SSE and Infinera to deliver nationwide ‘dark fibre-like network’

28 August 2018

By using Infinera’s XTM Series packet optical platforms, SSE hopes to rapidly scale capacity.

By using Infinera’s XTM Series packet optical platforms, SSE hopes to rapidly scale capacity.


SSE Enterprise Telecoms will work with Infinera to offer what it claims will be a resilient, ‘dark fibre-like’ network on a scale never seen before in the UK.

Using Infinera’s XTM Series optical platform, SSE Enterprise Telecoms says its network customers will benefit from connectivity to more than 80 commercial data centres, meaning it’ll be able to meet them practically anywhere. 

The company reckons this will give UK businesses and service providers the flexibility and option to scale, and that they will be supported by a high-capacity network without having to invest in or lay new fibre connectivity to each exchange.

SSE says it chose to partner with Infinera due to its “unique” combination of Layer 1 and 2 packet optical and Ethernet services. It says this offers a “credible alternative” to customers laying costly dark fibre cabling. “Infinera’s impressive synchronisation capabilities allow for flexibility on the network, not currently available at such scale or at an accessible price point for customers, states the firm. 

It adds that its “extensive” network promises access to multiple services with speeds of up to 100Gbps to each BT exchange.

According to SSE, current networks are only able to offer a fraction of those speeds at a commercially viable cost.

“A network project on this scale makes us one of the few providers that can offer multiples of 100Gbps services between exchanges, commercial data centres and across our core, at an accessible pricepoint,” says Conrad Mallon, chief technical architect, SSE Enterprise Telecoms. “The network expansion deal is also paving the way for our ambitious roadmap which will see SSE Enterprise Telecoms investing more in network reach over the next five years.”