March/April - Broadband Communities Magazine

March/April - Broadband Communities Magazine



When you have FiOS, other buildings just can’t compare.

The ultimate entertainment

at home and on the go.

• FiOS® Internet – America’s fastest, most consistent

and most reliable Internet

• FiOS® TV – High-quality access to over 540 channels,

including 140+ in HD

• Verizon Flex View * – Allows you to watch over

12,000 titles on the go, on your TV, PC, or

compatible smartphone

Give your property the unbeatable power of FiOS® today.


CALL 1.888.376.5472

Unparalleled control, remote

access, and more convenience.

• Verizon Concierge – Lifestyle amenity management

solution offering property communications and alerts

for residents, plus package tracking, integrated vendor

services and more

• Verizon Home Monitoring and Control ** – And with FiOS,

your residents can get the most out of other great Verizon

services like Verizon Home Monitoring and Control, which

allows them to monitor cameras, manage energy use, and

remotely access and control devices in their home, via

their TV remote, smartphone, or laptop/PC

*Service usage and content availability restrictions apply.

** Home Monitoring and Control Service is provided by Verizon Online LLC. Licensed in NY # 12000302262 by NY State Department of State. VA DJCS #11-6657. Requires home monitoring

and control kit, starting at $69.99 (sold separately). Additional monthly recurring service fee of $9.99 billed separately. $7.99 Shipping fee & other taxes and charges apply. Requires

home monitoring and control equipment kit, Verizon broadband service and home network, sold separately. If you are not completely satisfied, you may cancel your service within

30 days of order, return all equipment provided and receive a refund for any monthly service or equipment charges paid. If you fail to return the equipment an equipment fee will apply.

Home Monitoring and Control Service is not available for small business users and is not intended for non-residential consumer or commercial business use. Other terms and conditions apply.

FiOS available in select areas. Actual speeds may vary. Battery back up for standard fiber-based voice, FiOS Digital Voice and E911 (but not other voice services) for up to 8 hours. Call for details.

©2012 Verizon. E5942



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Scott DeGarmo


Nancy McCain


Steven S. Ross


Masha Zager


Irene G. Prescott


Meredith Terrall


Karry Thomas


Joe Bousquin

David Daugherty, Korcett Holdings Inc.

Richard Holtz, InfiniSys

W. James MacNaughton, Esq.

Henry Pye, RealPage

Bryan Rader, Bandwidth Consulting LLC

Robert L. Vogelsang, Broadband Communities Magazine



Scott DeGarmo



Himi Kittner



Nancy McCain


Norman E. Dolph


Robert L. Vogelsang


The Hon. Hilda Gay Legg



1909 Avenue G

Rosenberg, Tx 77471

281.342.9655, Fax 281.342.1158

Broadband Communities (ISSN 0745-8711) (USPS 679-

050) (Publication Mail Agreement #1271091) is published 7

times a year at a rate of $24 per year by Broadband Properties

LLC, 1909 Avenue G, Rosenberg, TX 77471. Periodical postage

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POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to Broadband

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CANADA POST: Publications Mail Agreement #40612608.

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Copyright © 2012 Broadband Properties LLC. All rights


Editor’s Note

Getting Creative

With Broadband

One reward of editing a magazine is being able to

call attention to great new ideas. This issue is

exceptionally rewarding.

Maybe it’s the arrival of spring,

but I’m seeing shoots of creativity

burgeoning everywhere.

This issue introduces the first installment

of a new feature, Lessons From the

Field. It’s a series of short takes that showcase

the creative solutions smaller companies

have developed to address broadband

deployment challenges, both technical

and financial. Deployers are working

with vendors and consultants to deliver

the benefits of high-speed broadband in

ways tailored to their particular areas.

Unlike larger telecom operators,

which can have equipment and software

designed to order and can finance customized

marketing campaigns, smaller

companies depend largely on off-the-shelf

products and services. Creativity for them

lies in devising new combinations and applications

of materials already at hand.

Even a provider in unusual circumstances

– one company featured in Lessons

From the Field delivers fiber-based

broadband to a ski resort at the top of the

Sierra Nevada – may devise a solution

that proves useful to others. Given that

more than 800 companies now deploy

fiber to the premises, mostly on a small

scale, and many more deploy other technologies

for advanced broadband, a good

solution developed by one company is almost

bound to find another application

somewhere else.

More exaMples

The creative solutions detailed in this issue

of BroadBand Communities don’t

appear only in Lessons From the Field.

In the Owners Corner column, Henry

2 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | March/april 2012

Pye describes how he and others came

up with a cost-effective way to deploy

managed Ethernet solutions in cottagestyle

student housing communities. Joan

Engebretson reveals how creative financing

(I mean that in a good way) allowed

the Rural Nebraska Healthcare Network

to improve health care in the Nebraska

panhandle region and bring high-speed

broadband services to businesses.

In the Property of the Month feature,

the aptly named consulting firm Innovative

I.T. discusses how it designed stateof-the-art

broadband infrastructure for

an affordable housing community – enabling

the developer, Abode Communities,

to not only bridge the digital divide

but also win a Platinum LEED rating.

The MDU Showcase describes how

Elauwit Networks, a private cable operator

in Seattle, worked with 3M to run fiber

almost invisibly through the hallways

and apartments of a luxury high-rise.

And in the Broadband Apps section, Jack

Olson of Viamedia offers ideas for small

FTTH providers that want to use their

fiber to deliver advanced video services

but are daunted by the economics of a

business that seems tilted in favor of the

big guns.

You’ll find plenty more examples of

deployer imagination throughout this issue

– as well as a 13-page list of new product

offerings that should inspire network

builders to new heights of inventiveness.

Happy spring!

Solid. Innovative.


(a.k.a. Time Warner Cable.)

Your residents already know what’s in our name.

Building a great reputation is easy. Start by concentrating on a single

customer and providing them with advanced Digital TV, Internet, and

Digital Home Phone services, as flawlessly as possible, over an extended

period. Then, just repeat the process a few million times. At least, that’s

always been our goal. You expect nothing less. Time Warner Cable delivers.

To learn more about partnering with Time Warner Cable, simply contact

Joanne C. Luger at 703.345.2749 or email

© 2012 Time Warner Cable Inc. All rights reserved, Time Warner Cable and the eye/ear logo are trademarks of

Time Warner Inc., used under license.


editor’s Note . . . . . . . 2

Bandwidth Hawk . . . . 6

Marketplace ads . . . . 75


Table of Contents

advertiser Index . . . . 76

Calendar . . . . . . . . . 76

Broadband Communities

11th annual list of leading

Broadband Technologies and services | 32

Learn about this year’s latest and greatest broadband products …

and then see them at the BBC Summit.

Independent Telcos

More Than 600

Independent Telcos Deploy FTTH | 48

By Masha Zager ■ Broadband Communities

A technology once on the bleeding edge is now thoroughly

mainstream for small telephone companies – but will it stay that way?

lessons From the Field

Tales From the Fiber Frontier | 54

How to power a mountain, mix and match different flavors of fiber,

beta-test new gear and market services for a network that hasn’t

been built.

Middle-Mile Networks

Unique partnership Key To

rural Nebraska Healthcare Network | 56

By Joan Engebretson

A creative collaboration leads to better health care for residents of the

Nebraska panhandle and better broadband for the area’s businesses.


passive optical laN For smart Businesses | 60

By Rob Narzisi ■ Advanced Media Technologies

Fiber-to-the-desk solutions are catching on. Their lower capex and

opex, combined with environmental benefits and future-proofing,

have caught the attention of IT departments.

The Case for Vectoring | 64

By Ariel Caner ■ ECI Telecom

A new technology that lets telcos deliver more advanced services

over copper eases the transition to fiber.

economic Development

proving the link Between Broadband

and economic Development | 68

By Ken Demlow ■ NewCom Technologies

To demonstrate that broadband sparks economic development,

communities need to pool their information.

Broadband apps

Getting started With Video advertising | 72

By Jack Olson ■ Viamedia

Video is a big part of the FTTH equation, and local advertising is

a big part of video. It’s daunting, but third-party partners can help.

Visit for up-to-the-minute news

of broadband trends, technologies and deployments.

Follow BroadBand Communities on Twitter at

bbcmag for alerts about breaking news items.


4 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | March/april 2012

provider perspective

Hungry for a New approach? | 8

By Bryan J. Rader ■ Bandwidth Consulting LLC

A reality show about restaurant makeovers inspires new ideas for

private cable operators.

owners Corner

Cottage-style Broadband | 10

By Henry Pye ■ RealPage Inc.

The newest student-housing communities may look like singlefamily

developments, but using Ethernet to manage their Internet

services still makes sense.

Fiber Deployments

Highlights From the Fiber

Deployment roundup Blog | 12

Special report on responses to the Gig.U RFI, plus: Google starts

its FTTH deployment in Kansas City; DISH Network launches

a video offering on the UTOPIA open-access network; a publicprivate

partnership in California turns up its first fiber-fed building.

property of the Month

rio Vista apartments, los angeles | 14

By Joe Bousquin ■ Broadband Communities

This affordable housing community in Los Angeles uses state-ofthe-art

broadband infrastructure, free basic Internet service for

residents and a computer lab to help bridge the digital divide.

MDU showcase

Fiber pathways preserve

The View in Upscale High-rise | 18

By Linnea Wilkes ■ 3M Communication Markets Division

The views from Seattle’s Grandview tower are indeed grand – both

outside and inside. When the homeowners association upgraded to

FTTH, it managed to keep the views intact with some help from


MDU Technology

MDU solutions for electric Vehicle Charging | 20

By Bryan J. Rader ■ Bandwidth Consulting LLC

Get ready for the next technology amenity on MDU residents’

must-have list.

FTTH Industry leaders

Q&a With pedro Correa, Vice president,

Verizon enhanced Communities | 22

Verizon’s new MDU chief aims to win the hearts and minds of

multifamily residents – and of property owners, too.

Q&a With Heather Gold, president,

FTTH Council North america | 26

The Council’s new leader, a telecom industry veteran, will reach

out to communities to help them channel their “gig envy” into

action plans.

FTTH Conference Munich

Is europe ready For the Zettabyte era? | 28

By Olaf Storaasli ■ DSM Functional Materials

Experts convened at a roundtable at the European FTTH

Conference agreed that the mainstream telecom industry in

Europe is finally embracing fiber to the home.

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3D Is Here to Stay

It takes a visionary to see the invisible. But it shouldn’t when it comes to

broadband. The signs are all too obvious.

By Steven S. Ross ■ Broadband Communities

My wife often jokes that it takes

four people to make me look

sentient on TV – one behind

the camera, one to check the sound, one

to set the lights and a producer to boss

them all around. Now it takes at least

two more, to aim two additional cameras,

both 3D.

This crew all crowded into an airplane

a few months ago to shoot a new

History Channel special. 3D has become

the norm for television production

because that end of the business knows

3D is here to stay. Just look at the ongoing

“fire sale” of less capable flat-screen

sets at Best Buy, Walmart and the local

appliance store. The ideal – a 3D set

that doesn’t need those cumbersome 3D

glasses – has been on the market for two

years. It will be mainstream by year-end,

if not sooner.

In the wings is a new, top-end HDTV

with vertical resolution of 2,160 lines instead

of 1,080. That’s a fourfold increase

in pixels – and 20 Mbps per channel.

Combine that with the “one customer,

many screens” strategy network providers

are rolling out, and household bandwidth

demand is jumping again.

Think about Mom, Dad, and the

kids, each watching what they want on

a tablet or a large-screen TV ... or a mobile


Think about mobile communications

channeled mainly through users’

own home networks to avoid or ameliorate

cellular download limits.

Think about the 150 Mbps top-end

service that Verizon is expected to roll

out next year – a service possible only on

a fiber-to-the-home network. And think

about the 20 to 50 Mbps upload speed

that will come with it.

Think about the burgeoning field of

cloud services – everything from home

and business data backup to putting

most software on the network rather

than on customers’ devices. When I visited

Taiwan last year, researchers showed

off a powerful cloud data center housed

in two semitrailer trucks. Equip a parking

lot with fiber trunk or a metro ring,

and you could conceivably have one of

these in a few days.

THe elepHaNT IN THe rooM

Over the next five years, broadband providers

will have to meet the demand for

Some things are invisible because they

are too small. Other things are

invisible because they are too large –

and the ongong seismic shift in bandwidth

seems to be one of them.

all these applications at the same time

many of them are spending to expand

the capacity of their cellular networks

to somewhere near the theoretical limits

for available spectrum (about 20 Mbps

– and that’s pushing it – in urban areas).

However, FTTH providers – and

there are more than 800 of them now –

will be cruising. They will have already

made much of the landline investment.

Why, then, is Wall Street still ner-

about the author

Contact the Hawk at

6 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | March/april 2012

vous? More bandwidth and more services

mean more revenues.

Why, then, do public officials still

spout nonsense – even in states where

they should know better, such as California

– about mobile broadband being

able to handle the demand? That would

require repealing the laws of physics.

Aren’t presidential candidates the only

ones with a license to do that?

Why, then, is there still opposition

to open-access schemes, even by

small ILECs that do not have anywhere

near the management horsepower to

offer the hundreds of branded services –

from cloud computing to health care to

gaming – that are now available?

Some things are invisible because

they are too small. Other things are invisible

because they are too large – and

the ongoing seismic shift in bandwidth

seems to be one of them. In the meantime,

catch me on History Channel this

month in a two-hour special, “Invisible.”

It has nothing to do with broadband –

and everything to do with it. v

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Provider Perspective

Hungry for a New Approach?

In a new reality show, a celebrity chef turns around desperate restaurants.

Private cable operators could learn a thing or two from his methods.

By Bryan Rader ■ Bandwidth Consulting LLC

I’ve recently started watching a show

on Food Network called Restaurant:

Impossible. Have you seen it yet?

In this new reality show, celebrity

chef Robert Irvine is given the mission

of making the impossible possible by

renovating a failing restaurant in two

days on a $10,000 budget. His goal is to

fix America’s most desperate restaurants.

All the episodes we have seen center on

creating fresh ideas and a new spirit using

more creativity than capital.

In one episode, Irvine takes on an

underperforming, family-run Italian

restaurant with outdated decor, no

theme, an overly broad menu, an uneducated

cook and a discouraged service

staff. In 48 hours, he directs a complete

turnaround of the business.

I spoke to the owner of a restaurant

in my home town that participated on

Restaurant: Impossible last year. The

restaurant, Meglio’s, saw sales shoot up

more than 10 percent right after the reopening.

“He changed my dining room

and reduced my menu size,” John Meglio

explained, “and he taught my cooks how

to prep and cook the new menu in two

days. I really liked most of the changes

– and the increase in sales.” Chef Irvine

turned the impossible into the possible.

His approach involves fresh thinking

and a new start. He is often seen tearing

up old wallpaper, replacing bad lighting

with newly updated fixtures and moving

tables and chairs around to develop

a new atmosphere. He has even knocked

down walls to create a small lounge or a

new bar area.

Does Robert Irvine know a thing

or two about the private cable operator

(PCO) business? Just like the restaurants

in Restaurant: Impossible, many

PCOs get stuck in a rut.

Spruce up the infrastructure, bring the products

up to date, inspire the staff – et voilà!

Imagine you had $10,000 to spend

in 48 hours on one of your old cable systems

that hasn’t seen an upgrade in quite

a while – one that is living on an old

analog service with modest digital offerings

and slow Internet speeds. What

would you do to improve your business,

your product and your service to

this community? How could you turn

Cable: Impossible into possible?

as easy as 1-2-3

The first thing the Restaurant: Impossible

team does is to look at the restaurant’s

decor. One of the show’s designers,

Vanessa Deleon of Vanessa Deleon

Associates, told me, “I look at the clientele,

the demographics of the customer.

I use this to determine the right theme,

look and feel for the upgrade. Your environment

is everything, and the restaurant

needs to look the right part. I find

ways to creatively give the space a lift.”

For PCOs, the equivalent of decor

is the infrastructure. A quick face-lift

might include fixing home-run wires

draped across exterior walls, improving

the plant electronics to increase Internet

speeds, retightening security boxes or

adding another satellite to the mix.

Step two for Irvine is to look at the

restaurant’s product – its menu. Often,

8 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | March/april 2012

he cuts the number of menu items in

half and picks a few specialties to give

the restaurant some uniqueness.

A PCO could also take a look at its

menu. Has it correctly matched broadband

speeds to residents’ demands? Does

it offer the right mix of programming for

the community? Is it trying to duplicate

Comcast’s offering or is it catering to the

MDU client’s true needs, which might

involve adding a Wi-Fi hotspot for the

leasing office or creating an access-gate

channel for residents to see their guests?

Finally, Restaurant: Impossible works

with the restaurant’s wait staff, educating

them about their products and instilling

in them a sense of ownership, pride and

enthusiasm. PCOs can do the same with

service techs and CSRs. Are they trained

to upsell customers to new products? Do

they know the triple-play specials? Have

they bought into the program?

Upgrading a tired old family restaurant

can be very similar to upgrading

a sleepy old PCO system. With limited

resources, Restaurant: Impossible

achieves success by creatively adjusting

the atmosphere, modifying the product

and improving service. PCOs with limited

resources can also focus on the possible

and give new life to their tired old

systems. v

about the author

Bryan Rader is CEO of Bandwidth Consulting LLC, which assists providers in the

multifamily market. You can reach Bryan at or at 636-

536-0011. Learn more at

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Cottage-style developments are

the newest trend in off-campus

student living. Combining many

facets of new urbanism, a cottage student

development is essentially a neighborhood

of duplexes and Colorado-style

homes (houses with open floor plans

centered around large living spaces)

leased by the bed. Some recent cottage

developments include single-family

homes intermixed with three- to sixunit

attached homes or even traditional

multifamily buildings. Every cottage

development has a clubhouse that offers

amenities on a par with any multifamily


In the fall of 2011, Aspen Heights – a

company founded with the goal of revolutionizing

student living – approached

RealPage with an interesting challenge:

provide its residents with the same highspeed

Internet access (HSIA) as multifamily

developments without breaking

the bank. The company had two new

cottage-style developments under way.

