why access?

The access layer is the point in the network where users and their devices - be it phones, tablets or TVs - connect to the network to get access to applications and services.

It may not be a single point, but a hierarchical structure like the branches of a tree, separating out into smaller branches as it reaches the end user devices.

Today, the access layer whether indoors or outdoors is a mix of wired and wireless technologies. Everything from LTE and WiFi to DOCSIS cable and ADSL can be considered access layer technologies.

This tends to be the part of the network where the biggest improvements in data throughput are possible for an end user, making it typically the most exciting and frequently covered in the news.

What do we need from access for 2020?

Although not a full list, here are 3 important points.

higher capacity

Capacity can be measured in both data rate and connected devices. We need both.

Lower Latency

Latency adds up at every point through the network. Keeping it low is vital for many uses.

Easier deployment

Bringing the network we need for 2020 where we need it needs to be easier and faster.

What's next?

Now that we've seen the access layer, it's time to follow the data back into the core of the network.