What is an Open Access Network?
An Open Access Network is a business model where a network owner provides and operates the physical infrastructure of a broadband network which independent service providers then use to offer services to consumers. It is a single, high-performance network shared both by all service providers which then deliver services to business and residential users. It is, essentially, a high-performance digital road system. Just as a single unified road system is shared by all the cars and trucks using the road, an open access network shares transport in the same way. The network owner only sells wholesale access to service providers who then offer any combination of retail services (e.g. internet, video, voice etc.). to consumers.
In today’s digital economy, broadband has become critical infrastructure, like electricity and telephone. To address the need for ubiquitous, reliable, high speed and affordable broadband access, more municipalities, electric co-ops, and public utilities are opting for publicly owned, Open Access Networks (OAN). A key benefit of publicly owned Open Access Networks are that they guarantee real broadband choice which then ensures high-quality competitively priced services for their communities.
However, there are additional complexities involved in managing an open access network versus a traditional network. Beyond building the physical network, OAN providers also must ensure they have the right operational support systems unique to broadband that can help deliver the best customer experience possible, while also delivering much needed back-office efficiencies. OAN providers need to:
- Track every single subscriber including their physical address as well as their technical address
- Know which service providers are providing what services
- Know what services each subscriber is buying from which service provider
- Maintain data base integrity/billing consistency as customers change providers, add and/or drop services or moves from one home to another
HOW DOES ETI HELP OPEN ACCESS NETWORK PROVIDERS?
ETI’s service management platform, Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Telecommunications, removes these complexities and simplifies the process of device and application integration, subscriber and service activation/deactivation, and consolidates all the data to help OAN operators pay for the network and grow by reducing costs, improving customer experiences and rolling out next-generation services faster and easier. ETI’s service assurance and advanced analytics software provides a single point of control, enabling OAN operators to provide high speed, reliable broadband at competitive rates to their customer owners.
Also importantly, for utilities and electric co-ops who are preparing to launch broadband services over an Open Access Network and would prefer to augment, rather than replace, existing business systems, ETI’s solution integrates with and encompasses subscriber services such as billing, order entry and rating, work order management, device inventories – improving the customer journey across the service lifecycle.