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GEA—The Ultimate Guide

Tom Hassan

Digital Marketing Executive at Node4

Answering the FAQ's about Generic Ethernet Access.

What is GEA?

GEA stands for Generic Ethernet Access. In essence, GEA is a type of Ethernet connectivity that exploits copper access between your business and the BT access point.

What does GEA do?

Using BT Wholesale Ethernet Network (Etherflow), Node4’s GEA provides a low cost of entry, connecting your business to the Node4 network for Internet, VoIP, and MPLS services.

What speeds are available?

Node4 will deliver the fastest available speeds. Our GEA provides symmetrical speeds of up to 20Mbps (10, 15 Mbps options are available).

How long does it take to deploy?

Because GEA exploits copper access, it is quicker to deploy than Fibre access. Once the new PSTN line is live, typical installation takes 20 working days.

Does Node4’s GEA service include the PSTN line?


What can I use GEA for?

You can use GEA for a multitude of reasons, including: connection Node4’s MPLS services; as a back up service to a primary Fibre link; to support Multi-COS for differentiated services (such as voice and data); or just for improved SLAs over standard Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC).

Do Node4 restrict any ports on GEA equipment?


What is Node4’s provisioning process?

Node4’s provisioning process consists complete management of the delivery of all elements: First PSTN. Then for the GEA: A pre-configured router, test of the service, and then handover.

So, why not just use FTTC?

If you wanted an Internet connection without a Quality of Service (QoS) guarantee, then you could choose FTTC. GEA also has faster delivery, a known install cost, and is ideal for low-bandwidth.

Is GEA better than Broadband?

It depends. GEA is better for VoiP and MPLS projects because there is no QoS on Broadband services.

How does bandwidth differ between FTTC and GEA?

With GEA, you get dedicated, consistent bandwidth, which you cannot get with FTTC.

Are there any usage caps for Node4’s GEA?

No. However, like all our services, there is an Acceptable Usage Policy.

Do Node4 monitor the GEA connection for performance?

Yes. We can provide a number of reporting options as part of a fully managed service.

What are Node4’s contract lengths for GEA?

The minimum length contract we offer is 12 months.

What happens in the event of a failure?

Node4 will fix the router/PSTN/Ethernet in line with the support agreement.

What equipment will Node4 provide for the customer?

Node4 will provide either Cisco or Juniper routers.