• Aspen Heights Auburn will include

123 homes, 206 units and 600 beds

and be served by Knology.

• Aspen Heights San Antonio will have

172 homes, 284 units and 844 beds

and be served by Time Warner Cable.

In building cottage developments, developers

hope to blend the best aspects of

purpose-built student housing and traditional

single-family neighborhoods. For

more than a decade, almost all purposebuilt

student multifamily communities

have used highly managed Ethernet

networks to provide wired and wireless

HSIA to residents. In a typical student

building, a fiber backbone runs to build-

Owners Corner

Cottage-Style Broadband

Aspen Heights ups the ante at student cottage-style developments by

providing HSIA services as good as or better than those in traditional

multifamily buildings – contrary to conventional wisdom.

By Henry Pye ■ RealPage Inc.

from BCR/IDF

(2) Strands SM fiber

(1) series 6 coaxial

ing or riser closets, and Cat 5e cables feed

each unit. The solution is similar to what

is used in local area networks (LANs) in

fiber-fed commercial buildings.

Ethernet, outfitted with managed

switches and access points, has repeatedly

proved to be the most cost-effective

way to provide HSIA. However, the cost

of running fiber to more than 100 structures,

not to mention the expense of as

many closets or surface-mounted enclosures,

has been considered prohibitive

about the author

Henry Pye is vice president of resident technology services for RealPage (www.realpage.

com). He can be reached at

10 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | March/april 2012


8 Data or

IP TV Drops

to Outlets

(if a duplex)

Vented Cover

(space for managed switch)

120v Duplex

6 Video Drops

to Outlets

(1) category 5e

(1) series 6 coaxial

(1) category 5e

Living Room

Bedroom Desk




(1) category 5e

(1) series 6 coaxial



6” above cabinet

Closest to middle of unit

Bedroom Dresser

Figure 1: Each building in a cottage-style development has its own wiring closet – a combination

communications room and distribution panel.


for cottage developments. Instead, the

sorts of cable modem or xDSL solutions

used in neighborhoods of single-family

homes were believed to be the best options

for cottage developments. All a

cottage developer needed to do was provide

the phone or cable company with

access to the joint trench, and the community

would be ready to provide HSIA

to its residents.

Unfortunately, although cable and

DSL services are well-suited for single-

family homes and conventional multifamily

communities, there is a reason

these services struggle in student multifamily

communities. Cable modem and

xDSL solutions are simply not as highly

manageable. Student living is the most

challenging environment in which to

provide wired and wireless HSIA, and

many cottage developments have run

into the same problems that previously

caused student multifamily communities

to move to Ethernet delivery.


Still, wouldn’t building an Ethernet network

for a cottage-style community be far

too expensive? To be candid, we at Real-

Page had our doubts. We had proposals

in hand that quoted more than $750,000

for the fiber alone based on traditional

multifamily designs. Thus, although we

had many questions, we knew the Ethernet

needed to be laid out differently if

we were to have any hope of an affordable


With the help of hardworking contractors

Mike Kolb and Scott Hart, and

of Chris Bowman and David Lippke

at the managed Internet service firm

Korcett, we first isolated the primary

cost drivers of an Ethernet buildout and

then crafted a layout focused on reducing

the most expensive components.

Although most people look at the open

spaces of a cottage development as a

problem for low-voltage layouts, we embraced

open space as a blank slate without

many of the pathway constraints of

multifamily construction.

Figure 1 shows the basic wiring layout

of each home. Although there are

subtle differences due to unit mix, local

code and home design differences, we

essentially combined the typical apartment

distribution panel and building

communications room from a typical

multifamily development. A managed

switch is placed in the bottom of

a vented 28-inch panel in each home to

serve one or more units. A managed access

point is placed above the cabinets in

the kitchen. Each panel is fed directly by

two strands of fiber.

So far, the cost of wiring a unit is comparable

to that in a typical multifamily

student development. However, the fiber

Owners Corner

Ethernet’s manageability makes it a

cost-effective choice for providing Internet services

in student housing, even if cabling and data

equipment are more expensive.

and data equipment cost is still at least

twice that of a multifamily student development,

even though we were able to

slash the cost to a fraction of the original

estimates. We believed the increase in the

speed and quality of the HSIA services

would have justified the additional cost

of fiber and electronics – but, thankfully,

we never had to find out.

FTTB less expeNsIVe THaN CaBle

Unsure about whether we would succeed

in designing a cost-effective Ethernet

layout, we simultaneously drafted

layouts and solicited offers for cable modem

solutions from the same cable company

partners. In all cases, the speeds

were slower, and in only one case was

there any wireless option – yet the pricing

for cable modem solutions was more

expensive. As a result, the developments

had better service with the fiber and

Ethernet solution and, at worst, broke

even on price. Additional modeling

seems to verify this cost advantage for

most cottage developments with four or

fewer beds per unit.

These two cottage developments

will open in summer 2012. In addition

to high-quality wired and wireless

HSIA, each community also provides

a digital cable TV package. Moreover,

the management teams will enjoy the

Ethernet-enabled tools now common in

multifamily student communities: The

management teams have access to the

wireless network throughout the community

for operations. They can message

every resident via HSIA, receiving

acknowledgements with date and time

stamps. Management can also slow

down HSIA for individual residents

who fail to pay their rent on time or otherwise

violate their leases.

Finally, although we are thrilled by

the assistance and quality of service from

our cable company partners at both developments,

we also look forward to

the cottage developments opening in

2013, where student housing industry

stalwarts such as Pavlov and Airwaves

will be competing to provide bulk and

premium video and HSIA over the same

infrastructure. v

Why Cable Is a More expensIve optIon

Although Ethernet is generally considered superior for providing highspeed

Internet to student living communities, cable modems have historically

been considered a cheaper option. Today, this is less often the case.

Of the many factors that increase the cost of cable modem solutions in

student living, support costs may be the most significant. Put simply, cable

modems are a less manageable mechanism for providing data services.

In single-family homes, where tenancy is measured in years, investing in a

truck roll or two to set up service for a home is cost-effective. However, when

700-plus 18- to 21-year-old residents move in over a period of a few days and

stay for 51 weeks, a couple of truck rolls per residence is a nightmare. That

cable companies charge more for cable modems at the same service levels

is unsurprising, considering that cable modem deployments are more expensive

to support than Ethernet deployments. Cable modems can be costeffective,

but usually only at lower service levels. As a result, cable modems

are a poor choice for most purpose-built student living communities.

March/april 2012 | | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | 11

FTTH deploymenTs

Highlights From the Fiber

Deployment Roundup Blog

Since the last issue …

• Google started FTTH deployment in Kansas City,

Kan., and Kansas City, Mo.

• DISH Network launched a video offering on the

UTOPIA open-access network.

Deployer SpotlIGHt – From the Fiber Deployment Roundup

NorTH aMerICaN Deployers

Allo Communications

Bell Aliant www.

Bell Canada www.

Bristol Tennessee Essential Services

BVU Authority

Bulloch Telephone Cooperative

Co-Mo Electric Cooperative

Consolidated Communications

Crown Point Telephone

Darien Telephone Company

F&B Communications

Gervais Telephone Company


Greenlight (city of Wilson, N.C.)


Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska


Lake Region Electric Cooperative

Lit San Leandro

Montana Opticom

Northern Arkansas Telephone

Optimum Lightpath

Ponderosa Telephone Company

San Carlos Apache Telephone Utility

Shawnee Telephone Company

Socket Telecom

Stoneham Cooperative Telephone Corporation 970-735-2251

• Lit San Leandro – a unique public-private

partnership in California that is providing fiber

broadband to businesses – lit its first building.

• Hong Kong Broadband Network embraced OTT

content providers and bandwidth hogs.

• And more – see it all on

Special report: Gig.U Gets rolling

In 2011, BroadBand Communities reported

on the launch of Gig.U, an ambitious

effort by several dozen university

communities across the U.S. to acquire

next-generation networks. The project

founders were inspired by the belief


Thacker-Grigsby Telephone Company

United Electric Cooperative



Vermont Telephone Company

Wilkes Telephone & Electric Company

INTerNaTIoNal Deployers


Bharat Telecom




CityFibre Holdings

Deutsche Telekom

Enable Services

Energie in sachsen

Hong Kong Broadband Network

INS4U Group

JT Group

Köpings Kabel-TV


Palm Hills Developments


Telecomunications Services of Trinidad & Tobago

WestStar TV

12 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | March/april 2012

To stay

up-to-date on

news about FTTH

projects, see the

FIBer DeployMeNT

blog at

that the intellectual capital located in

university communities could combine

big data with big bandwidth to drive big

FTTH deploymenTs

VeNDor SpotlIGHt – From the Fiber Deployment Roundup









ETI Software Solutions

improvements in the economy and society;

they also thought university communities

had such natural advantages as

high density, high bandwidth demands

and pre-existing network assets. By aggregating

demand and finding ways

to streamline deployment costs, these

communities hoped to make themselves

even more attractive for deployers.

Gig.U issued a request for information

in September with the intention of

publicizing the project and testing the

industry’s response to the concept. It received

responses in December.

sTroNG INTeresT FroM THe

prIVaTe seCTor

In a recent report to the participating

communities, the project team said it

found strong interest from the private

sector. Fifty-seven responses were received

from incumbent last-mile service

providers, equipment manufacturers,

infrastructure providers, network operators,

thought leaders and nonprofits.

More than half the respondents

were existing service providers, including

eight national telcos and MSOs. To

upgrade their infrastructure to nextgeneration

levels, telcos said they might

need waivers of regulations (for example,

some wanted to use microtrenching techniques)

as well as access to multifamily

properties, IP or branding rights. MSOs

said they might require local assistance

in transitioning from analog to digital

video to increase available bandwidth.

Potential new entrants had different

requirements. They were interested in

communities where incumbents were

not planning to upgrade their infrastructure,

where a specified number of households

and businesses would preregister

for the new services and where community

stakeholders supported the project.

They also needed access to rights of way,

shared use of existing fiber and other

assets, regulatory relief from zoning requirements

and franchise restrictions,

and favorable underground policies.

Some responders were willing to

pursue open-services models, such as

constructing dark fiber rings, building

FTTP networks and selling services to

competitive retail providers, or building

fiber to anchor institutions and using

these as points of presence for wireless

mesh networks.

Responders also offered specific ideas

about serving multifamily housing. Ideally,

they wanted to offer bulk services

bundled into tenants’ rent. They also

suggested that communities offer incentives

to property owners to let competitive

providers into their buildings and

that student housing networks be able to

peer directly with university networks.

NexT sTeps

The RFI process illuminated technology

options – some already available, some

in development – that communities

could consider and also outlined steps

universities and communities could

take, individually or in collaboration, to

improve the business case for investment

in next-generation networks.

However, potential vendors needed

much more community-specific information

about existing infrastructure,

demand for next-generation services,

priorities, regulatory environments and

possible incentives.

Some communities are already in negotiations

or in-depth conversations with

vendors about potential upgrades or de-





Netadmin Systems



Zhone Technologies

ployments; these communities may pursue

individual agreements rather than

waiting for group decisions. Others are

interested in issuing RFPs or otherwise

engaging with vendors to work toward

agreements or partnerships. Still others

may drop out of the process based on the

responses received. A follow-up vendor

meeting was held in late March (information

was not available at press time) to

help communities clarify their next steps.

The Gig.U team was cautiously optimistic,

saying that though it’s too soon to

know whether next-generation networks

will be economically feasible in any or all

of the communities, all the communities

can clearly improve their odds by removing

barriers to deployment.

The report says, “Nothing in the responses

suggests there are insurmountable

obstacles to deploying next-generation

networks in any Gig.U community.

Members should be cautious, however,

in assuming that the communities that

seemed to receive the most interest have

the greatest chance of success.…

“Furthermore, all respondents made

clear they viewed Phase I as the beginning

of a process; future efforts and

additional information about member

communities and their preferences

could attract additional interest from

vendors who did not respond initially or

alter the preferences of those who did.

For these reasons, the results of Phase I

provide sufficient justification for most,

if not all, members to continue pursuing

the goal of bringing next-generation

networks to their communities.”

Read the full Gig.U report on the RFI

responses at



March/april 2012 | | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | 13

Io VIStA ApArtmeNtS,

loS ANGeleS

By Joe Bousquin ■ Contributing Editor, Broadband Communities

This issue’s featured property is Rio Vista, an affordable housing community designed and developed by Abode Communities

in Los Angeles. Thanks to Abode’s Robin Hughes and Innovative I.T. Inc.’s Brian Horton for their assistance in

preparing this feature.

securing financing for affordable

housing communities has become

more competitive and challenging

in recent years. “There are always more

people asking for money than there is

money available,” says Brian Horton,

president of Fresno, Calif.-based Innovative

I.T., a technology infrastructure

consulting firm that specializes in

designing high-speed networks for affordable

housing developments. Horton

often works with developers competing

for federal low-income housing tax credits,

which can be sold to banks and other

corporations to secure funding. “As a

developer, you need to enhance your

score any way you can.”

One sure-fire way for a developer to

accomplish that is to provide free highspeed

Internet to lower-income residents

and help bridge the digital divide. That’s

exactly what Los Angeles–based Abode

Communities decided to do to secure

tax credits for the $27 million Rio Vista

Apartments, a joint-use development

that combines affordable housing and

an early education center on Los Angeles

Unified School District surplus land.

In each of the 50 units at the modern

mid-rise centered on a clean, inviting

courtyard, residents who earn between

30 and 60 percent of the area’s median

income enjoy free broadband Internet

connections that Abode provides as an

included amenity, with possible speeds

ranging up to 24 Mbps. In combination

with the community’s on-site computer

center, that connection provides access

to job resources, education and health

care services.

“Having access to that technology

and the Internet goes beyond computer

literacy,” says Robin Hughes, president

14 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | March/april 2012

and CEO of Abode Communities. “It’s

really about developing the whole family,

whether it’s helping kids with their

academics or giving adults a key resource

in their job search. This kind of

access provides a very important tool for

our residents.”

Although residents get Internet access

for free, provided by Rio Vista, the

community was also developed with

choice in mind. Residents can choose

to subscribe to triple-play services from

AT&T or Time Warner Cable or to

video from DISH Network.

Large in-unit media cans provide

enough space for various equipment,

such as optical network terminals

(ONTs), modems and wireless access

about the author

Joe Bousquin is a contributing editor for BroadBand Communities and a journalist

with more than 15 years’ experience writing about finance, real estate and technology.

You can reach him at

Solar heating and electric systems are

controlled through the building network.

points from multiple service providers.

“That was a key component in the design,”

Horton says. “You can provide

choice to residents by getting different

service providers into the building, but

if you’re going to put a 12-inch media

can in the unit [that could not accommodate

their equipment], you might as

well not bother.” Having enough space

enables residents to subscribe to television

programming from one provider,

telephony from another and enhanced

Internet, if desired, from a third.

In addition to the computer lab,

common-area amenities include an entertainment

room with automated audio

and video control components and outdoor

speakers with an iPod input that

can easily be controlled with a single

Control4 remote.

Other smart features of the community

include IP-enabled security

monitoring systems and an IP-enhanced

solar water-heating system that helped

score the property a LEED for Homes

Platinum rating, the highest achievable.

Abode can now monitor solar energy

generation and usage throughout the

community from a central location.

“Providing the correct pathways to

the various points of the building to

make sure we could monitor the solar

panels was critical,” Horton says. “One

of the biggest achievements was just

having all the different parts work together

when we flipped the switch. The

fact that we haven’t had any service calls

is the biggest success of all.”


Property Description: Rio Vista Apartments,

located in the northeast Los

Angeles neighborhood of Glassell

The Rio Vista community offers the

use of a computer lab to all residents.

Park, is the first joint-use development

in the County of Los Angeles

between the school district and the

private sector. It combines affordable

housing and shared parking designed

and developed by Abode Communities

with an early education center

designed by Gonzalez Goodale Architects

and developed and operated

by the Los Angeles Unified School

District on the district’s surplus

land. Common areas shared by the

residential portion and early educa-

property of the Month hIghlIghts

rIo VIsTa aparTMeNTs

• Affordable-housing project/early childhood education center in Los Angeles uses technology to help

bridge the digital divide.

• The developer provides a computer lab for residents and free 1 Mbps Internet service to each

apartment over a network that consists of fiber to the IDFs and Cat 5e cabling to each apartment.

• For additional fees, triple-play services are available from AT&T and Time Warner Cable, and video is

available from DISH Network.

• The building network also supports IP-based management of a solar energy system and a security


• Technology design and engineering was performed by Innovative I.T.; equipment vendors include HP,

SonicWALL, Planet, Ruckus Wireless and Control4.

March/april 2012 | | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | 15

The housing community is colocated with an

early education center, with which it shares a

community room and playground.

tion center include a community

room for resident and teacher use

and a playground for students and

residents. Extensive on-site services

are offered to residents and community

members through Abode Communities

Beyond Homes program,

which operates in conjunction with

10 in-kind service providers.

Greenfield or retrofit? New construction

Number of residential/commercial units:

50 units

High-rise/mid-rise/garden style:

Mid-rise with central courtyard

Time to deploy? Designed and engineered

during construction – an 11-month


Date services started being delivered:

November 2011


The following questions were answered by

Brian Horton, president of Innovative I.T.


How does fiber get to the property? Backbone

and backhaul fiber services are

provided via the local IP carriers,

AT&T and Time Warner. Technology

infrastructure consultant Innovative

I.T. assisted with the carrier

design to bring qualified services to

Community center powered by Control4

the property during the construction


How is fiber distributed inside the building?

Innovative I.T. designed the network’s

core and distribution layers

during the construction phase. From

the main distribution frame, several

dedicated pathways were engineered

to the outlying intermediate distribution

frame (IDF) closets. These

host fiber interconnections consist

of HP ProCurve enterprise switches.

Because of the funding requirements

of this low-income housing project,

the access layer consists of dedicated

Cat 5e cable to each unit. For residents’

included Internet services, the

signal is routed from a ProCurve

multimode fiber gigabit interface

converter (GBIC) via the Cat 5e

cable to the in-unit media can. Additionally,

access can be supplied via

DSLAM/xDSL services distributed

from the MDF.

