Openreach has launched a new dark fibre managed service offering that allows other UK operators to build private networks for enterprises.

Dark fibre consists of the unused but available parts of a fibre network.

Wholesale customers of the BT-owned company can use their own hardware such as routers and gateways to design their own offerings on top of Openreach’s solution, dubbed OSA Filter Connect.

Offered at a range of prices with varying contract lengths, it also allows customers to scale up capacity by adding channels, up to a maximum bandwidth of over 3TBps, and to backhaul small cells.

The provider expects services built on the dark fibre links to be targeted at customers such as data centres, government agencies and cloud providers.

The launch is an effort to compromise with Ofcom, which conducted a consultation late last year over whether it should introduce a regulated dark fibre access product.

Darren Wallington, Openreach’s General Manager for High Bandwidth and Passive Products, said such a solution would have left the company “in the dark with no monitoring capabilities and significantly longer service interruptions due to the reactive nature of fault reporting, but this means we can commit to a national five-hour response time”.

He added: “We’ve re-engineered our high-bandwidth optical services to give our wholesale customers far greater flexibility at a fantastic price.

“OSA Filter Connect allows providers to grow their needs affordably, at their own pace and using their choice of innovative equipment.

“By innovating a virtual dark fibre service, we can give customers that extra flexibility whilst still being able to monitor our network and respond to faults and issues proactively."

Read more: BT gives Openreach profit warning as Ofcom drafts new rules to stimulate fibre investment

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