The Middle Mile: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You!
Wireline network operators, generally assisted by government funding, are beginning to extend their broadband services beyond metro areas, and potentially into outright rural areas. This extension of their networks beyond the reach of the edge central offices of the metro network will create a new network segment - the middle mile network, sometimes called the second-mile network. This new network segment will raise new networking challenges as it carries a mix of services that were previously served by separate networks that were terminated in a metro central office; any special network treatment was performed in the access network, not transport. In addition, vendors are introducing new (and sometimes novel) optical transport formats to minimize costs in this new network environment. This complexity in the aggregation network calls for network design and control specific to this new second mile network.
Rick Talbot, Principal Analyst at ACG Research