CPE/NID options

I’m evaluating CPEs for one of my clients, a regional ISP. Currently, we’re terminating the customer’s service (L3) on our upstream equipment and extending it over our own fiber to the customer’s premise, where it lands in a Juniper EX2200 or EX2300.

At a previous job, I used Accedian’s ANTs on the customer prem side. I like the ANT because it has a small footprint with only 2 ports, it’s passively cooled, it’s very simple to operate, it’s controlled centrally, etc. Unfortunately, when I reached out to Accedian, they insisted that the controller (which is required) started at $30k, which is a non-starter for us.

I’m not aware of any other products like this. Does anyone have a recommendation for a simple L2* device to deploy to customer premises? Not necessarily the exact same thing, but something similarly-featured would be ideal.

*I’m not sure if the ANT is exactly “layer 2”, but I don’t know what else to call it.

Hi Ross,

I’ve found these Mikrotik devices to be excellent and reliable:

CRS310-8G+2S+IN: 8 x 2.5G copper ethernet ports, 2 x SFP+ cages, rack-mountable. Uses a single DC barrel-jack. https://mikrotik.com/product/crs310_8g_2s_in
CRS305-1G-4S+IN: 4 x SFP+ cages, dual DC barrel-jack ports for redundant power, 1 x 1G copper ethernet port for OOB management. https://mikrotik.com/product/crs305_1g_4s_in
CRS310-1G-5S-4S+OUT: 4 x SFP+ cages, 5 x SFP cages, 1 x 1G copper ethernet port for OOB management, can be mounted outdoors. https://mikrotik.com/product/netfiber_9

MSRP on all three are at or below $249.00 so are priced quite reasonably. If you only need SFP+ cages I’d opt for the CRS305-1G-4S+IN.

Christopher Hawker

We are using EX2300-C’s, they do the trick very well. Fanless, flexible mounting options, dual 10G feeds, and a nice price point.

I believe RAD makes a device similar to the Accedian. There’s also the Metro Nid line from Accedian, but while they do a lot, they’re pretty spendy.


Hi Ross,

The Nokia 7210 sas range has suitable devices for layer2 (sas-k5) and MPLS (sas-k12, sas-d) edge at non totally crazy prices. They are true telco grade edge devices - https://onestore.nokia.com/asset/184551

I don’t know about specific SKUs, but IP Infusion make a very popular set of L2 switches.

For ISPs buying this sort of white box/OEM platform in large quantities, I would recommend sending one person to attend the yearly Computex Taipei trade show to look at the new stuff and meet the manufacturer reps in person.

Edgecore is just a marketing name/sub-brand for the company Accton.


When you say fiber, is it Ethernet? If you just want layer 2 and a media converter, Mikrotik is a super good answer.

The problem with using switches as a CPE device is the lack of RFC2544 (or equivalent) testing, and monitoring of the complete circuit with TWAMP. Both of which are used to ensure compliance with an SLA.

Around here, Spectrum uses an Adva for demarc and it can not do rfc2544 testing. They will unplug the Adva and plug in the techs’ mobile unit (Viavi I think). VZW/Tmo/Sprint/etc don’t seem to mind.

For those carriers that do not mind, they have already accepted the cost that comes to a truck roll and may pass the cost onto the customer depending on the result. Where as there are a number of carriers like Cogent, Colt, Comcast, Cox, Crown Castle, Lumen, Zayo, are capable of testing the circuit without a truck roll.

Adva, RAD, and Telco Systems are all good NID options.

You can go with just any switch, but “proper” NIDs have dying gasp. If the NID is going on a customer premise, I consider dying gasp a must. The dying gasp allows your NOC to determine the difference between a network break and fiber cut.


Can you have an ethernet switch with dying gasp?

Our ONTs (Calix, PON) have it but I don’t see how you’d do it with ethernet.

At least via efm-oam you can have a dying gasp.

You could probably add it to autonegotiation, by sending some symbol. There is already something similar in autonegotiation, like autonegotiation can inform the far end, when it is locally shutdown. That is, if I have A-B link, and B does ‘shutdown’ on the interface, A could emit syslog ‘far-end administratively down’. This is supported by many common PHYs, but for some reason I’ve never seen software implementation.
Of course this same thing ‘admin down’, could be abused by sending it always when you know you are going down. So an adventurous operator who controls their environment could add this today with just code.

Of course. Dying gasp is supported on most switches that are typically classified as NIDs.

For example, Cisco:


PDF Document · 1.1 MB


Dying gasp is just a Ethernet OAM frame broadcast on (usually) all ports just before loss of power. If anything, Ethernet had this first, and ONTs just included it into their standards.