What is the speed of the connection? As

part of the California Tax Credit

Allocation Committee (CA-TCAC)

funding initiatives, residents receive

the dedicated Internet connection

for free, with Rio Vista effectively acting

as its own Internet service provider.

Innovative I.T. provides a bulk

service for Rio Vista to distribute to

its residents. All residents receive at

least the minimum mandated speed

of 1 Mpbs Internet service, and the

network is scalable up to 24 Mbps.

What type of gear is used? The Rio Vista

deployment includes HP ProCurve

GBICs and enterprise switches,

SonicWALL firewalls, Planet xDSL

modems and Ruckus wireless access


How did you deal with wiring and plug

access within the units? Because the

project was new construction, Inno-

16 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | March/april 2012

vative I.T. was contracted during the

design phase to oversee all technology

initiatives. As a result, all in-unit

wiring was designed in advance to

allow for maximum flexibility. For

example, large, in-unit media cans

provide enough room for equipment

from multiple providers – such as an

ONT or a modem from an Internet

service provider or a wireless access

point for in-unit wireless coverage.

In addition, all the rooms in each

apartment have RG-6 coaxial jacks

as well as dedicated Cat 5e Ethernet

and voice jacks.

Did you provide wireless signals within

units? In-unit wireless was not engineered

into the system, but 802.11x

wireless was provided for all common

areas via Ruckus enterprise access

points, described below.

Are closets shared with other utilities,

or did you need to create a dedicated

maintenance space? Utility closets are

shared. Innovative I.T. coordinated

communications vendors for mechanical,

backboard, grounding and

electrical requirements.


Does the building have triple-play services?


Can residents subscribe to IPTV? Yes.

Are there amenities beyond the triple

play or IP systems for managing the

property? Yes. Beyond resident data

requirements, Innovative I.T. designed

and engineered commonarea

802.11x wireless via enterprise

Ruckus access points and entertainment

solutions powered by smart

home automation manufacturer


As the building is equipped with

photovoltaic systems, Innovative I.T.

engineered pathways to allow for IPbased

systems to manage and collect

data from the solar electric and

solar thermal systems, as well as for

on-site and off-site monitoring of IP

camera systems.

There is also on-premises computer

lab equipment with Windows

7 and Apple iMac computer systems,

DSL distribution and routing core

IDF managed distribution layer switch

as well as outdoor audio powered via

Control4 automation.

Who is the wireless service provider? The

community itself provides Wi-Fi

access in the common areas.

Do residents have a choice of service providers?

Yes. In addition to the Internet

service that Rio Vista provides

as an amenity to all units free of

charge, residents can subscribe to

services from both AT&T and Time

Warner, as well as video from DISH


How did the owner set up the multiple

choice capabilities? During the construction

phase, the conduit pathways

and copper plant were designed

to allow for nonexclusive use of inhouse

and carrier services.

Who provides support? If residents have an

issue or technical challenge, whom do

they call? Innovative I.T. maintains a

24/7 network operations center and

provides resident support via a dedicated

800 number.


Who owns the network? Does the property

owner have “skin in the game”? Who

paid for what? In this project, unlike

traditional market-rate projects,

the property owner owns the entire

network. As a low-income housing

tax credit recipient, the Rio Vista

community aims to bridge the digital

divide by providing residents free

Internet services.

Was there a door fee? No.

Are services automatically included in the

rent? A minimum 1 Mbps Internet

signal, which can be increased to

24 Mbps, is included free of charge.

Residents can choose among television

programming, voice and other

services from at least three other providers

at the property.

What has the return been on this implementation,

in dollars or otherwise?

Because Internet access is provided

free, traditional return metrics aren’t

applicable here. However, providing

free, high-speed Internet access

to residents is one of several criteria

scored in the tax credit application

process. Innovative I.T. and Abode

Communities both feel this was a

contributing component in securing

tax-credit financing.

oN-sITe experIeNCe/

lessoNs learNeD

What was the biggest challenge?

Brian Horton, Innovative I.T.: Working

with a multitude of subcontractors

to ensure that all system requirements

were communicated and

accounted for during the design

phase. For instance, the mechanical

subcontractors had to understand

the cooling specifications for

the communications closets so they

could remain at optimum operating

temperatures. Service providers had

to communicate and understand

pathway requirements to ensure that

all networking requirements were

accounted for. Finally, designing inunit

media cans with enough space

to account for both existing and future

equipment needs was critical.

What was the biggest success?

Horton: Having everything work when

we flipped the switch on opening

the property. One highlight was being

able to control the common-area

entertainment options with a single

remote control from the podium

deck during the property’s opening


Even though a number of entertainment,

security, utility and photovoltaic

components are integrated

into the system, management was

able to connect an iPod to the outdoor

entertainment system and use

the Control4 remote control to easily

select a playlist.

Often, in these types of deployments,

consultants install tons of

technology and then hand the property

manager 20 remotes to control

it all. The technology becomes so

confusing that the property managers

don’t end up using it. Here, it’s

simple: one remote and easy, intuitive

control of the entire system.

What would you say to owners who want

to deploy a similar network? What issues

should they consider before they get


Horton: Make sure you coordinate and

work with a qualified network engineering

firm and ask for references.

Having a single organization responsible

for ensuring that all the subs

work together is critical.

What is the property manager’s perspective

on this installation? Has it been a success?

What has been the response from


Horton: Although the property manager

wasn’t involved in the physical implementation

of this system, Abode is

very focused on the types of technology

it wants in its communities, including

a goal of being able to monitor

energy use – and production – at

each of its properties from a central

location. Having that type of vision

provided a challenging, yet concrete

goal for us to focus on during the design

and construction process.

Robin Hughes, Abode Communities: For

us, this is a project that we’re extremely

proud of. When we see how

excited and grateful our residents are

about this community, that’s a reward

in itself. It’s why we do this work. v

March/april 2012 | | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | 17

mdU sHoWCAse

Fiber pathways preserve

the View in Upscale High-rise

Owners of a luxury condominium community in Seattle chose 3M One Pass

Fiber Pathways to elegantly conceal their new fiber network.

By Linnea Wilkes ■ 3M Communication Markets Division

The Grandview residential tower

in Seattle is aptly named. The

27-story, luxury condominium

community commands gorgeous,

sweeping views of the Space Needle,

Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains.

Inside the building, the interior

view rivals the exterior panorama. The

Grandview’s sleek, modern design and

elegantly decorated common areas make

it one of the most coveted addresses in

downtown Seattle.

When Grandview residents decided

to upgrade their telecommunications

services, they sought state-of-the-art

technology at a good value. The homeowners

association hired Elauwit Networks

to build a new network to replace

the building’s existing twisted copper

wire and daisy-chained coaxial systems.

Elauwit designed a fiber-to-the-home

network to serve the building’s 108

units and deliver high-speed, triple-play


However, when it came time to install

the network, Elauwit reps realized

that its go-to method for running fiber

cable through hallways in multifamily

buildings might not work for this upscale

building. Elauwit typically uses

an adhesive-backed, hard plastic, snapcover

raceway. The raceway is about an

inch wide and sticks out about an inch

from the wall. Though an inch doesn’t

seem like much, the raceway stood out

enough to potentially visually mar the

hallway decor.

“The residents’ number one concern

was aesthetics,” says Taylor Jones, chief

technology officer for Elauwit Net-

The residents’ message was loud and clear:

“Yes, we want you to run fiber to every unit,

but we really don’t want to see it.”

works. “The Grandview is a high-end

community, and residents weren’t interested

in having a bulky piece of raceway

on the wall. They told us, ‘Yes, we want

18 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | March/april 2012

you to run fiber to every unit, but we really

don’t want to see it,’ so visual impact

became a chief concern for us.”

That’s when Elauwit called 3M.



Jones had read about the One Pass Fiber

Pathway from 3M in a trade publication

and thought it might be the right fit for

the Grandview. He called 3M and ordered

samples. At a design meeting with

the Grandview homeowners association

board of directors, he presented two options

for the hallways: the snap-cover

raceway and the One Pass.

The One Pass Fiber Pathway is an

adhesive-backed, surface-mount, horizontal

cable pathway and drop-cable

solution factory populated with 900 µm

fiber. The duct and fiber are installed simultaneously

in one pass around a hallway

perimeter. The pathway adheres to a

variety of wall surfaces and easily bends

about the author

Linnea Wilkes is a global MDU business development manager for 3M Communication

Markets Division. Her expertise includes fiber optics and premises network

architecture, and she helped launch the world’s first fiber optic pathway for MDUs.

You can reach her at Learn more about the One Pass Fiber

Pathway and the One Pass Mini Fiber Pathway at

around corners and beams. Low-profile

and paintable, it can blend in with just

about any decor.

The board chose the 3M solution for

the hallway without hesitation. “When

you hold a traditional raceway and the

One Pass product against a wall, the

choice is obvious,” Jones said. “The One

Pass Pathway is practically invisible.”

Within the individual living units,

Elauwit initially planned on using a

traditional raceway to run fiber from

the hallway to the optical network terminals

(ONTs). Stapling cable was not

an option, because the building’s walls

are concrete. However, once residents

saw the nearly invisible hallway solution

from 3M, they insisted on having the

same look for their living spaces.

“Some of them were very adamant

about it,” Jones said. “They really liked

the One Pass look.”

Elauwit called 3M and ordered

samples of the 3M One Pass Mini Fiber

Pathway, and dozens of residents

requested that it be installed in their

units. An extension of the hallway solution,

the One Pass Mini is installed in

a subscriber’s apartment from a point of

entry in the hallway to a location near

the provider’s ONT. Even smaller and

sleeker than its hallway counterpart, it

contains a single, ultra-bend-insensitive

fiber capable of maintaining a 5 mm

bend radius, which allows it to turn

around sharp corners without affecting

signal performance.

Like the hallway solution, the One

Pass Mini is low-profile and paintable,

and it creates minimal visual impact.

“After you paint it the color of the wall,

you won’t even know the product is

there,” Jones says. “The residents were

really sold on that.”

QUICK aND easy INsTallaTIoN

The One Pass Fiber Pathways for the

hallway and the living units helped

Elauwit meet its client’s requirement for

a low-impact, aesthetically pleasing fiber

conduit. The One Pass pathways easily

adhered to the building’s concrete walls

and blended in seamlessly with the interior


As an added bonus, the 3M pathways

also saved Elauwit money on installation.

It installed One Pass Path-

mdU sHoWCAse

Once residents saw the hallway solution, they

wanted the same look for their living spaces.

ways on all 27 floors in less than two

weeks, cutting installation time by more

than 50 percent.

“Normally, installation would have

taken us four to five weeks with a traditional

raceway,” Jones says. “First

you have to install the raceway; then

you have to go back and run the fiber

through it. The One Pass’s one-step process

saved us a lot of time.”

To speed up the process even more,

3M provided a technical service rep to

train Elauwit’s installation crew on site.

“Within the first day, crew members

were installing the pathway on their

own,” Jones says. “The simple tools and

the hands-on training by 3M really

made it an easy product to install.”

The quick, easy installation not only

cut installation costs but also minimized

disruption to Grandview residents. “The

sooner we can get out of the hallway, the

better,” Jones says. “The more we’re in

the way, the more we aggravate the residents

– our customers.” v

In the hallways outside the units, the One Pass Fiber Pathway from 3M seamlessly conforms

to the wall, making fiber installation quick and easy and saving an estimated 35 percent of

installation costs.

Once Grandview residents saw the nearly invisible hallway solution, they insisted on having

the same look for their living spaces.

March/april 2012 | | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | 19

MDU Technology

mDU Solutions

For electric Vehicle Charging

As electric vehicles begin to appear on the market, MDU residents will

demand a new technology amenity to support them – secure, easily

available car charging facilities.

By Bryan J. Rader ■ Bandwidth Consulting LLC

owners and developers of multifamily

housing are always working

to stay a step ahead of their

current and prospective residents. Adding

new amenities and features to satisfy

the ever-changing tastes and desires of

their consumers is key to this effort.

Multiple dwelling-unit (MDU) residents

today are increasingly focused on

the environment and green technologies,

according to Steve Sadler, vice president

of strategic business services for

Post Apartment Homes, one of the largest

developers and operators of upscale

multifamily communities in the United

States. Sadler notes, “Many of our prospective

residents are already asking

about green living initiatives, and many

say green living is a portion of their leasing

decision. There’s somewhat of an expectation,

particularly among our newer

properties, that we offer green living.”

The desire for green living extends to

residents’ choice of cars and infrastructure

to support them. Sadler says, “We

have had several inquiries from residents

who are thinking about buying electric

or plug-in vehicles. We expect a steady

increase in coming years.”


Internal research from NRG Energy

forecasts that the U.S. electric passenger

vehicle market will grow from 100,000

units in 2012 to more than 1.6 million

a year by 2019. Sales of these vehicles

will be driven by environmental concerns,

high fuel costs and a growing

recognition of the importance of energy

independence. Iran’s recent threat to

shut down the Strait of Hormuz, which

caused the price of oil to quickly jump

to more than $100 per barrel, underscored

these concerns for many consumers,

who may rethink their priorities in

selecting their next vehicles.

Nissan, the manufacturer of the first

mass-market electric vehicle, the Nissan

LEAF, expects typical electric vehicle

(EV) owners to be in their mid-40s,

with incomes averaging about $125,000

a year and daily round-trip drives of

around 50 miles. Others expect younger

customers who are eco-friendly, welleducated

and value-oriented. Either way,

these demographic groups make up large

segments of the MDU marketplace.

Many property owners are already

adding electric vehicle charging stations

to their communities for residents who

are considering electric or plug-in hybrid

vehicles. Recently, Equity Residential,

owner and operator of more than 400

apartment communities, partnered with

CarCharge Inc. to install car charging

stations at two communities in Seattle,

one in Boston and another in Washington,

D.C. Post Apartment Homes

deployed charging stations for residents

with electric vehicles in one community

about the author

Bryan Rader is CEO of Bandwidth Consulting LLC, which assists providers in the

multifamily market. You can reach Bryan at or at 636-

536-0011. Learn more at Bryan is also an adviser

to NRG EV Services.

20 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | March/april 2012

in 2011 and plans to deploy them at

three more communities in 2012.


To date, most electric charging stations

have been designed to be permanently

installed in garages, which usually have

appropriate power sources. This design

makes them suitable for single-family

homes. Recently, however, charging solutions

have begun to emerge that are

specifically designed for multifamily


For example, NRG Energy’s eVgo

network is providing 240-volt chargers

for installation in residential communities

to complement its network of

high-powered, 480-volt, fast-charging

stations strategically placed at retail establishments

and its single-family home

and workplace chargers.

“Multifamily dwellings are an important

segment of the market we want

to serve,” says Arun Banskota, president

of NRG EV Services. “Many earlyadopter

MDU owners are trying to support

EV charging by putting a single

charger in a very visible spot. The problem

is that if there are no EV owners

in the community, [MDU owners] are

paying a lot to take up a parking spot to

meet a nonexistent demand.

“We have a much more practical

solution for apartment owners and developers.

We prewire 10 to 15 parking

spots to make them ready for EV charging

stations. Then, within 48 hours of

a resident’s buying a new EV or a new

resident’s moving in with an EV, we

install a dedicated charging station in

a dedicated parking space.” Property

owners bear the cost of prewiring their

parking spaces, but eVgo pays to install

the charging stations as consumers sign

up for the monthly program.

Brian Moorhead, director of the

Ready for EV programs at eVgo, says,

“Property owners are constantly looking

for new technologies that give them a

point of difference in their market while

addressing residents’ specific needs. This

concept of electric charging stations for

multifamily housing may be early, but it

has really gained momentum.”

Companies such as eVgo are building

their solutions around the needs of

building owners and developers, us-

MDU Technology

ing a modular approach that is easy to

adjust for resident demand. “On new

builds, the marginal cost of wiring 10 to

20 spots is virtually nothing. On a retrofit,

it can begin at around $10,000,”

explains Banskota, adding, “We don’t

charge the facility owner for the electricity

charging costs or the chargers.”

Howard Porteus, project manager of

Huffines Communities in Dallas, Texas,

recently installed the eVgo solution in a

new-construction project, Hebron 121

Apartments in Lewisville, Texas. Porteus

says, “We launched it in phase one

and will be incorporating several more

chargers – and, hopefully, the capability

of in-garage chargers – in phase two. We

think it is an amazing concept, but [it

has] not [been] utilized so far. Residents

do think it is cool, and we point it out to

every prospective customer.”

CalMING raNGe aNxIeTy

One factor that limits the sales of EVs

may be consumers’ perception that their

driving range is limited, a phenomenon

Virtually invisible.

Just like the One Pass Mini.

sometimes called “range anxiety.” “eVgo

is all about range confidence,” says Banskota.

“Every morning when you leave

your home, you have a full charge,

which is more than double what most

drivers use in a day. If you drive farther

than expected and need a bit more

range, our comprehensive charging network

is there with unlimited use as part

of a fixed-price subscription plan.”

eVgo solutions for MDUs generally

range from $59 to $89 a month per

vehicle for the Complete plan, which

includes access to charging stations

throughout the metropolitan area as

well as in users’ home parking spaces.

Real estate owners and developers

should plan accordingly as more of their

residents (and potential residents) consider

buying electric or hybrid plug-in

vehicles. This trend may well move from

the early-adopter stage in select urban

centers to the mass market across the

United States in a few short years. v

The 3M One Pass Mini Fiber Pathway.

It’s small, discreet (practically invisible) and incredibly versatile.

The One Pass Mini uses 3M adhesive to stick to almost any wall

surface, including painted concrete. The One Pass Mini delivers

triple play services inside a residence and can be used with or

without the 3M One Pass Fiber Pathway hallway solution, part

of the 3M Total Package.

To see it for yourself, visit 3M Booth #312

at the Broadband Communities Summit.

123MHG128 BBP Ad_m03.indd 1 3/6/12 2:33 P

March/april 2012 | | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | 21

FTTH IndUsTRy leAdeRs

Q&A With pedro Correa,

Vice president,

Verizon enhanced Communities

Over the last five years, Verizon Enhanced Communities installed FiOS services

in MDUs with more than 2 million units and achieved a penetration rate of

about 30 percent. The business unit’s new VP aims to win over the other

70 percent.

