Openreach (BT) has stated that the full commercial launch of their new “stand-alone broadband” product for UK ISPs - Single Order Generic Ethernet Access (SOGEA) - has officially started, which they said “marks the beginning of the end” for the old analogue telephone network (known to most as the “landline” phone service).
ISP Review been reporting on SOGEA for the past few years and so our regular readers should now be familiar with it, but for those who aren’t we’ll do a little recap. At present most consumers on Openreach’s national copper based network must buy their phone service alongside analogue line rental and then broadband is optionally added on top (most ISPs today will seamlessly bundle these two together by default).
By comparison SOGEA changes this approach by enabling internet providers to sell a physical line just for broadband (i.e. not everybody needs a fixed voice line today), with the voice service thus moving to a VoIP based solution as an optional product from your ISP.
The adoption of SOGEA is thus an important stepping stone toward the plan to switch-off the old Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) and adopt an “All IP” (Internet Protocol) network by 2025. Likewise this will help with the transition for FTTP “full fibre” networks, which have no choice but to use an IP based voice solution as optical fibre cannot carry analogue electrical signals (they carry laser light).