Engineering Today’s Last-Mile, Open Access Networks

Smart City and Smart Building evolution requires critical investment in underlying network modernization. Communities of the future demand fast, reliable, and affordable connectivity that provides a level of customer choice and operating flexibility. Open Access Networks (OANs) have emerged as a leading solution to address these demands, fostering innovation, improving service quality, lowering end-to-end delivery costs, and limiting build disruption.

Shared Infrastructure and Resource Utilization

The core principle of Open Access Networks (OANs) lies in sharing the underlying physical infrastructure among multiple operators. Ubiquity applies very specific architectural infrastructure approaches that make this possible. The company satisfies three different OAN models: Physical Sharing, Physical Separation, and Logical Separation of all tenants. With a combination of innovative infrastructure and specific architectural rules, Ubiquity is truly different in the OAN space. These infrastructure changes include changes in fiber-optic cable sizes, conduit types, configuration to XGS-PON for maximum utilization, injection of transmission equipment, colocation at data centers, and other essential innovative components. By implementing these specific changes, OANs can be most effective, and resources can be shared. By sharing these resources, OANs can reduce redundant investments, making it economically viable for smaller service providers to enter the market. Additionally, shared infrastructure enables efficient resource utilization, leading to increased network capacity and improved overall performance. Where Ubiquity is different is that we can satisfy all Lit and Dark Fiber requirements in the industry based on tenants’ preferences. This gives our tenants the ability to utilize all types of applications across the infrastructure to maximize profitability.

Standardization and Interoperability through Fiber

For successful OANs, standardization and interoperability are vital engineering considerations, and specific rules have to be enforced. Adopting common technical standards allows various operators to seamlessly interconnect their systems and facilitate smooth data exchange. This ensures that consumers can switch between service providers without facing compatibility issues or service disruptions. Standardization also promotes healthy competition, as it encourages innovation and prevents vendor lock-in.

At the heart of every efficient OAN lies a robust fiber-optic infrastructure. Fiber optics offer significantly higher data transmission speeds, lower latency, and greater reliability compared to traditional copper-based networks. As data demands escalate, fiber-optic technology becomes indispensable for providing high-quality services to end-users and supporting emerging technologies like 5G, the Internet of Things (IoT), and cloud computing.

Ubiquity’s approach is one that emphasizes enabling direct physical fiber access from an edge or traditional data center location to the end user. While there is flexibility in a software-based system where service providers are using common fibers and optics, this limits deployment and offers flexibility requiring standardization around single pieces of infrastructure. Ubiquity’s approach is to be a provider of last-mile infrastructure, allowing tenants to do a lot, as in a dark fiber model where they bring their own optics, or much less as in an MNVO-type lit model where Ubiquity provides the light and associated data connectivity.

Ensuring robust network security is a critical aspect of engineering OANs. With multiple service providers, providing a level of both logical and physical separation along routes is critical. Having microducts within larger cables, for example, allows network tenants to identify issues more easily as well as more efficiently recover from fiber-related events like cuts. The nature of the tenant lease allows tenant engineers to implement robust security protocols as they see fit, including encryption, authentication mechanisms, and intrusion detection systems, to safeguard the entire network from cyber threats.

Multi-tenant Networks and Performance

To ensure optimal network performance in a multi-tenant environment using XGS-PON, Dark Fiber Network, or Lit Fiber Network, it is imperative to fully understand the fiber and fiber light properties. By understanding the properties of all fiber components for OAN’s, Ubiquity’s engineering has been able to implement architectural changes to standard ISP networks where the capacity is significantly greater. This enabled Ubiquity to successfully test advanced 10GB or greater speeds by splitting a single fiber strand 128 times (1×128) while retaining extremely low light levels. Ubiquity has also successfully tested a variety of other architectures that include Point to Point, Point to MultiPoint, Ring, Star, Mesh, Hybrid, Distributed, Centralized, and many more. This has allowed Ubiquity to be prepositioned to tend to any tenants’ needs.

Open Access Networks hold tremendous promise for revolutionizing the telecommunications industry by promoting healthy competition, increasing network capacity, and driving innovation. By adopting shared infrastructure, standardization, fiber optics, scalability, and robust security measures, engineers can build a future-proof network that meets the ever-growing demands of consumers and businesses alike. At Ubiquity, OANs can unlock new opportunities, bridge the digital divide, and create a more connected world.

Learn more at

  • Category

  • Author