Alastair Rickey - Stop@Nothing


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Alastair Rickey of Fluidata. Presentation to the INCA Rural Community Broadband Seminar, 06 March 2013

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  • Hi, I’m Alastair, I’m an Account Manager at Fluidata. Unfortunately due to a number of people taking annual leave Piers isn’t able to join us this afternoon, so I hope I’ll do this justice! Thank you for letting me take some time this afternoon to tell you about our Service Exchange Platform and Stop@Nothing initiative.
  • We started the Service Exchange Platform back in 2009 as we were connected to the then BE Network. We built and managed what became BE Wholesale but realised that as the industry commoditised we needed to deliver new networks to the platform especially with the deployment of FTTC/H services. We went in our separate ways and we started plugging in a number of national and regional networks into the platform beginning with BT. Our focus is on providing an independent exchange, or marketplace if you will, for ISPs. It helps smaller ISPs gain competitive pricing and overcome access barriers whereas it helps large ISPs reduce integration costs. From network point of view it has helped with applying for BDUK funding, since you can say that integrating with us will give you an open access platform, and hence 50 independent service providers for customers to choose from.
  • Stop@Nothing is centred around a website being designed for end users to be able to search for available services in their area. It will highlight new technologies such as FTTP or Wireless that is specific to their location. It answers the question BDUK has been asking Network Operators –to provide open access and choice to consumers. The important thing is that it raises awareness of what you, as the network operators, have done. It works very much like a “Sam Sells” – with a postcode checker that will show what is available, and guide end users straight to the ISPs. Stop@Nothing looks to clear the confusion for End Users – to show them whats there and who can provide it. By bringing together ISPs and Network operators we hope Stop@Nothing will facilitate networks to be commercially viable with or without government funding. Among the challenges that are currently being faced is that it is very cost prohibitive for ISP’s to build and connect to remote, diverse networks. It can cost larger ISPs up to £100,000 to connect to a network, and smaller networks may not have the potential client base needed to justify the integration. It’s also important to m aintain an ‘Open Access’ infrastructure network, in order to ensure maximum visibility. You want to be able to offer both consumers and businesses choice without the monopolisation of network infrastructure. Our Service Exchange platform and the s@n looks to face these challenges.
  • And we believe that we have found a model which works and can deliver. We have an integrated ordering, billing and provisioning system across all networks, back by 24/7 support. For ISPs the setup is low cost, with competitive terms and there is no minimum commit. In terms of national network avialability, we have the likes of O2, BT and TalkTalk, and sometime this year Cable and Wireless. This is all delivered down one physical interconnect from our network to that of the ISPs delivering access to these networks and through one API/XML platform.
  • We also have Digital Region, the South Yorkshire network providing DSL and FTTC services around Sheffield Barnelsy and Doncaster. Very few ISPs have connected to them directly, as integration was difficult and was a good challenge for our platform. So, if we can connect to them, I believe we can connect to anyone! Once we had them on the platform, their ISP access went from probably 3 to 53… We take handoffs in London for their network, with scope to take connections in Manchester or Leeds should network traffic demand. (if anyone asks about takeup – in the handfuls rather than thousands and thousands. This is not due to the network itself, but due to the uncertainty over ownership, and people are weary of buying from a network that doesn’t have a secure future.)
  • IFNL have built a nationwide, mostly urban, network providing true FTTH technology for voice, video and data. The network is being rolled out alongside large-scale construction projects, giving homes and retail space access to gigabit services. Initially they created their own ISP “See the Light” in order to provide connectivity. As this was the only infrastructure available at these sites, they essentially held a monopoly. However, this has meant they have had to focus money and efforts into the day-to day running of providing these connectivity services, and are now by pl;ugging Fludiata in, they are able to offer more competition to the network. Ultimately it is our belief they never set out to be an ISP, so this relationship works by delivering different value add service to customers. ((It has, however raised interesting commercial challenges, since they’ve made their wholesale pricing more expensive that it is direct, so they are competing with their own network. But that’s their own perogative.))
  • Some examples of smaller networks on the platform are the Hampshire FTTC and Cumbria Whitespace trials. Hampshire provided access to 100 Homes, and Cumbria just 30. The point I’m trying to make is that no network is too small to bring on, and we will be able to get behind and support small-scale trials.
  • Numerous fibre networks are also available via the platform. Our ultimate aim is to bring every network under one roof, and to connect it to every service provider.
  • For those of you out there building or operating networks, I wish you the best of luck on your journey. Hopefully Fluidata will be a part of that, and help you gain success. Thank you very much for your time, does anyone have any questions?
  • Poss questions – big ISPs? Need a big enough base to warrant looking at access. Plus, we are speaking to them but it will be a long process.
  • Alastair Rickey - Stop@Nothing

    1. 1. IntroducingAlastair RickeyCorporate Account 7099 8994
    2. 2. What underpins ?• The Service Exchange Platform (SEP) • Started in 2009 • Wholesaled Telefonica O2 network • Separated ways with BE Wholesale brand early 2011 • Independent network focused on Layer-2 delivery to ISPs • Currently serves 50 ISPs• Fluidata • Presence in nine datacentres across the UK • including SOV, HEX, LHC, THN, THE, IFL2, UKG, AQL • 24/7 Network Operations Centre • Connected into 16 different networks • Consolidated sales, provisioning, billing and support
    3. 3. Service Exchange Platform•BT 21CN and 20CN Network • WBC backhaul network • 95th percentile billing • Access to FTTC and FTTP products• Telefonica O2 • ADSL2+ Annex-M technology • 1,300 exchanges nationwide • ISAM fault diagnostic tools• Three • 3G national coverage • SIM ordering & activation • Pool bandwidth across SIMs
    4. 4. Service Exchange Platform• Digital Region • 546,000 homes and 45,000 businesses • 1,360 street cabinets • 32,500 SMEs covered by VDSL • VDSL (FTTC) and ADSL2+ technology available
    5. 5. Service Exchange Platform• Independent Fibre Networks • Part of the Inexus Group • FTTP up to 1 Gb/s • Based on GPON (delivering up to 2.5 Gb/s down, 1.25 Gb/s up) • POTS service based on SIP • Average development site 1,800 homes • includes primary & secondary school & retail space • Deployment to 20 sites across the UK with another 30 being negotiated. • 50,000 home opportunity
    6. 6. Service Exchange Platform• Other networks • Hampshire FTTC and Wireless trial • Cumbria Whitespace Trial• Future Services • Automated Leased Line quoting and ordering tool • TalkTalk Business DSL • Cable & Wireless DSL • More rural/urban networks
    7. 7. Service Exchange Platform• Fibre Services • Virgin Media • SSE • COLT • Cable & Wireless • AboveNet • Level 3 • BT • Openreach • Enta • TalkTalk Business• EFM • BT • TalkTalk Business
    8. 8. Benefits of SEP &• For the ISP • One platform for Layer-2 DSL and fibre services • Integrated ordering, provisioning, billing & support • Wide range of suppliers including rural networks • Competitive terms, no minimum commitments • Deliver choice and next gen services to customers • Part of Stop@Nothing• For the Network Operator • Access to wide range of ISPs • Increase take-up and improve business case • Meets BDUK and council guidelines for open access • Part of Stop@Nothing
    9. 9. Questions