TalkTalk plugs into the Fibré Cafe…

TalkTalk Case Study

How the Fibre Café from Strategic Imperatives fast-tracked, de-risked and streamlined TalkTalk’s AltNet integration strategy.

Fibre rollout in the UK has reached a critical phase with over 100 AltNets actively planning and building their networks with no sign of a slowdown in investment or consumer appetite for high-speed fibre broadband.

TalkTalk, one of the UK’s leading connectivity providers, made the strategic decision to work with a number of AltNets to enhance their product portfolio, extend their fibre footprint and offer a more competitive proposition in line with their beliefs that simple, affordable, reliable, and fair connectivity should be available to everyone.

The challenge

The current AltNet landscape of a ‘patchwork quilt’ of networks, operated by different providers presented a major integration and automation challenge due to the ‘spaghetti’ matrix of point-to-point interfaces, made inherently more complex by:

  • Disparate technologies and interfaces
  • Varying levels of OSS/BSS maturity
  • AltNet specific order life cycles
  • Piecemeal service availability checkers
  • Conflicting product and service catalogues
  • Differing taxonomies and terminologies

For TalkTalk, these challenges meant:

  • High development cost of onboarding new AltNets
  • Impact on the architectural integrity of
  • TalkTalk’s OSS/BSS platform
  • Ongoing operational costs of maintaining multiple interfaces and technology stacks
  • A complex matrix of technical skills, processes and engagement models
  • Long onboarding timescales
  • Smaller AltNets may not be commercially viable to onboard

The solution

With its proven track record in delivering award-winning provisioning solutions to many of the UK’s largest communication service providers, TalkTalk selected Strategic Imperatives’ Fibre Café as its strategic AltNet aggregation platform.

Phill Magill, Chief Engineer at TalkTalk said “Strategic Imperatives has been a trusted partner for over ten years, providing service provisioning solutions to the group. So, it was an easy decision for us to work with them on addressing the challenge of streamlining and automating AltNets’ access to the wholesale market, enabling us to rapidly and cost-effectively onboard AltNets into our platform.”

The Fibre Café is a ground-breaking, cloud-native solution from Strategic Imperatives that streamlines and seamlessly connects disparate connectivity providers, AltNets and communication service providers. It eliminates the ‘spaghetti’ approach to integration and addresses the fundamental challenges associated with it head-on. Underpinned by common processes, a national availability checker, a standardised services catalogue and AltNet agnostic order journeys, the Fibre Café provides a unified, modern, and standards-based interface.

For TalkTalk, plugging into the Fibre Café was a quick and straightforward process. Both teams worked collaboratively to ensure the success of the project and TalkTalk was invited to be a primary contributor to the Fibre Café roadmap.

TalkTalk’s strong belief in this solution and partnership in the Fibre Café’s architecture has resulted in consuming a single standards-based interface into the UK AltNet fibre ecosystem which has de-risked and streamlined its technical AltNet engagement strategy.

“The decision to work with a particular AltNet is no longer a technical complexity resulting in duplicate interfaces and overheads.”

Phill Magill, Chief Engineer at TalkTalk

The result

By partnering with Strategic Imperatives, TalkTalk benefited from a simpler, quicker and more cost-effective solution to onboarding new AltNets, enabling TalkTalk to focus on unlocking the combined potential of AltNet last mile provision with the scale and flexibility of the TalkTalk national network.

The key benefits identified by TalkTalk were:

  • A ‘develop once, connect to many’ AltNet aggregation strategy
  • A single-entry point into the UK fibre ecosystem
  • Uniform processes, services, availability and appointing models
  • The ability to rapidly add AltNets
  • Reduced integration, development, maintenance, and operational costs
  • Architectural integrity and delivery agility by eliminating the mismatch of infrastructure, technologies and integration points
  • A better focus on upstream integration into TalkTalk systems and network

“Plugging into the Fibre Café means the cost and timescales for onboarding an AltNet are significantly lower, our OSS stack is simpler, and we now have the ability to work with smaller AltNets if we choose to do so which would not have been commercially viable before.”

Phill Magill, Chief Engineer at TalkTalk