Real life problem. A city's planning to install a GPON FTTH network. The city's only proposing to install the fiber, so the OLTs and ONTs will be owned by the service provider.

The city would also like to have competition: multiple service providers. This appears to be a problem, as once a fiber is terminated into one service provider's OLT, they have sole access to all of the customers served by that fiber.

Do I have this right? Are there any examples of cities with competing service providers using this model, and, if so, how do they get around the problem above?

  • Hi @cown, that looks like infrastructure to me, no?
    – jonathanjo
    Nov 15, 2018 at 12:31
  • Hi AndyG and welcome to NE ... can I ask what country this is in?
    – jonathanjo
    Nov 15, 2018 at 12:31

2 Answers 2


Ultimately I see three options.

  1. Have re-patching facilities downstream of the splitters and re-patch customers onto a different splitter when they change provider.
  2. Have the OLTs (and possibly the ONTs) managed by the infrastructure provider rather than the service providers.
  3. Give up on PoN and just run direct fiber to each customer.

Each option has it's issues. Option 1 makes switching ISPs more expensive and likely reduces the utilisation of the splitters. Option 2 means the infrastructure operator ends up in the business of running active equipment. Option 3 means a bunch of extra fibre.


The general situation is normally called Local Loop Unbundling and is a significant legislative issue in lots of jurisdictions.

You might care to read https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Local-loop_unbundling as a starting point, as the answers about how to deal with it vary enormously by country.

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