance of what to and from where?

      Delete
    5. I suspect routing is a factor, not just distance, but from exchange that has FTTC for customer to exchange that has handover to us. We have two endpoints available, but normally quote for Telehouse.

      Delete
  4. Thanks for this post. I was getting authorisation to order 5Mb etherway for a customer as they need more upload, but Samknows says they are getting FTTC in 2 months and they are close to the exchange...
    I think we'll wait... :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Note that this requires not only FTTC covering your line, but also the necessary Etherflow back-haul at the exchange and the exchange to have been set up for GEA (FTTC) address to Ethernet services (being rolled out). So simply FTTC may not mean this is available yet.

      Delete