Single Order Generic Ethernet Access (SoGEA) is a relatively new connectivity service from Openreach which enables the provision of fibre broadband without a traditional PSTN phone line. In this post, we aim to break down the key information for you and cut through the buzz words to help you understand the service.

What is SoGEA ?

Broadband services have historically been installed using copper PSTN telephone lines. This is the same in business as it is at home. SoGEA broadband simplifies the provision by installing the service without the need for an underlying copper line.

Like Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) services, SoGEA broadband connections typically offer a fast download speed (up to 80Mb/s), and this will depend on the location of the premises and distance from the local telephone exchange. The services are designed to be simple and cost effective. They are contended services, which means each connection might compete with neighboring services – reducing real-world performance. SoGEA broadband can be a great option for small offices.

Why does SoGEA exist?

It’s fairly well reported that BT will be decommissioning the ISDN network in the next few years. ISDN services have been used for decades, providing businesses with phone line services for on-premise telephone systems. It’s been determined that the infrastructure has become impossible to maintain. It’s not a huge shock and not a challenging thing to overcome, as modern IP voice services don’t require the legacy ISDN network and offer huge advantages to business communications, in terms of functionality, flexibility and cost.

It’s less well known that the PSTN services are also part of this planned decommissioning work and that will have an impact on broadband. Broadband services (ADSL, FTTC etc) have always relied upon the PSTN network. Step in: SoGEA – a fibre broadband service that doesn’t require the PSTN service!

You can read an article from BT here: The UK’s PSTN network will switch off in 2025 | BT Business

Should you consider SoGEA for your business?

Possibly. We’ve been installing SoGEA broadband services into a number of different organisations. For simple, fast and cost-effective internet access, it’s a pretty good option. Our experience of the installation process has been brilliant, especially as it can sit alongside existing connections to avoid any disruption.

Even with the recent embrace of hybrid working, most organisations would still agree their dependence on connectivity continues to grow, and it might be more appropriate to look into a more robust ‘commercial-grade’ connectivity service. Leased Lines have always been the best commercial option but historically, hard to justify. However, Leased Lines continue to drop in price, and offer a synchronous, uncontended and guaranteed connection.

How can Agile help?

At Agile, we have a comprehensive range of connectivity options to consider for each client. This, of course, includes SoGEA services. We keep things simple, and make sure we help our clients understand the options and implications of their choice.