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Next-Generation - SOTAP Technology

SOTAP is a copper access product and forms part of the LLU (Local Loop Unbundling) portfolio. In order to consume SOTAP providers would either need a Point of Presence in the telephone exchange based on LLU infrastructure or they would need to consume the product via a wholesaler who is offering the SOTAP product in that geographical area.

SOTAP is a two-wire, point-to-point, copper access product extending from the Network Terminating Point (NTP) within Network Terminating Equipment (NTE) at the end customer’s site to the Handover Distribution Frame (HDF) or Customer Management Frame (CMF), via an appropriate connecting cable to one of the following:

  • The provider's equipment within an assigned multi-user or other area within our Local Telephone Exchange (Co-mingling).
  • The provider's equipment within a dedicated equipment room assigned to them within Openreach's Local Telephone Exchange (the provider's equipment room / physical co-location).
  • The provider's building or cabinet outside of our estate but within the local telephone exchange catchment area (distant location).

These options enable the provider to supply broadband and IP voice services. This is different from LLU MPF because it facilitates the use of existing exchange infrastructure which currently supports LLU SMPF and therefore provides a good customer experience for end customers migrating away from WLR products (with or without LLU SMPF) as the amount of physical work required is minimised.

The other component of SOTAP is a Test Access Matrix (TAM); the TAM provides testing capability between the HDF/CMF and the NTP and is incorporated within the LLU SMPF tie cable which connects the HDF/CMF to the Main Distribution Frame (MDF).

Once SOTAP has been provisioned between the exchange and the end customer’s premises he provider should be able to apply other available features required by end customers. These could include a voice service if required, either directly if the provider has the capability or via an alternative voice provider.

SOTAP is proposed as a transitional offering until all lines are eventually moved to an Openreach fibre provided service.

Provision of SOTAP will be restricted where Openreach fibre products (Generic Ethernet Access Fibre to the Cabinet (GEA-FTTC), Single Order GEA (SOGEA), Single Order Gfast (SOGfast), Generic Ethernet Access Fibre to the Premises (GEA-FTTP)) exist as an alternative solution.

Please note that SOTAP is subject to any technical limitations or special costs identified during the design stage or availability of supporting services (e.g. Backhaul). The technical limitations are defined in the Access Network Frequency Plan (ANFP).