The basic roles of Physical Infrastructure Provider (PIP), Network Provider (NP) and Service Provider (SP) can be taken by different actors.

Backbone PIP

The Backbone Physical Infrastructure Provider owns and operates the passive infrastructure in the backbone and to some extent in the area networks. This can be a public or private actor with long-term investment plans or a local cooperative.

Access area PIP

The access area Physical Infrastructure Provider owns and operates the first-mile connections and to some extent also the passive infrastructure in area networks. This can be a telecom operator, a housing association, a local cooperative, the MDU owners, the municipality or the home owners also with long-term interests in the area.

Service providers (SP)

A Service Provider is usually a small or a large company, either locally or nationally, selling services to the end users over a Network Provider’s connectivity network. They only need to place equipment in a central location (e.g. the regional data centre) and interface to the NP’s equipment.

Network provider (NP)

The Network Provider leases dark fibre from the PIP to offer SP connectivity to the end users. It places equipment in all access nodes to which any of its end users are connected. In the PLOM model (see explanation below) some NP’s may offer their own services: They are then referred to as integrated NP and SP, or infrastructure-less operators.

End users

These are private citizens, small or large companies or public institutions purchasing services over the network.

Wholesale customers

Wholesale customers are entities that lease dark fibre from the backbone PIP or connectivity from the NP for their own communications needs. 3G/4G operators, cable TV operators, banks, large enterprises, or the public sector are some wholesale customers.

Published: 
23 April 2015
Last update: 
9 May 2017
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