Openreach sets out to run two trials for all IP services
A converged all IP future is the vision for Openreach and the network operator is proposing to run two trials that will help them learn what does and does not work when moving away from analogue voice of today to its new digital IP voice service delivered over a broadband connection into the home.
The two locations that are likely to take part in the trial are Salisbury and Mildenhall, Salisbury is a Fibre First exchange and is set to see some 20,000 premises with FTTP available once the roll-out is complete on the exchange and Mildenhall is a mixture of technologies so will be a good test of SOGEA and SOGfast connectivity. Salisbury is set to be unusual in that universal FTTP access is claimed as the end result.
A consultation period is now open until the end of July for communication providers and a launch is expected in October 2019.
Everyone has their doubts about how voice over broadband will work and perhaps the hardest area will be residential premises where the person does not have any broadband service today and sees no need for any changes. Running a trial such as this should give Openreach some hard data on how difficult things are, or fingers crossed how easy.
While it is possible to view this as Openreach continuing their dominate position there is a positive take away in that once the public is accustomed to voice services being delivered over their broadband connection that getting people to migrate to competing infrastructure platforms may prove easier.