Published on March 9, 2014
1.1 Unified Physical Infrastructure 1.1.1 Communication Information Communication Technology (ICT) facilitates the exchange of information (communication) between two points. This involves communication between both man and machines, as shown in Figure 1. Figure 1 - Information Exchange Information exchange includes: • • • Voice (Fixed Telephones, Mobile Telephones, Public Address Systems, etc…) Data (Computer applications, Internet, iBMS and control systems etc…) Video (TV signals, CCTV signals…) 1.1.2 Topology The prime objective of a Unified Physical Infrastructure (UPI) is to provide a single platform for all of these information exchanges, enabling connectivity between any two points on the infrastructure, as well as multi-point communications for conferencing. All electronic services share the network at one of the levels shown in Figure 2. 4. WAVELENGTH SHARING -‐ Separate Packets 3. FIBRE SHARING -‐ Separate Wavelengths 2. CABLE SHARING -‐ Separate Fibres 1. DUCT SHARING -‐ Separate Cables Figure 2 - UPI Sharing Levels
At what level a particular service sits within the UPI will depend upon the service requirements and its location within the network. It is anticipated that the majority of sharing will occur at levels 2 and 3. The UPI occupies layer 1 and layer 2 of the OSI 7-layer reference model1, and therefore includes a layer 2 communications protocol, as well as the cabling and connection interface elements that sit at layer 1. The preferred protocol for UPI is Ethernet in its various forms, which provides compatibility and scalability across the whole infrastructure. This enables any higher layer Ethernet compatible protocol (e.g. Internet Protocol [IP]) to be used for the various systems to be deployed. It should be noted that the UPI provides the means for information exchange, but not the information systems themselves. However, when designing the UPI, the types of systems and their requirements must be taken into consideration. Like all extensive communications systems, UPI is hierarchical. This provides a formal organization to the infrastructure, allowing for individual sections to be upgraded without affecting the rest of the network. For the purposes of this document, the overall UPI has been divided into 3 areas, as shown in Figure 3. Future design work will determine exactly how the carrier and access networks will be divided, but this will most likely conform to this model in some way. DATA CENTRE Carrier Networks LOCAL HUBS Access Networks BUILDINGS Local Area Networks Figure 3 – Typical UPI Hierarchy Clearly, the higher you go in the structure, the more critical the link becomes. Losing a carrier network could potentially disconnect a complete district. It is therefore necessary to provide additional resilience and redundancy to the higher levels. 1.2 The 4th Utility Just as connecting a pipe to a water main will provide a supply of water; UPI will ensure that the connection of a suitable device to the network will provide a supply of information. With the water analogy, the user will have no idea or concern how the water gets there, and so it will be with information exchange, and as with water he will 1 A universally accepted model developed by OSI (Open Systems Interconnection) categorizing seven processes required for Device to device communication.
expect it to be there on demand, 24/7. The intricacies of data flow, information security and service delivery will be taken care of by the operator, enabling new services to be connected in a trouble-free and timely way. The user will not be faced with multiple bills and customer assistance organisations, all services will come under the heading “ICT”
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