In February 2012, Pedro Correa was

named vice president of Verizon Enhanced

Communities (VEC), a unit

of Verizon that is focused on marketing

the company’s FiOS voice, high-speed

Internet and TV services to tenants and

property managers of multidwellingunit

(MDU) properties. Correa is a

37-year veteran of Verizon who most

recently was president of the business

unit responsible for Verizon’s directory

assistance and related services.

Recently, BroadBand Communities

spoke with Correa about his

plans for VEC and the future of FiOS

in MDUs. Highlights of that conversation


Pedro Correa

BroadBand Communities: What do you bring from your prior

experience with Verizon to your new position at VEC?

pedro Correa: My background has always been in customer

service, one way or another. I spent the last two and a half

years in the 411 business – actually, I spent a total of 12 years

in that space, counting earlier stints – and before that, I was

in a multicultural organization responsible for delivering FiOS

in Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean and Vietnamese.

We also had two centers supporting hearing-impaired and

vision-impaired customers. We provided end-to-end in-language

experience – the bill, the collateral, the online experience,

services, and product, even video on demand, were all inlanguage.

There are 22 percent of MDU residents who speak

Spanish or other [non-English] languages, so multiculturalism

will be a focus for me at VEC, too – reaching that base through

both content and customer experience.

I’m also creating a customer experience manager position

for VEC. That’s one area I believe is an opportunity for our

business. We already have a great product in FiOS. A lot of

22 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | March/april 2012

companies advertise a certain amount

of speed, but during the busy hour, it’s

not there. The FCC has confirmed that

we actually have the speeds we advertise.

What I want to do is make sure we offer

high-touch along with the high-tech – an

end-to-end customer value experience.

BBC: VEC already has a good track

record with property owners. Is there

any area where you’ve found

a shortcoming?

pC: I don’t believe customers always understand

the full value of FiOS. For example,

on the FiOS TV platform, in addition to

great picture quality and high-definition

content, there are widgets for many other

services that people don’t even know they

have. If you’re an NFL fan, you probably know we have the

Red Zone, but how about FiOS Movie Night? Every Friday,

there’s a movie deal that’s very competitive, cheaper than going

to the video store – HD movies for $2.99. When the end user

turns the TV on, a message should appear on the screen for 30

seconds saying, “Movie Night on Friday, $2.99” – so you’d be

using the FiOS platform to promote the service, rather than

telling people to go to the information channel. To me, people

don’t do that. They don’t even remember what channel it is. We

could also do a better job during the install of taking people

through all the functions on the remote control.

A lot of people buy FiOS for the HD and the picture clarity,

but I’m not sure many customers can go beyond those two

things. When I’ve done customer focus groups, some people

talk about their bad experience with cable or how good the

FiOS picture quality is. So there’s a huge opportunity for creating

customer value through some other services I don’t think

customers have connected with yet. In the MDU space, that’s

definitely prevalent.

NeW FIos applICaTIoNs

BBC: Verizon’s Concierge platform

available to MDUs has so many

services riding on it – everything

from package delivery tracking to

pizza ordering. What will you do to

make that more understandable to

property managers?

pC: Our early assessment is that it’s another

huge opportunity like the widgets

on FiOS TV. You can use Concierge to

check local restaurant menus and order

from them, to see what’s happening

in your building, or to reserve the

clubhouse for a birthday party. Just as

people buy cars with all sorts of bells

and whistles and use only about 20 percent

of them, Concierge is still largely

unknown. People haven’t really spent a

lot of time understanding its value and

using all the features associated with it.

My team is spending time in this

area, stepping up communications

about it. It’s a combination of training

the sales force and training the building

staffs – on my side, I’m driving the

sales force to make sure we’re doing a

good job. We have to communicate to

building owners that there’s no additional

cost for them and that Concierge

enables communications and social networking

within their communities.

BBC: Can you sell home monitoring

services in high-rises? They’re pretty

well protected against intruders.

pC: Energy-control services are an important

part of Verizon’s Home Monitoring

and Control, allowing customers

to remotely control thermostats and

lighting while also monitoring the energy

used in their households and seeing

all the watts they’re using. Live cameras

give folks in high-rises the ability to

check what’s going on in their homes

while they’re away.

BBC: Do property owners

understand they can use the energy

monitoring services, too?

pC: For the property owners, building

Home Monitoring and Control into

their units is an important amenity that

makes properties more attractive to potential

tenants. It means higher occupancy

rates, higher revenues and demonstration

of support for a greener lifestyle.

FTTH IndUsTRy leAdeRs

Getting to a penetration rate

above 50 percent, which we have in

Keller, Texas – the first FiOS community –

will take a lot of hard work.


BBC: Verizon has said it won’t be

seeking any more FiOS franchises.

Are there still opportunities to

increase the number of customers in

the footprint that exists today?

pC: Currently, there are about 5.4 million

MDU residences that could eventually

get FiOS. They’re in locations where

we’ve put fiber along their streets. And,

so far, we have gained agreement with

property owners to open 2.1 million

MDU residences for sale of FiOS. That

leaves us plenty of headroom for growth.

In our business plan for 2012, we

have plans for MDU residences passed

to go from 5.4 million to 5.7 million

and open for sale to go from 2.1 million

to 2.4 million. But even without those

extra 300,000 homes, only around 30

percent of the MDU residences open for

sale today are subscribers, so I have a 70

percent market opportunity to go after.

We’ve got to market to them and close

that sale.

We’re very happy with where we are

in a short period of time with FiOS.

We’ve grown by leaps and bounds, going

from zero to nearly 5 million customers

in a space where we didn’t even have a

product. To be the new kid on the block,

getting a 30 percent penetration rate

is a good result, but the second part of

the race is also important. Getting to a

penetration rate above 50 percent, which

we have in Keller, Texas, the first FiOS

community, will take a lot of hard work.

So we have to market to the base and

introduce enhanced services both to sell

to that 70 percent and to hold onto the

30 percent. We hope the home monitoring

and control service will add value

for customers. We introduced it in the

fourth quarter of 2011, and the early returns

look pretty good.

BBC: We’ve written about Verizon’s

effort to market FiOS to young

“techknowledgeables” in MDUs.

Are you planning other targeted

marketing efforts?

pC: The “MustHaveFiOS” marketing

plan you’re referring to was launched

in D.C. last year and then expanded to

New York, Philadelphia, Dallas and Los

Angeles. It targets the young whippersnappers

aged 25 to 39. As I mentioned,

we’re also planning to market specifically

to multicultural groups. A third

group is seniors, 55 and over – we’re going

to tailor a marketing plan for them

that you’ll see in the middle of 2012 or

in the third quarter. That’s a growing

community. They require specific channels

– they’re not looking for unlimited

channels but specifically for movie

channels and video on demand. On the

data side, they’re looking for 15 to 20

Mbps, not for 100 Mbps.

BBC: Are you looking for new ways

to work with property owners to

market FiOS services?

pC: One opportunity for us would be

more partnering on marketing messages.

There has to be a benefit for both

parties, so we have to convince the

buildings that cobranding with us creates

a value proposition. Some developers

already understand that FiOS adds

value to their properties, so they’re interested.

For others, we need to show them

that FiOS makes it easier for them to

market their properties.

BBC: Do you feel any need to

compete with cable companies

by offering door fees to property


pC: Usually, the value of the FiOS product

outweighs the need to do that. There

are isolated cases where we’ve offered

incentives at the property level, but in

March/april 2012 | | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | 23

most cases we’ve been successful without

having to do that.

BBC: Verizon has done a lot of work

with vendors to improve FTTH

technology, especially in MDUs, and

to push costs down. Are there still

more opportunities for cost savings?

pC: We’re continuing to make advancements

– improving fiber, using splice-free

connectors, introducing desktop ONTs –

and there are still some areas where we

believe we can drive costs down and provide

additional options for consumers.


BBC: Is any part of the country prime

territory for MDUs?

FTTH IndUsTRy leAdeRs

Our strategy is to move customers from copper to

FiOS within our own territory. It will mean a lot in

terms of maintenance cost savings.

pC: The Northeast. Just on the basis of

pure numbers, that represents 70 percent

of the opportunity. Other areas of

the country – Florida and California especially

– are starting to grow because

large numbers of housing foreclosures

have created rental opportunities.

BBC: There have been rumors

that VEC would become the “CLEC

from Hell” in areas outside Verizon

territory where fiber was available.

pC: We’re not anywhere close to that

strategy. Our strategy is to move customers

from copper to FiOS within our own

territory. If the copper plant has really

gotten old and if fiber is already there, we

want to see them switch to fiber. It will

mean a lot in terms of maintenance cost

savings. Ten percent of the copper base

generates 70 percent of the dispatches.

It’s still too early to tell what the

Verizon Wireless purchase of spectrum

from cable companies will mean in the

long term. Out of franchise, selling

wireless services will be part of our strategy.

It’s too early to discuss what it will

mean for us in franchise.

BBC: At the FTTH Conference last

fall, Virginia Ruesterholz talked

about wireless/wireline integration

(particularly LTE and FiOS) as the next

big challenge for Verizon. How do

you see this affecting VEC?

pC: Obviously, we can bundle wireless

and wireline products and create a quadruple

play. But beyond that, we’re looking

at it and meeting with the wireless

side to see if there are other opportunities

to enhance the consumer experience in

the multifamily market. There will be opportunity

to create a collaboration with

wireless in this space. It’s coming. v

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24 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | March/april 2012

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FTTH IndUsTRy leAdeRs

Q&A With Heather Gold,

president, FttH Council

North America

The new FTTH Council president hopes to help members articulate the

business case for the value of fiber all the way to the home.

In November 2011, the FTTH Council

North America announced the appointment

of Heather Burnett Gold as

president. Gold, who has worked for more

than 27 years in the telecom industry, was

most recently the senior vice president for

external affairs for XO Communications,

a business communications provider.

Recently, BroadBand Communities

had the opportunity to interview

Gold about her vision for the fiber-tothe-home

industry and the role of the

FTTH Council.

Heather Gold

BroadBand Communities: Tell us

about your background. What

kinds of experiences have you

had in the telecommunications industry?

Heather Burnett Gold: I’ve been in telecom for more than

27 years, and I’ve always worked for small, entrepreneurial

companies. I started in the nascent long-distance business.

After working my way up through various companies, I ran

a trade association of long-distance companies. From 1993 to

1998, I was president of the Association for Local Telecommunications

Services, representing competitive local exchange

carriers (CLECs) during the period surrounding the passage of

the Telecommunications Act. I went on to work for a CLEC,

then set up a consulting firm [KDW Group] and then went

Look at Google in Kansas City, at

Gig.U, at Chattanooga, at,

and you’ll see the demand for

high-bandwidth capabilities that

only FTTH can satisfy.

26 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | March/april 2012

to XO Communications, where I did

all the public policy and access management


BBC: How does this experience

shape your perspective on the

FTTH Council?

HBG: It gave me a keen appreciation of

the smaller company and how to make a

business go. One other thing I’ve learned,

coming out of the CLEC business, is that

it’s very important to control your own network.

XO did control a large portion of its

network but not the last-mile access. That

makes me really appreciate what the FTTH

companies are doing – providing the access

to customers and serving their high-bandwidth

needs. Nobody on the enterprise side

questions the need for fiber all the way, and

enterprises aren’t even using the amount of bandwidth that residential

customers need.

BBC: The FTTH market in the United States appears to

be at an inflection point, with Verizon wrapping up the

FiOS build, the broadband stimulus money all awarded

and little new housing being built. Do you see any

encouraging signs in the market?

HBG: Yes, I see a lot of encouraging signs. Look at what’s going

on with Google in Kansas City. Look at what’s going on with

Gig.U. Look at how well Chattanooga has done. Look at a little

entrant like Look at any of those, and you’ll see the

demand for high-bandwidth capabilities that only FTTH can

satisfy. There may be a lull right now until construction catches

up, but I don’t think the demand has abated. The long-term

economics and ever-accelerating bandwidth needs that will

drive end users to fiber have not changed.

I just think you need to look at what’s going on in the

economy, and internationally, to see that fiber to the home has

got to be where to put resources. The stimulus program was a

once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that won’t come along again,

but the many projects it spawned assist in establishing the

usiness case for why fiber is so important.

Now it’s necessary to build on that


BBC: What will it take to get the

industry moving again?

HBG: Actually, I think the industry is

moving but not fast enough for economic

development needs. I think a “gig

envy” type of message is needed. A lot of

communities that want fiber to the home

feel they don’t know how to get it. It’s

important to think of ways to channel

that desire into an action plan so communities

can understand how to aggregate

demand, create positive investment

climates for telecom companies and then

make a pitch for companies to come and

build fiber.

People are thinking that the broadband

stimulus program is gone and the

Universal Service Fund (USF) is changing

[by adopting rules less favorable to

FTTH], and they’re feeling frustrated.

We need to find a way to channel that

frustration and convert it into progress,

to help people get through that and

come up with an action plan.

BBC: What can the FTTH Council do

to help this along?

HBG: We can help communities identify

the steps necessary to create that

kind of action plan. We can help our

members work with those communities

as well, so it becomes a win-win for

everyone. Also, we have to keep getting

the message out there. There’s a lot of

misinformation about the cost to deploy

fiber versus what it can bring to a community

in terms of development. I think

we’ll be reaching out more to communities

than we have in the past.

BBC: You just returned from the

FTTH Council Europe conference in

Munich. What did you see going on

with other countries’ deployment

of fiber?

HBG: There’s a lot of buzz. The FTTH

Council Europe conference had more

than 3,300 registrants. It was very exciting

to see so much interest in FTTH.

I think everybody there wants it; now

they’re struggling with the same issue

we are – how to get it.

FTTH IndUsTRy leAdeRs

The industry is moving but not fast enough for

economic development needs. A “gig envy” type

of message is needed to channel that desire

into an action plan.

BBC: Did you see any low-hanging

fruit for coordinating with the other

regional FTTH Councils?

HBG: Yes, we formalized an agreement

for an FTTH Council global alliance,

which includes the Councils in Europe,

Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and North

Africa, Africa and North America.

We’ll share information, discuss trends,

and – while thinking locally – articulate

globally the importance of FTTH


BBC: The FTTH Council North America

began as a vendor organization but

now includes many smaller service

providers. Are you are interested in

bringing in other types of members –

for example, nontraditional deployers

such as Google?

HBG: I think there’s a place for Google

in our membership. There’s a place for

any entity that is deploying or considering

deploying FTTH. Our goal is to

reach out and involve as many companies

as possible that are involved in

FTTH deployment. A lot more companies

are involved than are members

of the Council, so we obviously have to

continue marketing ourselves and building

up the value proposition for potential

and existing members.

For vendors, we have to make sure

we’re giving them proper marketing

tools. For service providers, we have to

give them the latest information on how

to develop and implement their FTTH

networks and get better revenue from

their networks. For consultants, we have

to increase their exposure to the vendors

and service providers they’re trying

to sell their services to. There’s a lot of

valuable information to share in terms

of best practices.

BBC: What about organizations, such

as US Ignite and Gig.U, that are trying

to stimulate FTTH deployment rather

than deploy fiber themselves?

HBG: There are many ways we can

and will be working with them. I don’t

think it’s necessary that they be Council

members – we can work with them as


BBC: You’re based in Washington and

you have a history in regulatory and

public policy. Do you foresee taking

an active role in representing the

Council’s interests in Washington?

HBG: Absolutely. I’m well known to

public policymakers in D.C., and I feel

comfortable walking the halls of the

FCC, Capitol Hill, the NTIA and the

RUS. Just my being here and knowing

those people is a way to give more

visibility to the FTTH Council. Of

course, we’ll focus our heavy advocacy

in technical areas where we have special

expertise rather than competing with

the organizations that are doing general

industry lobbying.

BBC: What are the major policy

issues that you foresee addressing

over the next couple of years?

HBG: The big ones for our service provider

members will be the evolution of

the USF and how that impacts our members

who are incumbent local exchange

carriers and their ability to build out fiber.

But right now, we’re sort of at a lull

in the action, with policy issues awaiting

the outcome of the general election.

BBC: Do you have a vision for the

FTTH Council?

HBG: My vision is that FTTH should

become the accepted standard for what

every community should expect to have

in terms of broadband – and that when

people think about experts in FTTH,

they should come to us immediately. v

March/april 2012 | | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | 27

The mood at the European FTTH

Conference could not have been

stated more clearly than it was by

Chris Holden, president of the FTTH

Council Europe. He said that, though

last year’s gathering in Milan was notable

for its discussions of “Why FTTH?”

the debate in 2012 had shifted to “How


DSM Functional Materials, which

supplies UV-curable coatings for the

production of optical fiber and cable,

used the occasion to host its third annual

Designed for the Future executive

roundtable in Europe. DSM contributed

to the debate on how best to

engineer Europe’s competitiveness by

bringing together leading minds from

regulation and policymaking to telecom

service providers, vendors and advisors

from five continents to address Europe’s

unique issues and challenges, suggest

remedies and assess opportunities for

breaking through to the zettabyte era.

Throughout the evening, four major

themes elicited creative and provocative


• The mainstream telecom industry is

finally embracing FTTx.

• Who needs a killer app when data

consumption is expanding exponentially?

• A case still exists for public investment

in all-fiber networks.

• Fiber networks are increasingly critical

for public services and economic



Is europe ready

For the Zettabyte era?

At Europe’s premier fiber optic industry event, held in Munich in February,

the message was clear: Europe is beginning to recognize the imperative of

investing in fiber to the premises to ensure its economic competitiveness.

By Olaf Storaasli ■ DSM Functional Materials

European fiber deployments may be gathering

steam: BT, France Telecom and Deutsche Telekom

have all made bold public statements about their

aims to accelerate FTTH/B rollout.

THe MaINsTreaM TeleCoM

INDUsTry Is FINally


In previous years, there has been much

hand-wringing over the reluctance of

Europe’s big incumbent telcos to invest

significantly in fiber to the premises.

