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.