We do love our acronyms in the telecom industry. We've got oodles of them. But SoGEA is a real doozy. I mean... who makes these things up? So, it stands for Single Order Generic Ethernet Access. Still none the wiser? Hardly surprising.

The vast majority of broadband connections in the UK are provided as an overlay on top of a traditional telephone line. You can't typically order broadband without having a telephone line first, right? Problem is, the traditional telephone network is going to be retired in a few years time so what happens then?

This is where SoGEA comes in as it is a broadband connection that can be ordered without the need to have an analogue telephone line as well. The underlying technology is the same as the existing FTTC product in that it still uses the copper lines from your house or office to the nearest street cabinet and then fibre from there back to the local exchange but they no longer also need to connect a telephone line back to the exchange at the same time. I know, explaining one acronym with another is not great but you can learn more about FTTC here.

The advantage is that if you only need a broadband connection and not an analogue line then you can order this on its own which saves on cost, i.e., you're only paying for one product instead of two. This is particularly useful if you're using a Hosted Phone system or VoIP as you wouldn't typically use the analogue line at all as all of your calls would be going over the Internet.

The disadvantage is if you're using any services that rely on an analogue line to work such as a fax machine, credit card machine or an alarm line there will no longer be a phone line to connect to. If this is the case you should talk to your alarm company or payment provider to see what alternatives they can offer and there are plenty of electronic fax providers who can offer an online fax service.

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