The loudest complaints have been leveled

at operators in Western Europe,

where penetration has consistently

lagged Central and Eastern Europe

(CEE), Scandinavia and, increasingly,

Southern Europe. According to FTTH

Council Europe research, only 600,000

extra subscribers were added across Europe

in the past year.

In the FTTH Council Europe’s list

of top 20 nations for FTTH/B penetration,

the highest-placed Western Euro-

28 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | March/april 2012

pean economy, Portugal, comes in at a

lowly 11th. The only other Western European

economies in the top 20 are the

Netherlands, France and Italy at 13th,

17th and 19th respectively.

Still, there are grounds for optimism

that deployment is gathering steam.

For one thing, BT, France Telecom and

Deutsche Telekom have all recently

made bold public statements about their

aims to accelerate FTTH/B rollout. At

the same time, there is also a sense that

fiber is finally working its way into some

marketing departments’ DNA. Slick advertising

campaigns based on the virtues

of fiber are currently running in a number

of countries, including the U.K.

Another trigger for increased activity

by the big beasts of Europe is activity

about the author

Olaf Storaasli is global marketing manager for fiber optic materials at DSM Functional

Materials. He can be reached at DSM Functional

Materials is a developer of high-performance functional coatings and composite materials

and the world’s leading supplier of UV-curable coatings, including the latest

generation DeSolite Supercoatings, for the production of optical fiber and cable. Find

out more at

further down the food chain. Roundtable

participants heard that one firm

based in Norway – Altibox – currently

accounted for 80 percent of all FTTH

connections in that country. Given

that Altibox was having success in the

kinds of semirural areas that FTTH is

not normally associated with, the results

were even more impressive. The upshot,

according to Altibox, has been careful

scrutiny of its go-to-market strategy

by incumbent Telenor, followed by a

marked ramp-up in Telenor’s sales and

marketing efforts.

Lending credence to comments

made by certain delegates at the conference

that the best way to get people to

pay for FTTH/B would be to give it to

them free for 100 days and then take it

away, some participants offered anecdotal

evidence that, in some countries,

businesses were starting to relocate to be

able to get fiber connections.

Although Scandinavia has been a

stalwart supporter of FTTH/B for some

years, the European region’s most stellar

performance came from Spain, which

had the largest growth in household

penetration in 2011 – an increase of 184

perent from the year before, urged on perhaps

by the rapid expansion of services in

neighboring Portugal and in Turkey.

WHo NeeDs a KIller app?

The number of FTTH/B connections

in Russia and CEE equals the number

in the whole of the EU-27. This regional

disparity disproves assertions that, to

succeed commercially, FTTH/B needs

new killer applications. Its popularity in

places such as Lithuania, which topped

FTTH Council Europe’s Top 20 penetration

table again this year, is based

squarely on its ability to deliver the

kinds of services that Western European

consumers and businesses have become

used to but now face losing because of

bandwidth constraints.


Fiber’s popularity in Russia and CEE

also reflects how much poorer the copper

infrastructure is in those countries than

in Western European countries. One of

the big talking points among roundtable

participants was that, perhaps counterintuitively,

the brilliant applications in

the areas of e-health, distance learning,

business and entertainment on display

at the ICM conference center in Munich

may drive uptake less than the

simple reality that copper broadband

networks are straining to cope with current

demand for bandwidth – and that,

for them to cope with future demand,

urgent action is needed.

Leif Aarthun Ims, CEO of Altibox,

said that overwhelmingly, demand for

FTTH/B came from families’ wanting

to access the Internet using multiple devices

at the same time rather than from

one or two mega-hungry applications.

Other participants agreed that fiber

connections are most likely to be made

by households with young people in

them, even if those young people do not

personally control household budgets.


IN all-FIBer NeTWorKs

Because sovereign debt is Europe’s macroeconomic

megatrend for 2011 and

2012, the issue of public funding is emotional.

Nowhere is the debate so clearcut

as in Germany, the conference host

nation. Many roundtable participants

argued that the German government’s

desire to invest in FTTH/B has been

Brilliant new applications are less important than

the fact that copper networks are straining to

cope with current bandwidth demands.

To get people to pay for fiber, delegates said, give

it to them free for 100 days, then take it away. In

some European countries, businesses are starting

to relocate to get fiber connections.

dampened by a belief that the country’s

copper infrastructure is adequate

to meet current bandwidth demands

and there is no need to invest in more


The consensus among participants

was that, although this view was genuinely

widespread, it emanated more from

the German incumbent telco’s shortterm

investment horizon than from a

logical assessment of future bandwidth

needs. Indeed, the host city, Munich,

won plaudits from participants for

bringing FTTx to every home and business

in the city center. That investment,

funded entirely by the state through its

wholly owned utility firm rather than by

taxpayers, illustrated the difficulties that

private companies, vis-à-vis publicly

owned entities, face in justifying longterm


Although participants agreed that

without public support, Europe stands

to lose compared with other regions of

the world, they disagreed about how this

support should be provided. Policymakers,

citing Europe’s legacy of dominant

incumbent operators, argued passionately

that European-level support for operators

to deploy FTTH/B should be tied

to operators’ agreeing to unbundle their

services. Many other participants argued

that unbundling acts as a disincentive

to investment and that monopolies

should be viewed – as they are in China,

South Korea and other countries –

as a necessary evil to get fiber deployment


Meanwhile, there were hints that any

impasse between business and the European

Commission might not last long.

With Europe’s Digital Agenda targets

for 2020 looking increasingly optimistic,

participants familiar with the Commission’s

efforts stressed that there was room

for more public-private partnerships

March/april 2012 | | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | 29


The European Commission considers network

reliability extremely important, as fiber networks

must support the next phase of integration.

in rolling out FTTH/B and that the

Commission stood ready to provide

more support in terms of investment

and regulation to kick-start progress.

FIBer For pUBlIC serVICes aND

eCoNoMIC sUCCess

Discussion about technology – and,

more specifically, about which technology

should be used to optimize networks

and future-proof them against

failure – was lively. Echoing Chris

Holden’s comments on the change in the

FTTH/B debate from “Why FTTH?”

to “How FTTH?” the roundtable participants

said that, with the case for fiber

much more clear-cut today, the issue was

In business since 1983, DSI

is a top provider of scrolling

TV listings in North America.

not so much whether demand existed

as how best to service this demand.

Verizon is reporting 80 percent fewer

trouble calls with fiber than in its legacy

business, but some participants urged

caution in concluding that all fiber is

created equal, and participants unanimously

agreed that product quality affects

network reliability.

One high-level representative from

the European Commission’s Information

Society directorate general stressed

that the Commission considered the issue

of network reliability extremely important,

as Europe’s fiber networks were

expected to be able to support the next

phase of European integration, whether

Data for your set-top box,

compliant with xmlTV, Microsoft

Mediaroom, and other industry


30 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | March/april 2012

that is harmonized health care, pensions

or social services.

Others concurred that the importance

of network reliability was more

acute than ever, given the central role fiber

would play in Europe’s economic recovery.

As Rob Crowell, senior business

director for DSM Functional Materials,

put it, “We are reaching an inflection

point in the number of governments,

businesses and consumers that now see

the benefits that fiber to the premises

can deliver, whether for home working,

e-government or simply entertainment.

As a result, FTTx demand is shifting

from being ‘nice to have’ to ‘must have’

with the capability to create jobs, ensure

vital public services and entrench innovative,

competitive economies. Telecom

operators must adapt to this shift

not just by building networks capable

of supporting demand today but also

by future-proofing them for tomorrow,

because with so much at stake, failure in

the field will not be tolerated.” v

Every day, our TV listings

data helps keep millions of

viewers across North

America informed.










Broadbandprops2012.pdf 1 3/21/12 3:02 PM

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11th annual list

of leading broadband

technologies and services


The latest offerings from top broadband hardware and

software suppliers, distributors and service providers.


seGMeNTs serVeD





aND serVICes solD

32 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | March/april 2012



aCTIVe eleCTroNICs - WIrelINe

aCTIVe eleCTroNICs - WIreless

VIDeo HeaDeNDs aND

relaTeD eQUIpMeNT

passIVes - oUTsIDe plaNT

3M 3 3 3 3 3 3 3

passIVes - INsIDe plaNT

CUsToMer-preMIses eQUIpMeNT



INTerNeT aND VIDeo serVICes /


oTHer MaNaGeD serVICes

plaNNING, DesIGN or



ADTRAN 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3

Advanced Media Technologies 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3

Anritsu 3 3 3 3 3

AT&T Connected Communities 3 3

Atlantic Engineering Group 3 3

ATX Networks 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3

Blonder Tongue 3 3 3 3 3 3 3

Calix 3 3 3 3 3 3 3

Charles Industries 3 3 3 3 3 3

Charter Communications 3 3

Clearfield 3 3 3 3 3 3

Comcast 3 3

Corning Cable Systems 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3

BaCK-oFFICe soFTWare

CUsToMer-FaCING soFTWare

3M Communication Markets Division

6801 Riverplace Blvd.

Austin, TX 78726

P: 512-984-4641

Contact: Linnea Wilkes



Segments of Industry: MDU/PCO, Telcos, Hospitality,

Other – Education/Health Care

HoT pRodUCTs


seGMeNTs serVeD






aCTIVe eleCTroNICs - WIrelINe

aCTIVe eleCTroNICs - WIreless

VIDeo HeaDeNDs aND

relaTeD eQUIpMeNT

passIVes - oUTsIDe plaNT


aND serVICes solD

Products/Services: Passives – Inside Plant, Passives – Outside

Plant, Customer-Premises Equipment, Structured Wiring

In 2011, 3M introduced the newest addition to its 3M One

Pass Fiber Pathway family of products, the 3M One Pass Mini

Fiber Pathway. The One Pass Mini is a low-profile, single-fiber

cable pathway solution designed to take fiber beyond the hallway

into a living unit discreetly and with minimal subscriber

disruption. Both the One Pass Fiber Pathway hallway solution

and the One Pass Mini utilize exclusive 3M adhesive technol-

March/april 2012 | | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | 33

passIVes - INsIDe plaNT

CUsToMer-preMIses eQUIpMeNT



INTerNeT aND VIDeo serVICes /


oTHer MaNaGeD serVICes

plaNNING, DesIGN or




COS Systems 3 3 3 3 3 3 3

Cox 3 3

Design Nine 3 3 3

Display Systems International 3 3 3 3 3 3

G4S Technology 3 3 3 3


Matrix Design Group –

Subsidiary of Millennium

3 3 3 3 3 3

Communications Group 3 3 3 3 3

Mesh Networks, The 3 3 3 3 3

Multicom Inc. 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3

Multilink 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3

OFS 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3

Power and Tel 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3

Spot On Networks 3 3 3

Sumitomo Electric Lightwave 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3

Televes USA LLC 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3

Tellabs Inc. 3 3 3 3 3 3

Time Warner Cable 3 3

Verizon Enhanced Communities 3 3 3

Walker & Associates 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3

BaCK-oFFICe soFTWare

CUsToMer-FaCING soFTWare

ogy, which ensures reliable installation on

a wide variety of surfaces, even painted

or sealed concrete.

Together, the 3M One Pass Fiber

Pathway and the 3M One

Pass Mini Fiber Pathway,

both terminated with the

high-performance 3M

No Polish Connector,

provide a complete, costeffective

and aesthetically pleasing fiber

solution for MDUs, both inside and outside the living unit –

the Total Package. Network operators and building owners

around the globe have it. Do you?


901 Explorer Blvd.

Huntsville, AL 35806

P: 256-963-6223

F: 256-963-7916

Contact: Kevin Morgan



Segments of Industry: MDU/PCO, Telcos, MSOs,

Hospitality, Municipalities

Products/Services: Active Electronics – Wireline; Active

Electronics – Wireless; Customer-Premises Equipment;

Planning, Design or Construction; Back-Office Software

The ADTRAN Total Access 5000 is designed to help service

providers bridge the

gap between existing

and next-generation

networks. It is a

carrier-class multiservice

access and

aggregation platform

that supports both

legacy and emerging

service interfaces

over copper and fiber.


hardened, the Total Access 5000 is designed for deployment

in central offices, remote terminals or remote node locations,

providing flexible copper and fiber termination options based

on network applications.

ADTRAN is reinventing the access network by integrating

high-bandwidth capabilities for optical networking at the

edge. It is time to migrate WDM, DWDM, OTN, SONET,

ROADMs and other high-performance optical services to the

edge of the network and integrate them with DSL, Carrier

Ethernet, GPON, Ethernet fiber to the home and other access

solutions. This evolution allows operators to rapidly and costeffectively

manage the bandwidth explosion at the edge of the


HoT pRodUCTs

advanced Media Technologies

3150 SW 15th St.

Deerfield Beach, FL 33442

P: 954-427-5711

F: 954-427-9688

Contact: Rob Narzisi



Segments of Industry: MDU/PCO, Telcos, MSOs,

Hospitality, Municipalities

Products/Services: Active Electronics – Wireline, Video

Headends and Related Equipment, Passives – Outside

Plant, Passives – Inside Plant, Customer-Premises

Equipment, Test Equipment

aTx UCrypt – HDTV for hotel made easy and affordable

The UCrypt product offering

from AMT and ATX Networks

is designed to support

system operators with the

delivery of content into hospitality

and bulk accounts.

UCrypt is a clean and

simple, “no set-tops required”

solution that transitions

HD/SD content on the

existing HFC network to

Pro:Idiom encrypted or inthe-clear

content and delivers

into hospitality or bulk account environments.

34 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | March/april 2012


1155 B Collins Blvd. #100

Richardson, TX 75081

P: 214-605-0638

Contact: Laura Edwards



Segments of Industry: MDU/PCO, Telcos, MSOs,


Products/Services: Test Equipment

Introducing the first

handheld OTDR that

does not compromise

performance – the new

µOTDR from Anritsu.

With performance that

rivals traditional OTDRs

that are four times the size and more than double the price, the

Network Master MT9090A µOTDR has created a new class of

test instruments. It features 2 cm resolution for accurate mapping

of events, dead zones of less than 1 meter (3 feet) and a

dynamic range of up to 38dB – enough to test over 150 km

(90+ miles) or PON-based FTTx networks featuring splits of

up to 1x64. The MT9090A µOTDR also takes portability to a

new level by being the first handheld OTDR that truly fits in

the palm of your hand.

The MT9090A with MU909014x/15x module represents a

new era in optical fiber testing!

aT&T Connected Communities

2180 Lake Blvd.

Atlanta, GA 30319

P: 404-829-8895

F: 404-829-8818

Contact: Thuy Woodall



Segments of Industry: MDU/PCO

Products/Services: Internet and Video Services/


AT&T Connected Communities is a specialized division of

AT&T dedicated to creating alliances with apartment ownership

and management groups, single-family builders, developers

and real estate investment trusts within our 22-state service

area. As a leading global provider of high-speed Internet, advanced

TV, home phone service and wireless communication

services, we have a mission to develop reliable technology solutions

that bring AT&T’s complete offering of the latest communications

and entertainment services to your community

and residents. Aligning with AT&T Connected Communities,

backed by a single point of contact, ensures a rewarding marketing

partnership and seamless technology deployment while

increasing the value of your community. To learn more, visit

atlantic engineering Group

PO Box 790

Braselton, GA 30517

P: 706-654-2298

Contact: Chris Smith



Segments of Industry: Municipalities

Products/Services: Planning, Design or Construction

Atlantic, founded in 1996, designs and builds fiber communications

networks. This outside-plant specialist is headquartered

in Braselton, Ga., but deploys in-house personnel and on-site

project managers globally. Atlantic has completed the design

and/or build for more than 100 networks, including more than

30 fiber-to-the-home projects as well as many HFC builds,

metropolitan networks and wide-area networks. Clients include

municipalities, electric utilities, cooperatives and government

agencies. The company is an “all in” service provider for

fiber optic network needs.

HoT pRodUCTs

aTx Networks

1-501 Clements Rd. W.

Ajax, ON L15 7H4 Canada

P: 814-502-5409

F: 905-427-1964

Contact: Tim Buck



Segments of Industry: MDU/PCO, Telcos, MSOs,

Hospitality, Municipalities

Products/Services: Video Headends and Related Equipment,

Passives – Outside Plant, Passives – Inside Plant,

Customer-Premises Equipment

The DVIS/DigiVu multichannel encoding and transmission

platforms from ATX Networks are ideal for (1) cost-effective

encoding, multiplexing and IP transmission in headends

and hub sites; (2) headend consolidation and IP backhaul of local

content; (3) IP backhaul of PEG content; and (4) insertion

of local content into IPTV-based environments. They support

SD/HD and MPEG-2/H.264 encoding and are available in

multiple platforms, such as MDU-hardened designs and rackmounted

solutions, for multiple applications. They offer plugin

scalability (1-2, 1-4, 1-8 and 1-10 programs) and are very

cost-effective. These products are easy to maintain and manage

(VLAN device management over same content delivery

network) and have copper-based and/or optical transmission

options (SFP-based). The DVISf (Fiber) is ATX’s new optical

DVIS version. It incorporates an optical transmitter and optional

EDFAs for insertion of local video content directly into

an FTTx-based architecture.



ATX Networks has

expanded its UCrypt

product offering,

which is designed to

support operators with

the delivery of content into hospitality

and bulk MDU accounts to address virtually any deployment

architecture and distribution application. The UCrypt QAM

to QAM product – designed to transition content from the

HFC plant and retransmit into an MDU or hotel in Pro:Idiom/

clear QAM format – has now been expanded to support up to

60 decrypted programs and up to 32 output QAMs. The IP

March/april 2012 | | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | 35









output version of the UCrypt, which is ideal for operators that

want to serve IPTV-based hospitality or commercial accounts,

has also been expanded to support up to 60 decrypted programs.

ATX has IP to Pro:Idiom QAM and IP to Pro:Idiom

IP versions of the UCrypt product for operators that choose

to deploy Pro:Idiom encrypted content in a more centralized

manner. The newest additions are the IP-to-analog version and

the new 16-channel Lite version.



Blonder Tongue laboratories Inc.

One Jake Brown Rd.

