Originally posted on Bluebird Network

The quest for faster, more reliable, and cost-effective networks is an ongoing journey. Bluebird Network, a leading provider of high-speed internet and digital services, has experienced this evolution firsthand as we’ve grown and expanded our network. Along the way, we have integrated a powerful solution that not only reduces costs but also enhances the quality and resiliency of our services: Access Points of Presence (PoPs).

When Bluebird first embarked on its mission to connect communities through high-speed internet, our network primarily consisted of large PoPs in the Midwest. Our established PoPs allowed us to serve a significant number of customers, but they came with limitations. As we expanded within cities and towns, our network density increased. This meant leasing more space in a single area, without adding much in terms of network resiliency. While Bluebird owns most of their larger PoPs, these are expensive to lease for companies that do not, and they also lack the flexibility to ensure uninterrupted connectivity in the event of fiber cuts or other disruptions.

Recognizing the need for a more efficient and resilient network, Bluebird introduced Access PoPs — a smaller alternative in areas like Columbia, MO. Bluebird also owns these Access PoPs, which translates to no recurring, expensive leases – just a one-time installation fee. This  results in cost savings over time, and increases resiliency for customers served by access pops.

Our Access PoPs work in tandem with existing large PoPs, forming resilient Access rings. Access PoPs connect diversely to the larger Pops, sharing the load across multiple access points. This approach has dramatically reduced the risk of network downtime. For instance, if a fiber cut occurs, businesses are no longer solely dependent on a single large PoP for connectivity, ensuring a more reliable network and reducing the risk of downtime due to unforeseen events. The use of Access PoPs pushes protection closer to the end customer, who is then safeguarded against fiber cuts that may have otherwise have resulted in a negative experience.

With Access PoPs, we have the flexibility to segment a city like Columbia. If there are 200 customer sites there, we can have 75 connected through one Access PoP, 75 through another, and 50 through the preexisting large PoP. This approach optimizes the network and ensures even traffic distribution.

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