More and more companies that provide broadband networks are claiming to offer an ‘open network’. However, what they mean by ‘open’ varies widely. That makes it difficult to determine whether the services they offer actually live up to the required standards. To clarify the matter, Lex Wils, Business Development Manager at Eurofiber, answers the nine essential questions about why open networks are important.
What is an open network exactly?
An open network means that the physical infrastructure is separate from the services that can be offered on it. In other words, other service providers can (also) use the network; the network provider opens the network up to other service providers.
Why is that so important?
Network construction involves significant investments that need to be earned back over a longer time period. In contrast, services change rapidly. That means that service providers do not have to invest in their own network, because they are able to use an established network. The money they save can be invested back into R&D and innovation. In addition, an open network means that it becomes easier to provide services to regions that are less accessible to one specific provider. This makes it possible to achieve a combination of the various network preferences in a region. An open network can provide connections to companies, mobile telephone towers, and possibly also remotely operated bridges and locks. In a closed model, a single provider has to connect a new customer’s location to the provider’s network. But if the customer switches providers, the new provider would have to build its own brand-new network connection. That approach is anything but efficient.
What is the advantage of an open network?
Freedom of choice in terms of services, price, guaranteed quality, and innovation thanks to the presence of competition. In a closed network, in which the infrastructure and the services all come from a single provider, there are no choices. If an organization decides to choose a different provider, their connection is often cut off completely first. Or they may have to pay for two separate connections until the new provider is able to hook the customer up.
Moreover, customers are dependent on whatever services the provider chooses to offer and can only select one of those specific options. The world is so much bigger than that, especially in the context of connectivity and services. In an open network, there is no need to wait until the provider finally starts investing in R&D and all the services are already available. If there are multiple service providers to choose from, supply and demand start to play a role; these market trends always have a positive impact on the services available to the customer. This is because each service provider knows that it is relatively easy for a customer to switch to their competitor. That gives the provider an incentive to ensure his services are optimal. The entire focus is on the services that provider is offering. That’s possible, too, since the provider doesn’t have to worry about extensive maintenance and management activities. That creates room for innovation.
A good network provider gives customers the option to define which level of service they need. Which one a customer chooses depends entirely on his own specific preferences and needs.
Does the customer also have freedom to choose at the infrastructure level?
A good network provider gives customers the option to define which level of service they need. For example, customers can opt for dark fiber, but they could also choose DWDM, Ethernet or IP. Which one a customer chooses depends entirely on his own specific preferences and needs.Where Marc mainly focuses on the details of the website, Sjouke focuses on the process of implementation. Sjouke: ‘The implementation project was done in a solid way, in a good and pleasant cooperation with our partner Intracto. We started with a Strategy & Concept phase last January to mutually align on, amongst others, the website tone-of-voice, layout design and web platform architecture. Followed up by a detailed design and realisation phase in four agile sprints. Intracto proved to be a knowledgeable partner for the full scope.’
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