Old Bridge, NJ 08857

P: 800-523-6049

F: 732-679-1886

Contact: Lauren Yesler



Segments of Industry: MDU/PCO, Telcos, MSOs,

Hospitality, Municipalities

Products/Services: Video Headends and Related Equipment,

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36 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | March/april 2012

Scheduled for release in 2Q2012 is Blonder Tongue’s model

HDE-2H/2S-QAM, the company’s fourth-generation

MPEG-2 HD encoder. The new encoder features a total of four

input programs from two HDMI (HDCP not supported), two

HD-SDI and four component video input connections and

provides simultaneous outputs in QAM, IP and ASI. The encoder

supports Dolby Digital AC-3 audio encoding and closed

captioning. It is also equipped with an Emergency Alert System

interface. Comprehensive remote monitoring and control is accomplished

using any standard Web browser via 10/100Base-T

Ethernet connection. To learn more about the latest MPEG-2

and H.264 encoding products that provide high-performance

yet cost-effective solutions to system operators, please visit us at


1035 N. McDowell Blvd.

Petaluma, CA 94954

P: 707-766-3000

F: 707-283-3100

Contact: David Russell



Segments of Industry: MDU/PCO, Telcos, MSOs,

Hospitality, Municipalities

Products/Services: Active Electronics – Wireline,

Customer-Premises Equipment

The Calix GPON-8x card doubles

the GPON port capacity

of the E7-20 ESAP, allowing

service providers to efficiently

serve more than 5,000 GPON

subscribers with a 32-way split

and more than 10,000 GPON

subscribers with a 64-way split.

The E7-20’s 2-terabit backplane

and nonblocking throughput

capacity, combined with Calix

700GE ONTs, allows any of

these subscribers to receive up to 1

Gbps of downstream and upstream capacity, enabling a vast

array of potential service options. Each port on an GPON-8x

card can be separately provisioned with a pluggable optical in-

terface module (OIM) so that service providers can scale their

capital investment to meet subscriber demand.

Charles Industries

5600 Apollo Dr.

Rolling Meadows, IL 60008

P: 847-806-6300

F: 847-806-6231

Contact: Brad Wackerlin



Segments of Industry: MDU/PCO, Telcos, MSOs,


Products/Services: Active Electronics – Wireline, Active

Electronics – Wireless, Passives – Outside Plant, Passives –

Inside Plant, Customer-Premises Equipment

In FTT-MDU applications,

where space is typically

at a premium, Charles Fiber Building

Terminals (CFBT) provide compact fiber interconnect

capabilities in organized, technician-friendly enclosures.

CFBT offer industry-leading flexibility in placement

and fiber splicing methods. They can be placed in an MDU

basement for centralized or distributed fiber runs or in telecom

closets on each floor level of larger buildings for single-unit runs.

They support fusion, preconnectorized or field connector feed

and drop splicing for up to 96 connections. CFBT are manufactured

in the U.S. from high-quality powder-coated aluminum.

Features include low-profile, quarter-turn latches (216 tool lock),

padlockable hasps and internal and external ground locations.

A CFBT-Hub option is available with up to three 1x32 splitters.

Charter Communications

4670 E. Fulton Street #102

Ada, MI 49301

P: 616-607-2373

F: 616-975-1107

Contact: Joe Geroux, Director of MDU Sales



Segments of Industry: MDU/PCO

Products/Services: Internet and Video Services/


HoT pRodUCTs

Charter Communications Inc. is a Fortune 500 company and

the fourth-largest cable operator in the United States. Charter

provides advanced video, high-speed Internet and telephone

services to approximately 5.2 million residential and business

customers in 25 states.

Charter is proud to offer advanced entertainment and communications

services that “Bring Your Home to Life.” We offer

today’s most advanced video services, including increasingly

popular high-definition programming and digital video recorder

service. Customers can choose from more than 6,000

video-on-demand movies and shows – 24/7. We offer Internet

connection speeds up to 20 Mbps nationwide and have

launched Charter Internet Ultra100 service, with speeds up to

100 Mbps downstream and 5 Mbps upstream, in most markets.

For customers on Charter Internet Express, Plus, and Ultra100

we include Charter Security Suite to protect against online

threats and intrusions. Charter Telephone offers exceptional

sound quality and reliability as well as popular calling features.

For additional savings and convenience, we offer bundles of

two or three Charter services for one value-based price. Customers

who combine their cable television, high-speed Internet

and telephone services into a triple-play bundle receive the

greatest value for their communications dollars.


5480 Nathan Lane

Plymouth, MN 55442

P: 763-476-6866

F: 763-475-8457

Contact: Johnny Hill



Segments of Industry: MDU/PCO, Telcos, MSOs,


Products/Services: Passives – Outside Plant, Passives – Inside


Clearfield’s FieldSmart Small Count Delivery (SCD) Case is the

industry’s only universal drop cable enclosure for use with any

drop cable media in all application environments. The Clearfield

solution provides configuration flexibility for the last-mile access

point with an innovative, intuitive and modular approach while

utilizing proven, traditional sealed-closure techniques.

While the FieldSmart SCD Case supports all industry

standard drop cable media, it has been

optimized for use with a pushable fiber

solution that is installed through

ruggedized microduct directly into

the SCD Case for ease of access

and rapid user turn-up and restoration

when needed.

In addition, when

deployed with the

CraftSmart Fiber

Protection line of pedestals

March/april 2012 | | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | 37

and vaults, the SCD Case sets the standard for integrated fiber

protection and management.

Get smart, be smart at

or, our online fiber

management curriculum designed to get you on your way to intelligent

deployment practices throughout your fiber network.


1701 JFK Blvd.

Philadelphia, PA 19103

P: 1-800-XFINITY

Contact: Daniel O’Connell



Segments of Industry: MDU/PCO

Products/Services: Internet and Video Services/


Comcast Corporation is one of the nation’s leading providers

of entertainment, information and communications products

and services. We value our partnerships with multifamily communities

as we help them deliver the best in entertainment to

their residents. All Comcast services bring valuable benefits to

each customer’s home, including Xfinity TV, Xfinity Internet

and Xfinity Voice. We hold our products, service and people

to the highest standards because our goal is to provide a superior

customer experience. Serving residents in 36 states and the

District of Columbia, Comcast will partner with you to meet

all your residents’ communications needs.

Corning Cable systems

800 17th St. NW

Hickory, NC 28601

P: 828-901-5000


Segments of Industry: MDU/PCO, Telcos, MSOs,


Products/Services: Video Headends and Related

Equipment; Passives – Outside Plant; Passives – Inside

Plant; Customer-Premises Equipment; Test Equipment;

Planning, Design or Construction; Training

optisheath MF12 Multiport Terminal

Corning Cable Systems OptiSheath MF12 MultiPort Terminal

combines the OptiTip adapter with a sealed closure for quick

and easy deployment. The factory-terminated

enclosure eliminates time required for field

termination methods while providing

industry-leading quality and reliability.

The OptiSheath MF12

MultiPort Terminal is easily

mounted in pedestals, on poles

or below ground for increased

deployment versatility.

HoT pRodUCTs

Cos systems

16 Coddington Wharf #2

Newport, RI 02840

P: 617-274-8171

Contact: Ron Corriveau, VP of Business Development



Segments of Industry: MDU/PCO, Telcos, MSOs,

Hospitality, Municipalities

Products/Services: Back-Office Software, Customer-Facing


38 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | March/april 2012

Cos FTTx Network Management suite

COS is a business operations support suite of products that offers

self-service management and secure automated provisioning

for FTTx networks. It provides a comprehensive solution to

automate operational and business processes critical to selling,

provisioning and managing broadband networks.

The COS Marketplace offers a secure self-service portal that

lets customers and service providers conduct business without

calling a sales or support center. COS automatically provisions

services selected from the Marketplace, sends customer and

billing information to the relevant service provider and enables

the services, all in a matter of minutes.

By enabling self-service for customers and service providers,

COS improves customer satisfaction, lowers service deployment

costs and accelerates revenues.

For more information, please call us at 617-274-8171 or

visit us at


1400 Lake Hearn Dr.

Atlanta, GA 30319

P: 404-269-7776

Contact: Shannon Boyle



Segments of Industry: MDU/PCO, Single Family and


Products/Services: Internet and Video Services/Programming

Cox Communications is a multiservice broadband communications

and entertainment company with approximately 6 mil-


Customers are accessing the network from a broad array

of devices and new media, causing service providers to

reexamine how they define access. ADTRAN ® is working

with customers to deliver innovative solutions for every

ingress point in the network. This innovation helps ADTRAN

service provider customers accelerate change and quickly

launch new revenue generating services.

For more information, visit

and discover how ADTRAN is Reinventing Access.

lion residential and commercial customers. The third-largest

cable television company in the United States, Cox offers an

array of advanced digital video, high-speed Internet and telephony

services over its own nationwide IP network. Since

1996, Cox has invested more than $16 billion in infrastructure

upgrades to increase capacity and remain at the forefront

of innovation. Satisfying Cox customers is top priority, so the

network was designed with future growth in mind. It’s all

part of Cox’s ongoing focus to meet its customer’s expanding

bandwidth demands by developing a resilient, faster and

more robust network. Residents will thank you for choosing

Cox Communications, and properties will benefit by leveraging

the Cox reputation for service, reliability and technology

leadership. Find out how to become a Cox Digital Community

powered by Cox. More information about the services of Cox

Communications, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cox Enterprises,

is available at

Design Nine

2000 Kraft Drive, Ste. 2180

Blacksburg, VA 24060

P: 540-951-4400

Contact: Andrew Cohill




Segments of Industry: Municipalities

Products/Services: Planning, Design or Construction;

Back-Office Software

Design Nine Network Management Tools

Our Web-based Network Management tool allows you to create

beautiful visual maps of your network. Build your own service

area maps from scratch, import data from other GIS sources or

have our staff create base maps for you. Access the system from

any Web browser. Fully integrated network equipment inventory

management lets you track where splice cans, handholes,

switches, routers and radios are located. Track equipment by

put-in-service dates, serial numbers, vendor or model number.

Easy-to-use drawing tools let you create and maintain duct and

fiber cable routes and splices. Map start and end points of fiber

cables, manage used and unused buffer tubes and fibers, and

enter splice data quickly. Unlike other GIS systems, this tool

HoT pRodUCTs

40 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | March/april 2012

allows you to print beautiful, high-resolution maps at any size

up to D and E size drawings and to generate PDF files with a

couple of mouse clicks.

Display systems International

2214 Hanselman Ave.

Saskatoon, SK S7L 6A4

P: 877-934-6884

F: 306-934-6447

Contact: Whitney Lemke,

Executive Assistant



Segments of Industry: MDU/PCO, Telcos, MSOs,

Hospitality, Municipalities

Products/Services: Video Headends and Related Equipment

DSI now offers TV listings data services for interactive programming

guides. We provide accurate, up-to-the-minute listings

in a variety of standardized XML and text-based formats

and in MicroSoft MediaRoom GLF format, as well as custombuilt

data solutions. Specify the number of days in advance you

would like your data to be delivered, and we will post it to your

server or host it for you. As part of our commitment to offering

our customers excellent value and service, we accommodate

your needs in regards to custom or local origination channels

at no additional charge. DSI offers all of this and more at 25

percent to 60 percent less than your current provider’s cost.

G4s Technology llC

1200 Landmark Center, Ste. #1300

Omaha, NE 68102

P: 402-233-7700

F: 402-233-7650

Contact: Laura Kocher



Segments of Industry: MDU/PCO, Telcos, Municipalities

Products/Services: Planning, Design or Construction

G4S Technology (formerly Adesta) specializes in the design

and implementation of modern communications networks

and infrastructure for public and private customers, including

ILECs, CLECs, utilities, municipalities, economic development

projects and rural broadband cooperatives. A trusted provider

of facilities, equipment and personnel for a wide variety

of communications infrastructure, we offer custom-tailored,

results-oriented services in SONET, IP/Ethernet, DWDM/

CWDM, wireless, last-mile and broadband networks.

Since 1988, G4S Technology has deployed more than 2

million fiber miles. We can help develop a greenfield network

or integrate into an existing infrastructure. We work with inside-

and outside-plant facilities and provide all types of networks

for voice, data and video applications. Our wide service

range includes design, engineering, cable and equipment procurement,

aerial and underground installation, construction,

system testing and turn-up, fusion splicing and documentation.

G4S Technology is a founding member of the Fiber-to-the-

Home Council.


5954 Priestly Dr.

Carlsbad, CA 92008

P: 760-602-1900

F: 760-602-1928

Contact: Sandi Kruger



Segments of Industry: MDU/PCO, Telcos, MSOs,


Products/Services: Back-Office Software, Customer-Facing


A BroadBand Communities Top 100 Company, GLDS sets

the standard for cable billing and subscriber management software.

WinCable’s client/server architecture, attractive Windows

design and robust SQL database provide optimal features,

benefits and value for smaller operators.

Digital, IPTV and analog set-top boxes, FTTH ONUs,

conditional access, satellite receivers, cable modems, VoD,

OTT and VoIP can all be managed directly from the Win-

HoT pRodUCTs

Cable billing system. GLDS also offers telephone and Web-enabled

customer self-care plus workforce management solutions

from any Web-enabled device.

• Designed for the requirements of private, franchised and

municipal broadband

• Exclusive address-based features

• Full support for Interdiction, FTTH, digital, IPTV, VoIP

and more

• Landlord/tenant billing options

• Low-cost online solutions for small systems

Serving small and mid-sized operators, GLDS has implemented

its solutions for more than 300 cable systems in 49

U.S. states and 44 countries worldwide. For more information,

contact GLDS Sales at 800-882-7950.

Matrix Design Group – subsidiary of

Millennium Communications Group

11 Melanie Lane, Unit 13

East Hanover, NJ 07936

P: 800-677-1919

F: 973-503-0111

Contact: Rachael Licata


URL: and

A Subsidiary of



Segments of Industry: MDU/PCO, Municipalities, Other:

State and Local Governments, Utilities

Products/Services: Structured Wiring; Other Managed

Services; Planning, Design or Construction

Matrix Design Group, a subsidiary of Millennium Communications

Group, stands out in network engineering and design for

fiber optic–based

technology solutions.

Our highly

skilled design

and engineering

team will lead

your project from

conception, budgeting,engineering

and design to

construction and

final acceptance.

We bring your project both unsurpassed excellence and continuity

of service. Our fiber optic network services staff offer

unmatched professionalism under a stringent quality control

program. No matter the size of the project, our staff will deliver

superior craftsmanship and attention to detail. Likewise, we are

remarkably capable of managing and navigating your project

with the ease that only a company with Matrix’s experience can

provide. The combination of the best equipment, education, experience

and dedicated personnel, provides you, the client, with

the utmost level of service and reliability.

March/april 2012 | | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | 41

Mesh Networks, The

11757 Katy Freeway, Ste. 1300

Houston, TX 77079

P: 855-855-MESH

Contact: Brian Foley



Segments of Industry: MDU/PCO, MSOs, Hospitality,

Other – WISP

Products/Services: Back-Office Software, Customer-Facing


Netprofit Managed Bandwidth solutions

Reduces required bandwidth by up to 45 percent


Controls bandwidth hogs through quota management


Increases quality of service for all network users



Provides a user-initiated bandwidth management system


Eliminates the need for IT interaction with the end user


Identifies and quantifies bandwidth, creating documentation

for billing in the enterprise environment


Multicom Inc.

1076 Florida Central Parkway

Longwood, FL 32750

P: 407-331-7779

Contact: Dominic Ruggiero, Sales; Matt Conrad, Marketing



Segments of Industry: MDU/PCO, Telcos, MSOs,

Hospitality, Municipalities

Products/Services: Active Electronics – Wireline; Active

Electronics – Wireless; Video Headends and Related

Equipment; Passives – Outside Plant; Passives – Inside

Plant; Structured Wiring; Test Equipment; Other

Managed Services; Planning, Design or Construction;

Training; Customer-Facing Software (VoIP)

Multicom is introducing the innovative, new PCO/MDU

product line called the Guardian. This unique remote headend

server was developed by the Multicom Development Labs for

cable operators’ use in MDUs, hospitals, nursing homes, etc.

• The standard model provides options for

– Easy remote monitoring and control of most analog/

digital/QAM headends

HoT pRodUCTs

42 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | March/april 2012


– Remote Sparing:

Immediate replacement of

bad modulators and/or bad receivers with no

truckroll. Back in service immediately!

– iPhone/Smartphone/PC Web portal: System status

available remotely 24/7 anytime, anywhere – in the

palm of your hand!

– Remote monitoring, detection and alerting of environmental

issues such as temperature and humidity

– Remote power control of headend components and receivers

– Compatibility with most DISH Receivers (211, 311,

222, 222K, and many others), ensuring that all receivers

stay on the program channel lineup

– Remotely changing program channel lineup.

• The advanced services models also provide

– Automated video and audio signal monitoring and


– Automated issue resolution.

For more information, call Multicom at 800-423-2594 or



580 Ternes Ave.

Elyria, OH 44035

P: 440-366-6966

F: 440-366-6802

Contact: Matt Ternes



Segments of Industry: MDU/PCO, Telcos, MSOs,


Products/Services: Passives – Outside Plant, Passives – Inside

Plant, Customer-Premises Equipment, Structured Wiring

Multilink is a manufacturer

and supplier of environmentally


cabinets for inside-plant

and outside-plant applications.

The 12RU backhaul

cabinet is a perfect solution

for any small wireless application.

The enclosure provides

a full 12RU of mounting

space in a compact,

weatherproof enclosure. The

unit is wall- or strut channel -

mountable and features a padlockable three-point locking system.

Dual 100 CFM fans are thermostatically controlled and

flush hot air out through a 100-percent differentiated chamber

above the cabinet. 120V service entrance and duplex provide

power to rack needs and fans. This is just one example of how

Multilink develops cabinets to fill specific needs in the industry.

Contact us today to see what we can do for your application.


