Open Access Networks

What is an Open Access Network?

An Open Access Network (OAN) is a model wherein there is a separation between the physical network infrastructure and the services that are provided across it. A good analogy is that of an airport. Imagine for a moment that if an airline wanted to serve a given community they would have to build their own runway and terminal, provide their own security, and so on. The result would be that most cities would only be served by one or two airlines and that air travel would be much more costly. As crazy as that is to think about, it is exactly the paradigm under which the broadband industry operates in the United States.

Why does Lit Communities operate its networks using the OAN model?

The OAN model is superior for several reasons. Firstly, because customers on the network can choose and switch to a new service provider instantly through the Lit Store, which is extremely consumer-friendly. The Lit Store creates a competitive environment in which service providers can only differentiate themselves from each other with price and customer service–an extremely refreshing change, as most of the country has access to only one or two choices, and switching from one to another is neither easy nor quick. The second, and equally important, reason is that doing so enables the infrastructure to be truly community-oriented, allowing portions of it to be dedicated to the public good through smart city applications ranging from transportation to public safety and environmental quality.