About the customer

Since 1997 London Access Point (LONAP) has been providing interconnectivity for businesses across the UK capital. LONAP a not-for-profit internet exchange that is run exclusively for its members who all have direct input into the configuration of the network. In return members get excellent services and all the benefits of working with a vibrant and dynamic exchange.

Active members today include global brands, London businesses and FTSE100 companies as well as organisations with their own data networks such as ISPs, network operators and content providers. LONAP’s members exchange traffic through a network of interconnected switches hosted in data centres across the City of London and the Docklands.

Industry: Internet Exchange 
Location: United Kingdom
Solution: Open line systems

The challenge

Cost-efficient top tier services

As a membership-based organisation, LONAP strives to deliver the best value to its members and to improve its services to meet the challenges of the diversity of traffic and applications driving the internet today.

LONAP needed to increase their bandwidth to cope with the continued growth in internet traffic. In the past the exchange had deployed 10G CWDM with DWDM and passive optical technology to gain spectral efficiencies but hit a roadblock when they wanted to increase the number of 100G ports.

At first LONAP considered coherent solutions. While a transponder-based solution could easily cover the distances involved, they would significantly bump up costs by adding complexity in terms of deployment, upgrades and maintenance as well as consuming more power and rack space. Not ideal when you are trying to deliver value to your members cost-effectively.

“Each time we add new technology or upgrade our network we need to weigh up the benefits against the costs. We have a duty to our members to deliver both great service and value for money,” comments Richard irving, Managing Director LONAP.


“If you’re looking to increase capacity over a short distance but want to avoid the commitment of a coherent solution, then Smartoptics’ open line system is a great alternative that delivers on ease of use and cost”

Richard Irving, Managing Director LONAP

The Solution

Plug and play solution with clear benefits

The Internet exchange was also keen to understand if it could leverage their existing switching platform based on Arista switches to drive coloured 100G waves between locations as they had done for 10G in the past. Smartoptics has worked for many years on transforming open line systems traditionally deployed in the hyperscale environment into simpler, plug and play solutions with wider use cases, like the internet exchange market.

“We looked around at the available technology at the time and really was looking to extend what was possible at 10G to 100G. The Smartoptics’ DCP-M8 has turned out to be a perfect fit,” remarks Richard.

The solution chosen by LONAP includes Smartoptics’ open line system with PAM4 QSFP28 transceivers from Inphi. By fully integrating the solution into their existing Arista switches, the exchange now has fully digital diagnostic support in the network operation system making it a truly integrated packet optical solution.

Now LONAP has 800Gb capacity per span that only requires a 1U line system and a maximum power consumption of around 45W. The upgraded networking solution is optimized for 0-80 kilometres, so ideal for interconnects in the London metro environment

the Result

Add capacity at the touch of a button

Another great benefit of LONAP’s new networking solution is the easy provisioning of new services. The system is fully automated in terms of adding or removing services and today the Internet exchange can increase capacity almost at the touch of a button.

“With the open line system from Smartoptics we can cross connect between data centres adding 100G capacity by simply adding new transceivers and a patch cord. Nothing could be simpler,” concludes Richard.

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