2000 N.E. Expressway, Ste. B030

Norcross, GA 30071

P: 770-798-2729

F: 770-798-3872

Contact: Alexis A. McIntosh




Segments of Industry: MDU/PCO, Telcos, MSOs,


Products/Services: Active Electronics – Wireless, Passives –

Outside Plant, Passives – Inside Plant, Customer-Premises

Equipment, Training

eZ-Bend Invisilight optical solution


Bend InvisiLight

Optical Solution

is a revolutionary

new system that

enables fast, easy,

virtually invisible

in-residence fiber

drop connections.

The installer uses

an innovative,

simple process to

adhere a tiny microdrop,

less than 1 mm in diameter, into the grooves between

molding and walls or ceilings, resulting in a protected fiber

link that blends seamlessly into the residence.

power and Tel

2673 Yale Ave.

Memphis, TN 38112

P: 701-866-3300

F: 901-320-3082

Contact: Keith Cress



Segments of Industry: MDU/PCO, Telcos, MSOs,

Hospitality, Municipalities

Products/Services: Active Electronics – Wireline, Video

Headends and Related Equipment, Passives – Outside

Plant, Passives – Inside Plant, Customer-Premises

Equipment, Structured Wiring, Test Equipment

HoT pRodUCTs

Te Connectivity’s Innovative rapid Fiber panel

Add capacity quickly and economically across the network.

TE’s new Rapid fiber panel combines IFC cables with fiber

panels using TE’s patented RapidReel fiber spooling system.

With applications ranging from central offices and data centers

to cell sites and customer premises, Rapid fiber panels offer

extensive features and benefits.

TE’s Rapid fiber panels provide a more cost-effective and efficient

way to add fiber capacity by reducing engineering, ordering

and installation time. By allowing new fiber to be installed faster

than before and by providing flexibility and scalability to deliver

more bandwidth as needed, TE’s Rapid fiber panels lower the

total cost of expanding fiber capacity, helping service providers

attract and retain customers and ensure long-term profitability.

For more information, contact Power & Tel at 800-238-

7514 or

spot on Networks

55 Church St., Ste. 200

New Haven, CT 06510

P: 877-768-6687

F: 203-773-1947

Contact: Craig Edgar



Segments of Industry: MDU/PCO, Hospitality

Products/Services: Internet and Video Services/


Spot On Networks (SON) is the largest provider of high-speed

Wi-Fi internet services to the multifamily industry. SON deploys

fully managed Wi-Fi Networks to multifamily properties,

hotels and commercial spaces. Spot On is the only Wi-Fi

provider with UserSafe technology. Users can surf, email, shop,

bank and more with 100-percent security protection over our

wireless networks.

Utilizing various technologies, SON provides high-speed

Wi-Fi capabilities throughout a residential complex that replace

the need for DSL or cable modem services while providing

complete mobility and faster service within that complex.

SON Wi-Fi networks can also provide residential buildings

with enhanced cellular and smartphone coverage over Wi-Fi.

March/april 2012 | | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | 43

SON deploys only secure, carrier-grade and CALEAcompliant

networks and offers both properties and residents

24/7 service, support and maintenance. SON has deployed

networks in more than 400 properties that include more than

75,000 residential units and 7,000 hotel rooms.

sumitomo electric lightwave

78 T.W. Alexander Drive

Research Triangle Park, NC 27709

P: 800-358-7378

Contact: Customer Service



Segments of Industry: MDU/PCO, Telcos, MSOs,

Hospitality, Municipalities

Products/Services: Passives – Outside Plant; Passives – Inside

Plant; Structured Wiring; Test Equipment; Planning,

Design or Construction; Training

Visit us at Booth #515 at the BroadBand Communities Summit

for the latest in advanced technologies from Sumitomo

Electric Lightwave, a major industry leader in optical fiber,

cable, Air-Blown Fiber and connectivity solutions.

Featured are the revolutionary Lynx2 CustomFit Connectors

(MPO, SC, LC, FC and ST) for customized on-site EX-

ACT cable builds and terminations for MDU, data center, inside

plant, outside plant, FTTx and virtually any network connectivity

application. Lynx2 connectivity eliminates the shorts, excess

slack and logistic delays of preterminated cables for better performance

and faster installations, changes, repairs, and restorations

for the most minimal downtime of your network.

Showcased also is the new Quantum Core Alignment Fusion

Splicer, the industry’s first and only splicer with fully navigational

touch-screen interface for faster and easier splicing

functionality; SD port for virtually unlimited data storage plus

work-related video, audio and software uploads/downloads;

the longest electrode life; remote Internet maintenance capabilities

and much more.

HoT pRodUCTs

Televes Usa llC

9800 Mount Pyramid Ct. #400

Englewood, CO 80112

P: 303-256-6767

F: 303-256-6769

Contact: Javier Ruano



Segments of Industry: MDU/PCO, Telcos, MSOs,


Products/Services: Active Electronics – Wireline, Video

Headends and Related Equipment, Passives – Outside

Plant, Passives – Inside Plant, Customer-Premises

Equipment, Test Equipment

44 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | March/april 2012

H45 advance series –

advanced HDTV system analyzers

The H45 Advance series are next-generation real-time digital

processing test solutions designed for digital and analog cable,

satellite and off-air HDTV signal analysis.

Key FeaTUres:

• Real-time digital processing

• MPEG-4 full-HDTV signal display and measurements

• Optical interface (with built-in optical receiver)

• Professional-grade spectrum analyzer (2MHz to 3.3GHz)

• Workflow automation

• Portability and ease of use

HDTV TesTING MaDe sIMple –

one single tool covers every testing need:

• CATV - QAM Annex A/B/C · NTSC

• Satellite - DVB-S · 8PSK · DSS · DVB-S2

• Off-Air - ATSC/8VSB · NTSC

DIGITal proCessING:

Traditional sweep architecture meters spend more time missing

signal information than measuring it! The H45 has been

designed from the ground up to instantaneously obtain all the

information in the signal in real time. With 20MHz digitally

captured every 10 milliseconds, no detail escapes H45’s eye.

The H45 with real-time digital processing is a total revolution.

When you have XFINITY,

you’re not just building a project.

You’re building the future.

Want to build the hottest place in town? XFINITY can help with TV, Internet and Voice that work

seamlessly together—so your residents can access and enjoy everything they love anytime,

anywhere. With XFINITY, your residents have access to over 75,000 On Demand TV shows

and movies on TV and streaming online. XFINITY is the fastest Internet provider in the nation

according to PC Mag, which provides your residents with all the speed they need to do more of

what they want online. Plus, with the best in call clarity, your residents get unlimited nationwide

calling to the US, including Canada and Puerto Rico. With XFINITY, your location is built to last.

Learn more at xfi

Restrictions apply. Not available in all areas. Residential customers only. Availability of programming and features varies depending on level of service. 2011

rating by PC Mag based on review of customer data from A trademark of Ziff Davis, Inc. Used under license. © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc.

Call clarity claim based on August 2010 analysis of traditional phone service by Tektronix. © 2012 Comcast. All rights reserved.

Tellabs Inc.

1415 West Diehl Rd.

Naperville, IL 60563

P: 707-206-1751

Contact: John Hoover



Segments of Industry: MDU/PCO, Telcos, Hospitality,


Products/Services: Active Electronics – Wireline, Customer-

Premises Equipment

Tellabs 1150 Multiservice access platform (Msap) and

optical laN solutions

Enterprise, MDU, education, hospitality

and health care internal networks

require huge amounts

of bandwidth to meet

their broadband

needs. However, as

their network requirements


so do costs.

An all-fiber Optical

LAN (local

area network) helps

you meet all your

network requirements

– and it is far more reliable, secure and cost-effective than a

traditional copper-based active Ethernet LAN.

Tellabs Optical LAN, using gigabit passive optical networking

(GPON) technology, saves up to 70 percent of capital

expenditures, 80 percent of power consumption and 90 percent

of space requirements. In addition, it is a green alternative

to the power-hungry and space-consuming traditional copperbased


optical laN benefits

• Significantly reduce capital and operating expenses

• Meet green environmental goals and increase LEED accreditation


• Experience long-term savings by future-proofing your network


• Converge data, voice, and video services into a single solution

Time Warner Cable

2551 Dulles View Dr.

Herndon, VA 20171

P: 703-345-2749

Contact: Joanne Luger



Segments of Industry: MDU/PCO

Products/Services: Internet and Video Services/


HoT pRodUCTs

46 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | March/april 2012

TWC Community Solutions is Time Warner Cable’s business

unit dedicated to the multifamily and student housing business

segments. We partner with multifamily and student housing

professionals to assist them in exceeding their goals and

enhancing their businesses. Providing our customers with advanced

digital TV, broadband Internet and digital phone is our

core business, not just an ancillary product, as is the case for

some of our competitors. We have all the bandwidth needed to

support your residents’ high-tech lifestyles. That’s why we have

exciting new products and services being released all the time!

Time Warner Cable SignatureHome – Start with our

digital products, then add premium services like advanced

TV, next-generation Internet and smarter home phone. Then,

top it off with exceptional service. Residents will enjoy the latest

innovations, from high-definition television to enhanced

TV features for the iPad and much more! Our products and

services allow residents to enjoy technology better. We create

partnerships that use our core business to enhance your core

business – resident satisfaction and ancillary income.

To learn about ALL our Hot Products, contact us or visit us

online at

Verizon enhanced Communities

One Verizon Way,

Mailcode VC21E217

Basking Ridge, NJ 07920

P: 866-638-6066

Contact: Tom Nugent



Segments of Industry: MDU/PCO

Products/Services: Internet and Video Services/

Programming, Other Managed Services

Verizon Enhanced Communities is Verizon’s business unit

dedicated to serving single- and multifamily residential communities

with Verizon FiOS TV, Internet, and phone services

as well as cutting-edge applications that add value to your

community, including Verizon Concierge and Verizon Home

Monitoring & Control, all delivered over the award-winning

Verizon FiOS all-fiber-optic network.

Verizon offers a wide variety of programs benefiting property

owners and unique services to enhance any community, differentiating

it from a property without FiOS services. Verizon makes

it easy, providing custom installation with dedicated management

and engineering teams, as well as ongoing customer service.

Contact us to learn how your property can get an upgrade

and benefit from the value of having an all-fiber-optic network.

Walker & associates

7129 Old Hwy 52 N.

Welcome, NC 27374

P: 800-WALKER1

F: 336-731-3089

Contact: Randy Turner



Segments of Industry: Telcos, MSOs, Municipalities

Products/Services: Active Electronics – Wireline; Active

Electronics – Wireless; Passives – Outside Plant; Passives

– Inside Plant; Customer-Premises Equipment; Structured

Wiring; Test Equipment; Planning, Design or Construction

Te Connectivity’s Flexible Fiber Box

Indoor / Outdoor Rapid and Fixed Demarc and

Aggregate Boxes

HoT pRodUCTs

TE Connectivity’s (TE) Flexible Fiber Box (FFB) is designed

to address the

unique challenges

of indoor,outside


and fiber


Available in

two base configurations,

Fixed and Rapid, the FFB

promotes true flexibility with easily interchangeable

components for term, sliding adapter pack, fixed bulkhead,

splice, MPO and hardened multifiber optical connector (HM-

FOC) configurations.

The Rapid FFB system enables faster cable routing and installation,

and the fiber cable spool helps to minimize overall

labor costs. In addition, the spooling system reduces the need

for site survey inspections and simplifies cable ordering and

inventory requirements.

TE’s Flexible Fiber Box Series incorporates the latest in

cutting-edge technology, helps to deliver unmatched savings

in installation time and labor costs and offers unrivaled performance

for next-generation networks.

For more information, contact Walker and Associates at

1-800-WALKER1 or visit

Broadband network design and development

Call us at 540.951.4400

Design Nine provides communities and developers with

expert advice, planning, and project management for your

wireless and fiber projects.

� Open access network planning and design

� Open access business and financial pro formas

� Fiber and wireless designs and implementation

� Public/private partnership development

� Asset mapping and needs assessment

Broadband project management

� Vendor and systems identification

� RFP design and management

� Fiber splicing and network management software

We design and build fiber and wireless networks, and specialize in

open systems. We will identify the right business and financial

models, select the best vendors and systems to meet your needs,

identify funding options, manage the procurement process, and select

qualified firms to build and manage your network.


we build networks that perform

March/april 2012 | | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | 47

IndependenT TelCos

more than 600 Independent

telcos Deploy FttH

Fiber to the home has become the technology of choice for independent

telephone companies in the United States. How long will they be able to

keep choosing it?

By Masha Zager ■ Broadband Communities

Independent telcos were among

the first companies to deploy fiber

broadband in the United States; a

few adventurous companies began their

FTTH projects at about the turn of the

century. By March 2012, BroadBand

Communities had identified 622 independent

telcos that have deployed or are

preparing to deploy fiber to the premises.

In addition, as numerous surveys

have documented, many independent

telcos that do not yet have specific plans

to deploy fiber hope to do so in the future.

A technology once at the “bleeding

edge” has become mainstream very



Since BroadBand Communities’ last

independent telco census in October

2011, the number of telcos with fiber

deployments grew by 37. (The actual

number of additions was slightly higher

because several companies were removed

vIeWIng the Independent telCo lIst

Since 2005, BroadBand Communities has gathered information about companies deploying fiber to the premises. Visit to browse the database of 800-plus companies and search, sort and download the data.

If you are reading the digital edition of BroadBand Communities, a formatted list of 622 independent telcos deploying

FTTP follows this article. If you are reading the print edition, you can view the formatted list online in one of three ways:

The table of contents on the magazine home page,, has links to both the digital edition version and

the PDF version, and the Featured Articles tab links to an HTML version.

This information comes from a variety of sources, including vendors, press reports, rUs announcements

and deployers. To improve data quality, we would prefer to gather more information directly from deployers

themselves. To add or update information about your company, please write to

as a result of mergers and acquisitions.)

Some of these additions were well-established

deployments that did not come

to our attention until recently, but most

were new. Significantly, the new additions

were not broadband stimulus grant

recipients, though a few received subsidized

loans from the Rural Utilities Service

broadband loan program. The fact

that new companies are moving forward

with FTTH despite regulatory uncertainty

and the lack of grant funding is


However, the addition of new telcos

to the list no longer represents the bulk

of this sector’s investment in FTTH.

Rather, most telco activity comes from

continuations of fiber rollouts begun in

48 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | March/april 2012

earlier years.

Though some companies appear to

have stopped deploying fiber after their

first pilot projects, many others continue

to increase their FTTH footprints year

after year as funding becomes available.

Quite a few even seek new CLEC opportunities

after they finish deploying

fiber to their traditional service areas.

The broadband stimulus program

accounts for a significant amount of

FTTH deployment. After frustrating

delays in grant awards, releases of funds

and fiber shipments (still an ongoing

problem), most broadband stimulus

projects are now under way. The bulk

of the last-mile stimulus funds was

awarded to independent telcos, and

about the author

Masha Zager is the editor of BroadBand Communities. You can reach her at masha

this funding will generate a substantial

amount of FTTH deployment through

2015. There is also still a considerable

amount of deployment activity outside

the stimulus program.

THe FUTUre oF FTTH For TelCos

The longer-term future of FTTH deployment

by this sector is in doubt. The

FCC recently changed its approach to

supporting rural telecommunications.

The agency’s new rules (which, like its

net neutrality rules, manage to make

nearly everyone unhappy) aim to make

broadband more widely available. If

they succeed at that, they will certainly

benefit rural residents who now struggle

with dial-up or satellite service. However,

the rules discourage investment in

solutions such as fiber to the home.

Rate-of-return regulation, the model

used for rural telcos, is criticized by

economists for encouraging “goldplating”;

regulated companies have an

incentive to spend more than they need

to because their revenues are pegged to

their expenditures. Rural telcos’ investments

in fiber to the home have been

cited as classic examples of gold-plating.

IndependenT TelCos

However, although even the beneficiaries

of rate-of-return regulation recognize

that it rewards inefficient decisions,

they disagree that investment in

FTTH is inefficient. Proponents of rural

FTTH argue, first, that fiber has a

much longer economic life than copper

or wireless technologies and costs less to

operate and maintain and, second, that

technologies with lower initial costs will

not achieve the public goal of boosting

rural economic opportunity and will,

instead, simply maintain or widen the

digital divide.

Nevertheless, the current economic

and political climate seems unlikely to

permit the degree of support for rural

FTTH that has existed for the last decade.

To continue deploying fiber after

What Is an Independent telCo?

The companies discussed in this article are licensed providers of wireline

voice services other than Verizon, AT&T and CenturyLink. They are regulated

in the United States as ILECs (incumbent providers), CLECs (competitive

providers) or both. Most are rural providers, many of them cooperatives

or small, family-owned businesses, set up 50 or more years ago to

offer telephone service in regions not covered by the Bell system. A smaller

number came into existence after the Telecommunications Act of 1996,

some specifically to build fiber-to-the-home networks and others to serve

businesses or to offer alternatives in underserved areas. Some CLECs began

as resellers of incumbent services and evolved to become facilities-based

providers. In addition, some cable operators that have CLEC certificates are

included on the list.

Today, many companies other than telephone companies deliver voice

services and are functionally equivalent to CLECs. Although the telco category

has become less meaningful, telcos still exist as a historical and legal

category, and the definition used here is consistent with industry usage.

Excluded, to the extent possible, are telcos whose only involvement with

FTTH is to deliver services over fiber access networks that they do not own

and were not involved in building – for example, service providers on networks

owned by municipalities or by housing developers. Also excluded are

non-telephone companies, such as electric utilities, wireless ISPs and search

engine giants, that became CLECs only after building FTTH networks.

Broadband stimulus funding will keep

independent telcos deploying fiber to the home

for the next several years. The long-term future

looks considerably less certain.

their currently funded projects are completed,

independent telcos may have to

develop new approaches to reducing

deployment costs, reducing operating

costs (especially backhaul) and increasing

service revenues.


1. As noted in previous years, larger

telcos are more likely to deploy

FTTH only in new developments;

smaller telcos are more likely to

replace their aging copper plant

with fiber or to overbuild nearby


Most of the largest telcos on our list –

sometimes called Tier 2 telcos – including

Fairpoint, Frontier, TDS Telecom

and Windstream, have greenfield-only

fiber deployment policies. (Frontier’s

large FTTH network came with its

purchase of Verizon assets; in addition,

TDS Telecom has built FTTH in a few

towns where it faces stiff competition.)

