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Why Network-as-a-Service Needs to Include IP Transit

You would think that it’d be easy to buy Internet from a service provider on the Internet. For consumers, this is clearly the case. You can go to an ISP’s website, sign up, enter your payment information and transact a new connection for your home. But for IP Transit services, online buying has not been the norm, and is still new.

At, we believe that Network as a Service (NaaS) automation needs to be extended to consume all network infrastructure services, including IP Transit. In this blog, we’ll explore why. 

what is network-as-a-service?

NaaS is considered a form of software-defined networking. In other words, rather than relying on manual or administrative steps to drive the commercial and operational transactions of procuring and deploying network connectivity services, the NaaS model creates a software-defined way for IT teams to order and provision network bandwidth and network security services on a real-time, self-service basis, like software as a service (SaaS) products.  

Providers typically build an on-demand network management portal and API that offers transparent pricing, ordering, configuration of initial and upgrade services, plus embedded network operations tools.  

NaaS providers and NaaS offers are distinct from managed service providers. NaaS providers optimize their service model to provide a cloud-like user experience, whereas managed service providers seek to take on end-to-end network management including on-premises network infrastructure. 

Note also that what isn’t distinct about the transition from traditional telco to NaaS (as opposed to the transition from enterprise software to SaaS) is the fundamental nature of the service. All enterprise telecom and network connectivity service offerings are inherently subscription-based, so the customer is deploying opex instead of capex for these services, whether ordered in a traditional manner from a legacy telco process, or via a NaaS portal. 

In addition, NaaS doesn’t necessarily define the scalability of the network services or capacity of the provider.  

The primary business needs that NaaS meets is offering greater pricing transparency, operational agility, and greater service consumability to support variable IT lifecycles. For example, it’s much easier to offer monthly, daily, hourly, or usage-based services for high-speed connectivity when a customer can simply transact for the service via an on-demand portal.  

the state of naas solutions

NaaS providers mostly started out focused on providing private wide area network (WAN) services aimed at enterprise network use cases such as interconnecting data centers and cloud services. Services offered by NaaS providers include: 

  • Cloud-hosted network functions such as firewalls, hosted SD-WAN, Network Address Translation, and other capabilities.  
  • Multi-cloud connectivity between various cloud computing providers like AWS, Microsoft, and Google, plus IaaS providers like Digital Ocean and Vultr. 
  • Cloud routers that eliminate the need for a data center presence and on-premises network hardware such as Cisco routers, to connect multiple virtual private clouds together. 
  • Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) services that allow offices and remote workers to connect to cybersecurity capabilities hosted in the cloud, via virtual private network (VPN) tunnels. 

Much of the emphasis of NaaS providers so far has been to offer an alternative to traditional telco offerings such as MPLS. NaaS provides enterprises with a private, resilient, and secure network solutions supported by SLAs and sound security policies. Enterprises can use these new, on-demand WAN services as a key building block for their overall network architecture. 

The Need for IP Transit to turn into NaaS

While we applaud the development of the NaaS space for private services (especially since we also provide this type of service with our Flex Ethernet offering), we strongly believe that NaaS must address IP Transit. 

IP Transit is a critical aspect of how the Internet works. But it’s still largely stuck in the realm of old-world, telco-style buying, selling, and horse-trading. That old-world order is the antithesis of transparency and agility.  

At we’ve built a pan-European transit network that we believe works way harder for our customers’ business needs, which are all about delivering greater traffic performance and user experience to more endpoints and eyeballs across the Internet. We peer openly and broadly, connecting with regional and smaller networks so that you get more optimal routes to more places where your audience is living online. And we offer this high quality with competitive pricing. 

NaaS is important for IP Transit because finally, you can see the pricing transparently, consider your options easily, order when ready online, and access visibility tools when you want. 


If you’re ready for a little more (okay, how about a lot more) transparency in how you buy IP Transit, look no further than a Network-as-a-Service version. Check out our service on, register on our portal, and do some online IP Transit shopping!