SoGEA stands for Single Order Generic Ethernet Access. Until now you needed to have a traditional phone line installed to deliver broadband to a home or office, but SoGEA broadband doesn’t run over a phone line; instead, it uses the same fibre/copper network without the WLR (Wholesale Line Rental = Phone line) element.
SoGEA is offered at the same data rates as FTTC broadband. It delivers the same performance and has the same geographic availability. The only difference is the need for a phone line has been removed. SoGEA is a dedicated line that delivers a broadband connection and includes an underlying version of a phone line. This means that customers moving to SoGEA from a phoneline-reliant broadband solution will need a voice call service that uses VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) to continue to be able to make and receive phone calls.
Why was SoGEA created?
In December 2025, the UK PSTN circuits will be shut off completely. This is a major step towards the United Kingdom’s mass IP-network migration, with VoIP core networks set to replace all the legacy PSTN services.
All existing WLR customers need migrating to a non-WLR solution, many in the next 12-24 months as OpenReach continue to service notice on exchanges across the country. And there are around 3 million B2B PSTN and ISDN fixed lines that must be migrated by 2025.
SoGEA provides a broadband solution using the existing fibre/copper network, where fibre to the premises (FTTP) is not yet available.
In 2017, British Telecom announced their intention to switch off the existing telephone network completely, having migrated all services to the newer and more efficient fibre broadband network. Therefore, come December 2025 the entire UK Wholesale Line Rental network will cease to exist.
However, it would be a mistake to think about waiting until nearer the 2025 deadline, as the migration of services is happening today and will pick up pace from June 2022 when notice is served on more than three hundred phone exchanges across the country.
SoGEA provides an effective solution today by using the existing fibre/copper network, making it available to more than 90% of premises across the United Kingdom.
You will need a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) voice product such as our PhoneLine+ or a hosted telephony platform like our Horizon if you want to continue to make and receive voice calls and use your existing telephone numbers.
It is essential that the porting of any existing phone numbers is completed before the service is switched to SoGEA, or numbers can be irretrievably lost forever.
Yes but you will need to take out an OTT VoIP service (like our PhoneLine+) to run in parallel with your SoGEA, and ensure that you ports your existing number to your new service, or you will lose the number forever once you migrate from the existing WLR-reliant broadband service.
Yes, you can use your current analogue phone by purchasing and connecting via an ATA (Analog Telephone Adapter) to the IP network.
It comes down to whether you need a voice service alongside data. SoGEA can easily be paired with a hosted telephony system like our PhoneLine+ that delivers voice over IP and therefore can run over the data connection, allowing you to have telephone services without the need of a telephone line.
The speed of broadband is now genuinely fast enough to negate any problems around quality. SoGEA uses the same infrastructure as FTTC so the connectivity is identical to FTTC and the network is tried and tested. Plus you can expect to receive FTTC speeds and because there is no phoneline involved there is less chance of connectivity issues or interference. Today there are hundreds of thousands of businesses who rely solely on VoIP to deliver their business voice calls.
If you have SoGEA, you will need to connect any devices that currently are plugged into the telephony wall socket in the premises, into the router. This could include Telecare devices, Intruder alarm, Fire alarm etc. You should make your device service provider aware of the change so that they can make sure that they will continue to work or provide a suitable alternative.
To ensure that your services continue with minimal disruption you should engage with us to agree a migration plan. The Openreach timeline has been up and running since 2017 and includes a number of regional “stop sell” dates, which are dates after which Service Providers will no longer be able to obtain new supply for their customers of analogue services, and there is a national “stop sell” date of September 2023. In addition Openreach have announced they will stop selling PSTN and ISDN products in 117 exchanges from June 2021. This will affect over 1.2 million customer premises including business, and from that date you won’t be able to buy new analogue lines in these areas.
To discuss SoGEA broadband, or any other products, please contact a JabbaTalk advisor on 0333 240 1185.