As organizations are becoming more reliant on the internet and cloud computing to run applications and host and store data, fast and reliable connectivity is no longer an option – it is a necessity.

This reliance boasts a huge opportunity for fiber optic network providers, as  fiber is increasingly being regarded as the fastest option with the greatest bandwidth capabilities. However, capitalizing on these opportunities can be resource intensive for providers as they select where to build connectivity. This is because, in order to offer a  complete solution to modern enterprises, providers have to assess the NearNet and OffNet capabilities associated with each OnNet location.

The Differences Between OnNet, NearNet and OffNet

While OnNet locations offer the most value to network providers, NearNet and OffNet present opportunities to expand reach without the high upfront costs associated with building fiber routes from scratch, required for OnNet.

OnNet Locations

OnNet locations refer to those areas or buildings in which network providers have physically built connectivity using fiber that they own. OnNet locations give network providers the control to offer the best service, prices, functionality, and expansion opportunities.

With OnNet locations, providers have already made a sale to be terminated into a building. Then, the priority is to  ensure that this owned connectivity can be leveraged to meet the needs of the businesses that reside in that building. Thus, for OnNet, the main sales opportunity for providers is getting businesses to purchase network connectivity from their service, rather than a competitor also terminated into the same location.

NearNet Locations

NearNet locations are those buildings that are close in proximity to your OnNet buildings. When building fiber into OnNet locations, providers will select areas to leave additional coils that can be leveraged to expand the network. The buildings that can be reached by these expansions of OnNet locations are referred to as NearNet.

NearNet locations present immense opportunities for network carriers. If a provider is terminated into 1,000 buildings, there might be 10,000 buildings in their NearNet proximity that can be reached at a substantially lower cost than OnNet buildings, by leveraging these additional coils. This opens prospects for networks sales teams to a multitude of  businesses working in  NearNet buildings.

OffNet Locations

Locations that are not directly terminated with owned fiber, or  in  close proximity to these OnNet locations, are considered OffNet. There is no way for providers to reach these buildings with fiber that they own.

It is unrealistic for network providers to try to build connectivity into every location. However, if a provider serves a  certain organization across offices, but does not have connectivity in one location, they might partner with a network provider that does have fiber in the building, and rent that connectivity for their client. In this case, the provider is able to provide connectivity despite being OffNet. This enables providers to serve larger organizations at scale, however, they are constrained by the terms of service and capabilities offered  by the network that owns the fiber.

Using OnNet, NearNet, and OffNet Building Lists to Increase Revenue

Each of these locations offer opportunities for network providers. However, to fully take advantage of them, carriers must have the location data available to know which buildings are in each category. They also need the market information to know how competitive the building is. The most effective way to analyze these locations for business opportunities is to curate OnNet, NearNet, and OffNet building lists.

OnNet Building Lists & NearNet Building Lists

Regularly updated OnNet and NearNet building lists give network providers visibility into which buildings they are terminated, and the NearNet buildings that are available for connectivity. This location data is integral to  capitalizing on NearNet buildings. Many network providers do not have a clear understanding or central log of what is in proximity, what that distance is, or what the demand in those buildings is. Having this information allows network providers to focus sales efforts on the NearNet buildings that present the most optimal returns, rather than pitching a building that does not fit in with their offerings.

In addition to this visibility, OnNet and NearNet building lists must be informed by current market information. This means knowing who the tenants in OnNet and NearNet locations are, as well as competitors in the building. This information allows providers to position their offering based on customer needs and competitor prices.

OffNet Building Lists

In addition to keeping regularly updated building lists on fiber that they own, network providers must also have a strong understanding of OffNet buildings where they can rent connectivity. Keeping a list of OffNet buildings allows providers to see who has network clustering throughout the market to find potential partners. OffNet building lists help network carriers find new connectivity to leverage, while helping to manage relationships with partner providers.

Final Thoughts

While OnNet connections remain a priority for network providers, both NearNet and OffNet locations can offer immense opportunities to carriers looking to provide a complete connectivity solution across locations. To  capitalize on these locations, carriers require informed OnNet, NearNet, and OffNet building lists.

Learn how Connected2Fiber can provide automated building lists with up-to-date market intelligence.

This post was originally published on the Connected2Fiber Blog.