The latest in a long line of telecoms-based acronyms? Yes. But do you need to get to grips with it and understand what it means? Also yes.
SOGEA stands for Single Order Generic Ethernet Access and is the newest product from Openreach which enables you to order Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) without a phone line – meaning you’ve quite literally got everything you need within a single order. SOGEA will bring yet another big shakeup to telecoms in the UK and it is one that we cannot afford to ignore.
At the moment, most businesses connect to the telecoms infrastructure using Wholesale Line Rental (WLR) with broadband then added on top. As a result, Internet service providers (ISPs) then bundle these together as packages by default.
However, in today’s technology-driven world, most organisations only have this fixed line because it is necessary for their broadband to work. With the advancement and cost-effectiveness of mobile handsets and VoIP and the nationwide roll-out of full-fibre networks, there is less and less requirement for old phone services.
End of the line for PSTN and ISDN
Speaking of old phone services, in the biggest change to telecommunications in 30 years, the PSTN and ISDN will be switched off by December 2025, and a Stop Sell of these services is scheduled for 2023. This means connectivity will no longer be supported by traditional telephone lines and businesses will need to switch to a new, single order broadband product.
SOGEA was created in response to this shift in usage so that both consumers and businesses alike can buy a broadband connection without the need for a phone line.
Finding your voice
The drawback to this service is that SOGEA users will no longer have access to a phone number, as it does not allow users to connect a traditional phone line. However, the good news is that Daisy can overlay OnlineUC Phoneline+, a single user voice service that resides in the cloud if needed. If you have an existing ADSL service with an analogue line and want to migrate to SOGEA, we can port and deliver the Calling Line Identity (CLI) of the analogue line via our OnlineUC Phoneline+ voice overlay service. This allows you to make voice calls and supports analogue data services like a fax machine.
Benefits of SOGEA
Widely available – Around 28 million UK premises have access to SOGEA services
More stable – Download bandwidth of up to 80 Mbps with greater stability than ADSL
Familiar – SOGEA uses the same technology as Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC)
Quick to install – Openreach claims that SOGEA is 50% quicker to install than regular broadband because any phone line complications have been eradicated
Quick to fix – Quicker fix times could be feasible as one single order means you’ll only have one call to make if you experience a fault as opposed to separate calls
Great service – No call traffic could give users a better quality service as there’ll be less traffic on the line which means fewer interruptions
Aligned – Canada and Europe already have similar solutions in place so, by investing in SOGEA, you’ll be bringing your business in line with other parts of the globe
Future-proof – With the PSTN switch-off fast-approaching, SOGEA gives your business more opportunity to embrace VoIP technology
How SOGEA works
Based on the current Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) technology, SOGEA uses a combination of copper and fibre technology, without requiring a traditional telephony connection. Fibre technology is used from the local exchange to the PCP (green street cabinet) and then copper from the PCP to the premises.
The big 2025 switch-off timeline
The Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) will reach the end of its life in December 2025. After this date, any services supported on Wholesale Line Rental (WLR), including Single Analogue Lines, Multi-Lines, ISDN2 and ISDN30, will need to move to alternatives.
The big switch-off will also impact LLU SMPF, SLU MPF, Narrowband Line Share and Classic Products. The switch-off will impact broadband customers as well. Most broadband ADSL and FTTC services are supported by Single Analogue Lines. When this service is switched off, the broadband product will need to move to a Single Order variant.
The story so far…
May: Openreach consultation for the withdrawal of WLR by December 2025.
Sept: Industry Working Groups commenced.
Dec: Formal Notice of WLR Stop Sell.
June: Trial Exchanges Salisbury and Mildenhall proposed, and suggested approach opened for consultation.
Sept: SOGEA trial had been concluded and Openreach progress SOGEA to early market deployment (EMD) phase (develop further insights and assess outcomes).
Jan: Commercial offer for the trial exchanges announce for wholesale consumption and Salisbury and Mildenhall trials commence.
Aug: Low bandwidth fibre products expected to be launched to wholesalers for consumption to support transition of voice only lines.
Dec: Salisbury Stop Sell.
April: Regulatory Enablers come into force.
May: Mildenhall Stop Sell (SOTAP Pilot delayed whereby Stop Sell rules relaxed where fibre is not available).
June: Implement the Stop Sell in the notified exchanges.
Sept: Single Order Transitional Access Product (SOTAP), a variant of single order ADSL released for Early Market Deployment.
October: Implement the Stop Sell in the notified exchanges.
Jan: Implement the Stop Sell in the notified exchanges.
Aug: Implement the Stop Sell in the notified exchanges.
Dec: Salisbury and Mildenhall trials close and products withdrawn.
June: No new WLR communication providers will be accepted for establishment.
Sept: Nationwide Stop Sell of WLR, transfers and activation of calling and network features will still be accepted.
April: Orphaned assets phase will commence – during this stage Openreach will work with providers to move customers who have not yet taken action.
Dec: WLR withdrawal and closure of the PSTN network.
Why Daisy for SOGEA?
Our expertise and understanding of the industry has allowed us to become one of SOGEA’s early adopters, allowing you to consume this at a very critical time
Our products are designed to make it easy for you to future-proof your business
Our dedicated UK support team with their in-depth knowledge and experience provides you with help, confidence and peace of mind