What is Plusnet SoGEA?

What is SoGEA?

SoGEA, or Single Order Generic Ethernet Access, is a broadband service that can be subscribed to with a single order, eliminating the need for a conventional phone line installation before adding a broadband service like ADSL or fibre broadband. This is particularly relevant in the UK as it aligns with the shift away from the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) towards a full digital solution.Note that in the UK analog phone lines are scheduled to be switched off on 31st December 2025 and the network will become entirely digital.

You may have come across the term Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC), and that’s essentially how SoGEA works. It  primarily utilises fibre technology for most of its cabling, while copper wire connects the green street cabinets you see on the sidewalk to individual houses. As a result, SoGEA offers a performance similar to FTTC broadband but crucially without the necessity of an active phone line. This lack of a phone line requirement makes SoGEA a more streamlined and cost-effective option compared to traditional broadband solutions.

One of the key differences between SoGEA and FTTC is that while FTTC can provide both data and voice services, SoGEA only carries the data component. Despite this, the overall performance of SoGEA may be marginally better, as there’s no phone traffic to interfere with the data service.

SoGEA is available in areas with access to fibre broadband. It’s seen as a future-proof solution, especially with the planned termination of the UK PSTN by December 2025, which will replace traditional phone lines with fibre connections. For businesses and individuals preparing for this switch, SoGEA offers a comparable alternative to FTTC while also facilitating the transition to an all-IP communications network.

Feature FTTC SoGEA
Definition Fibre to the Cabinet involves fibre optic cables running to street cabinets, then copper cables to the home or business. SoGEA allows broadband access using existing infrastructure but without a traditional phone line.
Infrastructure Utilizes a combination of fibre and copper cables. Uses the existing FTTC infrastructure but eliminates the need for a copper phone line.
Phone Line Requirement Requires an active phone line for broadband connection. Does not require a traditional phone line for broadband connection.
Cost May include costs for phone line rental. Typically lower costs due to no need for phone line rental.
Installation Requires installation of both phone line and broadband connection. Simpler installation, using existing infrastructure, often quicker and more straightforward.
VoIP Compatibility Requires a separate VoIP service if not using traditional telephony. Easily supports VoIP services due to its data-only nature.
Service Availability Widely available, depending on proximity to fibre cabinet. Availability depends on existing FTTC infrastructure.
Internet Speed Speed varies based on distance from the cabinet and quality of copper lines. Comparable speeds to FTTC, with limitations based on existing copper line quality and distance.
Future-proofing Will need to adapt as PSTN services are phased out by 2025. Aligned with the future of digital connectivity, ready for post-2025 communication landscape.
Source:based on Plusnet's Broadband Packages, Flip Connec - comparison of SoGea vs FTTC, Switchcraft - overview of SoGEA.

How Does Plusnet SoGEA Work?

Plusnet’s SoGEA known as ‘Fibre broadband without a landline‘, aligns with the broader shift in the UK’s telecommunications infrastructure. As part of the Openreach network upgrades, SoGEA (Single Order Generic Ethernet Access) is instrumental in transitioning towards the nationwide rollout of Full Fibre technology, which is set to replace the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) by 31st December 2025. This move is in response to the UK’s shift from analog phone lines to a fully digital network.

The SoGEA connection combines part-fibre and part-copper technology. It uses fibre optic cables for transmitting signals to the street cabinet and then uses copper cables to carry the signal to homes. Crucially, this setup eliminates the need for a traditional landline, offering a more cost-effective and less complex solution for high-speed internet access. With SoGEA, the connection directly plugs into the master socket at the user’s location.

Plusnet ensures ease of access to this technology by providing packages that cater to the best available speeds at a straightforward price, thereby simplifying the choice for customers. This approach reflects Plusnet’s commitment to offering user-friendly and efficient broadband solutions, prepared for the future’s digital demands.

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