Openreach to launch SOTAP in December

Openreach has announced plans for the commercial launch of its Single Order Transitional Access Product (SOTAP).

The new offering will launch on December 1st and will provide an alternative digital service for people in areas of the country where there’s no fibre based broadband network available.

The industry-wide switch from analogue to digital landlines is scheduled to be completed by December 2025, when PSTN services will be withdrawn.

An estimated four million premises in the UK, currently on a copper-based service, will have no available fixed broadband product.

By configuring equipment in the local exchange, SOTAP can provide broadband and internet protocol (IP) or digital phone services over the existing copper line running to a customer’s premises.

Phone services are optional and will be provided ‘over the top’ of the copper line via voice over IP (VoIP) products.

An Openreach spokesperson explained, “The SOTAP solution needs an unbundled (LLU) exchange infrastructure to work – where communication providers have installed their own equipment inside an exchange – giving them greater control over the voice line and broadband service they can offer customers.

“Providers who don’t have unbundled lines can also purchase SOTAP via a wholesaler who already has LLU equipment and is offering the service.”