Large telcos that are overbuilding their

own or others’ territories with fiber, such

as SureWest and Cincinnati Bell, tend to

be metropolitan rather than rural.

In other words, most of the fiber-tothe-home

upgrades outside metropolitan

areas are being done by smaller, or

Tier 3, telcos, both ILECs and CLECs.

2. The great majority of independent

telcos that build fiber networks

are incumbent providers or

subsidiaries of incumbents.

Of the independent telcos deploying

fiber, 86 percent are incumbent carriers

that are either replacing old copper plant

with fiber, building fiber to new developments

in their service areas or overbuilding

towns near their service areas

where they have name recognition – or

some combination of the three. In most

March/april 2012 | | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | 49

states, they must form CLEC subsidiaries

to move outside their traditional

service areas, but they are classified here

as ILECs even if their fiber-to-the-home

networks are only in their CLEC areas.

The remaining companies are pure

CLECs (competitive carriers), many of

which have no traditional geographic

base. These companies seek promising

territories to overbuild with fiber.

A few of them build hybrid fiber-coax

networks in some areas and FTTH networks

in others.

Many of the pure CLECs originally

collaborated with housing developers

to build networks in greenfield developments

and master-planned communities,

but after the housing market

peaked, some turned to overbuilding.

A few, such as ComSpan USA and Hiawatha

Broadband, adopted an overbuilding

model from the start. Others

focus on serving small and midsized


IndependenT TelCos

FTTH Network Builders by Type

Pure CLECs


Mobile backhaul over fiber has become an

important service for independent telcos and

may help improve the business case for FTTH.

The proportion of ILECs to CLECs

has varied only slightly over the years

we have tracked telco fiber builds, even

as the total number of companies increased

by a factor of nearly 15.

The typical independent telco serves

a few thousand customers in one or

two rural counties; however, such telcos

range from corporate giants to tiny

cooperatives that serve a few hundred

customers. Likewise, their fiber deployments

range from more than 150,000

homes passed to pilot projects with

fewer than a hundred homes passed.

3. The triple play of voice, data and

video services is still standard,

but offering additional services is

becoming more common.

Even though video is a low-margin

or even a zero-margin business for small

telcos, it attracts customers and thus

helps protect telephone and broadband

50 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | March/april 2012

ILECs and

their CLEC



Figure 1: Most independent telcos that deploy FTTH are incumbents, though many of the incumbents

are overbuilding nearby areas with fiber.

revenues. Thus, about three-quarters

of the independent telcos for which we

have information sell video as well as

voice and data services over fiber. (Many

of those that do not offer video serve

only business customers.)

Beyond the triple play, the most

common residential services are security

monitoring, gaming and home automation;

business services such as Ethernet

LANs are also offered by telcos that have

significant numbers of business customers.

The home-automation market is

expected to grow rapidly in the next

Services Delivered or Planned on FTTH Networks

Triple Play






few years as vendors introduce low-cost

product offerings.

Two important new services for fiber

networks are mobile backhaul and meter

reading. In the last few years, as demand

for mobile bandwidth has grown,

so has the demand for mobile backhaul

capacity. A market forecast report by

Dell’Oro Group projects that mobile

backhaul market revenues will grow to

nearly $9 billion by 2015.

To meet the data demand generated

by iPhones, iPads and similar mobile

devices, national and regional wireless

companies are upgrading their wireless

backhaul from T1 over copper to Ethernet

over fiber. These upgrade projects,

which started in metropolitan areas,

have now reached rural areas. In the last

year or so, most rural telcos have bid on

contracts from wireless providers to run

fiber to cell towers and backhaul data

traffic to the Internet.

Data, Voice


Data, Voice Plus

Additional Services


Triple Play Plus




Figure 2: In residential areas, the “triple play” of voice, video and data continues to be the standard



Active Ethernet





Fiber-based mobile backhaul has become

so ubiquitous a service that it is no

IndependenT TelCos

FTTH Technology Used

Note: Some telcos use multiple technologies.




Number of independent telcos

Figure 3: Passive optical networks are far more common than active networks, but active networks

continue to gain in popularity. Some telcos deploy PON to residential customers and active Ethernet

to business customers.


longer considered noteworthy, and we

do not try to track it. However, it has

telCos buIldIng ftth netWorks, by state

an important relationship to FTTH.

Because many cell sites are in residential

areas, serving cell sites entails placing

a great deal of fiber very close to residences,

which helps offset the costs of

deploying fiber to the home.

Automated meter reading and other

smart-grid applications are not yet

widespread, but they, too, could prove

important to the business case for fiber.

Electric utilities are now planning

for a variety of smart-grid applications,

of which the most basic and straightforward

is meter reading. Rather than

build their own high-capacity networks

for smart grids, some utilities are discussing

collaboration with telcos that

have suitable networks.

Iowa still takes the lead in the number of telcos deploying FTTH – not surprising, as Iowa has far more rural telcos than

any other state. Minnesota and Texas are close behind, and there are current or pending builds by independent telcos

in 47 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Only Massachusetts, Delaware and Rhode Island are missing –

and they are at the epicenter of Verizon’s FiOS build.














Puerto Rico
















March/april 2012 | | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | 51
























One independent telco, Hancock

Telecom in Indiana, went so far as to

merge with a local electric utility, Central

Indiana Power, in large part to use

its FTTH network as the smart-grid

network. (The merged entity is now

called NineStar Connect.) Other telcos

transmit meter data to utilities under

contract or simply make meter data

available to customers to help them

monitor their own energy use.

4. Most telcos use GPON technology,

but active Ethernet is increasingly


Passive optical networks deployed

today are all at the gigabit standard

(with GPON deployments outnumbering

Gigabit EPON by about 12 to 1),

and most of the older, pre-gigabit networks

have been upgraded. Next-generation

PON technologies, including

10G GPON, 10G EPON and WDM-

PON, are now available in the market,

but these have made little or no headway

among independent telcos for service to

IndependenT TelCos

FTTH Electronics Vendors Used

Note: Some telcos purchase equipment from multiple vendors.



Enablence (Aurora or

FX Support)





Allied Telesis












0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 400 450 500

Number of independent telco customers

Figure 4: Calix remains the leading electronics vendor in this market, with its market share increasing

after the acquisition of Occam.

The list of 622 independent telcos deploying

FTTH can be seen online at

52 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | March/april 2012


residences and small businesses.

At least eight companies have deployed

RFoG, a cable-friendly fiber-tothe-home

technology that was designed

to operate within a DOCSIS network.

Not surprisingly, the telcos that have

adopted RFoG technology are those

that already operate hybrid fiber-coaxial

plant, and some are CLEC arms of cable

companies. However, no new RFoG deployments

by independent telcos have

been announced recently.

Although passive optical networks

remain the most popular choice, nearly

one-third of independent telcos now

use active Ethernet. About half of those

have made a strategic commitment to

active Ethernet, either to support an

open-access model or, more frequently,

because they believe active Ethernet has

more bandwidth headroom. The rest use

active Ethernet only in special cases – in

sparsely populated areas where active

Ethernet’s longer reach is an advantage,

for business services or for other niche


About a quarter of telcos for which

information is available use multiple

FTTH technologies (most often GPON

and active Ethernet). This option has

become practical now that electronics

vendors support multiple technologies,

often from the same chassis.

5. Several FTTH electronics vendors

compete in the independent telco


The majority of independent telcos

purchase their FTTH electronics, and

often their fiber management equipment,

from vendors that specialize in

serving Tier 2 and Tier 3 telcos. These

vendors are less likely to design equipment

for particular customers; rather,

they supply equipment for a variety of

use cases and help customers configure

it to meet specific needs.

When independent telcos first began

deploying fiber a decade ago, nearly all

of them used FTTH electronics from

Optical Solutions Inc. (OSI). After Calix

acquired OSI in 2005, it continued to

maintain OSI’s lead in this market. With

Calix’s recent acquisition of Occam Networks,

its strongest rival in the Tier 3

market, it can now count 72 percent of

all independent telcos deploying FTTH

as current or past customers. (Many of

these customers have also purchased

FTTH electronics from other vendors.)

Most other electronics vendors have

now withdrawn from this market. Some

have gone out of business altogether,

others have exited the FTTH access

equipment business, and some no longer

actively market their FTTH equipment

to independent telcos. Besides Calix,

the only FTTH electronics vendors that

have recently announced customer wins

in the U.S. independent telco market are

ADTRAN, Zhone and Allied Telesis.

Of those three, ADTRAN in particular

has added a large number of Tier 3 telco

customers in the last year. v


Visit Broadband Communities

Website to Learn More About Our



Broadband Communities’ interactive FTTH Financial Analyzers are designed to help evaluate the

financial viability of FTTH projects. Whether you are considering an FTTH network deployment or have

a project under way, these tools aid in evaluating the financial implications of your project.

Users input or modify a limited number of data elements, and the Analyzer calculates the rest.

The result: four-year projections of costs, revenues, cash flow, eBiTDA and other key financial metrics.

Analyze the Financial Viability of Any FTTH Project

Fiber-to-the-Home system Analyzer

Xyz Project: 20% equity/80% Debt

year 1 year 2 year 3

Total homes and businesses passed 10,000 16,000 18,250

Total subscribers at year end 2,500 6,000 7,300

Average subscribers for year 1,250 4,250 6,650

Total system construction cost 16,829,954 22,093,748 24,396,793

Equity 5,000,000 5,000,000 5,000,000

Debt, principal not including financing fees 20,000,000 20,000,000 20,000,000

Cost to purchase and install customer premises equipment 2,057,500 4,794,500 5,760,400

Cost to purchase and install central office equipment 14,772,454 17,299,248 18,636,393

Direct costs per subscriber 823 782 743


Construction Costs:

Cost to pass one home or business 1,683 1,381 1,337

Cost to connect one home or business 823 782 743

systemwide Take rate, year end, at least one service taken 25.00% 37.50% 40.00%

systemwide Take rate, Midyear Average 12.50% 26.56% 36.44%

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lessons FRom THe FIeld

tales From the Fiber Frontier

Hundreds of small telcos, cable companies and utilities are deploying

fiber-to-the-home networks in the United States. Here are a few of the many

lessons they’ve learned.

Editor’s note: This article is the first in a series that celebrates the resourcefulness and ingenuity of the small companies building fiber

networks. Even those in unique circumstances – such as on the peaks of the Sierra Nevadas – often discover solutions that other deployers

can benefit from. Thanks to Neila Matheny of Calix for compiling these four stories. If your company (or one of your partners) would like

to share a lesson from the field, please drop me a note at

powering a mountain

– John Lundgren, Director of Network Services, Volcano Communications

Volcano Communications, a small,

family-owned telco based in California’s

Sierra Nevada, has found unique

ways to maintain broadband service to

customers located as high as 10,000 feet

through severe weather conditions and

lengthy power outages. In winter, Volcano’s

territory is typically buried under

many feet of snow, and it’s not uncommon

for remote regions to go 30 days or

more without power.

To address these extreme weather

conditions, Volcano rearchitected its

network with alternative powering options

to serve the network in times of

outage. Volcano built small buildings to

protect its new remote cabinets and to

house backup batteries and generators.

It also retrofitted existing cabinets in

these remote locations so they could use

one-rack-unit access equipment, thus

making room for powering support.

From these “mother ship” locations,

Volcano line powers smaller, remote

cabinets farther out in the network,

which has allowed it to shorten VDSL2

loop lengths and deliver faster Internet

speeds. In 2011, Volcano continued to

push fiber up the mountain all the way

to the Kirkwood Resort, where the elevation

ranges from 7,800 to 9,800

feet and average annual snowfall exceeds

600 inches. Based on the lessons

learned from its deployments at lower

elevations, Volcano will use the same

network architecture at Kirkwood and

will also keep a microwave

hop at the top of

the mountain as another

level of protection from

the elements.

54 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | March/april 2012

lessons FRom THe FIeld

Using Different Flavors of Fiber

– Jeff Symens, Outside Plant Manager, BEK Communications

BEK Communications delivers phone,

high-speed Internet and IPTV services

over both copper and fiber technologies

in rural south-central North Dakota. By

the end of 2012, BEK will complete its

fiber network build to reach 100 percent

of subscribers. This fiber network will

reach 1,987 customers with more than

1,700 miles of fiber.

In deploying the network, BEK has

faced the challenge of reaching some

customers that were beyond the distance

limitations of GPON (about 40 km

with the extended-reach option). Using

the C- and E-series platforms from Calix

enabled BEK to serve these customers

with active Ethernet while still serving

the majority of the customer base

with GPON from the same platforms.

This fiber network infrastructure was

designed to enable BEK to migrate to

new access platforms easily as customers

demand new technologies and services.

Deploying these platforms in the

ODC 2000 and 3000 remote cabinets

also allows the company to eliminate

central offices and their accompanying


Walking the leading edge (Without Falling off)

A family-owned telecommunications

company based in Chillicothe, Ohio,

Horizon Telcom began as a traditional

telephone company in 1895 and evolved

with the times into a fiber optic broadband

provider. Along the way, it increased

its coverage area from its original

700-square-mile service territory to a

total of 34 counties in southern and eastern

Ohio. In addition, Horizon is leading

the Connecting Appalachia middle-

mile network project, which is building

nearly 2,000 miles of world-class, stateof-the-art

fiber in 34 counties.

Since 2005, Horizon has used various

platforms in the Calix portfolio to

enable its network and business evolution

and has often been the first company

to deploy new features and line

cards. Horizon’s long-term relationship

marketing Ahead of the Build

Co-Mo Electric Cooperative, which

has delivered electricity in rural central

Missouri since 1939, has been dedicated

to serving the needs of its membership

throughout its history. More than 70

years after it was founded, Co-Mo made

the decision to enter the broadband

business. Its 25,000 members lacked adequate

broadband, and the cooperative

was twice turned down for broadband

stimulus funding. However, before rolling

out a self-funded FTTP network

with a GPON architecture across its

2,300-square-mile service area, Co-Mo

built a detailed business case and determined

exactly how many subscribers it

would need to be successful.

Carefully selecting two project areas

to pilot the service, Co-Mo used a presale

marketing effort with community

meetings, door-to-door sales, yard signs

and local business partnerships to drive

early registrations. Within the first year

of delivering service over its FTTP network,

Co-Mo exceeded its initial target

and achieved a 30 percent take rate in

the project areas.

with Calix has given the two companies

the opportunity to field experiment together

productively, with technicians

from both companies working side by

side through the process. Horizon has

benefited by upgrading its services while

using existing infrastructure.

The most important lesson Horizon

learned over the years is to hold small

experiments in test-bed areas before

deploying globally. This allows opportunities

to find baseline settings for the

network while working out patterned issues,

or recurring problems, on a much

smaller scale without negatively affecting

a large portion of the customer base

as adjustments are made.

March/april 2012 | | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | 55

mIddle-mIle neTWoRks

Unique partnership Key

to rural Nebraska

Healthcare Network

By partnering with Zayo Group, RNHN gained a dedicated health care

network. Zayo and other operators will use the underlying infrastructure to

support advanced broadband services for business and residential users.

By Joan Engebretson

The Nebraska panhandle is one

of the nation’s most rural areas,

with population densities of less

than one person per square mile in some

places. About 75,000 to 80,000 people

live in the 15,000 to 16,000-square mile

area nearly twice the size of New Jersey.

For years, hospitals and health care

organizations that serve the area have relied

on painfully slow T1 lines for connectivity

to the outside world and to one

another. All that will change when the

Rural Nebraska Healthcare Network

begins operation in mid-2012.

“It will dramatically improve the

performance of everything we are already

doing,” comments Todd Sorenson,

M.D., president of the RNHN – a

group of nine hospitals and dozens of

clinics in the Nebraska panhandle that

will have a high-speed communications

network dedicated solely to their needs.

Construction of the RNHN was

made possible in part through a grant

from the Universal Service Rural Health

Care Pilot Program. The other key compoenent

was a unique partnership with

Zayo Fiber Solutions, a unit of Zayo

Group – a venture capital–funded company

that has been acquiring fiber networks

nationwide as well as building

networks of its own.

HealTH Care BeNeFITs

The newly constructed, 750-mile highspeed

Ethernet fiber network will sup-

The network’s primary goal is to enhance patient

care through speedier service, but some new

applications may cut costs as well.

port a wide range of telehealth applications.

These include transmission of

medical documents, telemedicine consultations

between patients and doctors,

telepharmacy, distance education,

Internet connectivity and teleradiology.

Health care providers will now be able to

transmit public health data in a timely

fashion to the state and the Centers for

Disease Control and Protection, Dr.

Sorenson says. Local emergency rooms

also will be able to use the network to

consult with physicians 24 hours a day.

Although RNHN uses most of these

applications already, they should work

a lot better with higher-speed connectivity.

“In the past, it could take one to

two hours to transmit an image,” notes

Sorenson. “Now it will take one minute

or less.”

Faster document transmission could

certainly improve applications such as

56 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | March/april 2012

teleradiology, which allows hospitals to

have images read quickly without having

to keep radiologists on premises

24/7. “We contract with a group in Denver

that is made up of all board-certified

and specially trained radiologists,” comments


He notes that the primary emphasis

is on enhancing patient care by providing

speedier service rather than reducing

medical costs. Nevertheless, at least

one example he cites may have a positive

impact on the bottom line as well:

Speedier communications and diagnoses

should help eliminate unnecessary

patient transfers.

In addition to providing higher

bandwidth and faster communications,

the new RNHN network should be

more reliable than the organizations’

current T1 network. That network has

just a single connection to the Internet,

about the author

Joan Engebretson is a Chicago-based freelancer who has been writing about the

telecom industry since 1993. She can be reached at

ut the new network has a second, redundant


“We had a couple of incidents where a

fiber was cut to the east of us and shut the

whole panhandle down,” says Boni Carrell,

executive director for the RNHN.

THe Zayo parTNersHIp

The RNHN project had its genesis in

the Universal Service Rural Healthcare

Pilot Program, launched in 2007 to enable

the construction of dedicated health

care networks in areas that lacked fiber

resources from commercial network

operators. Recipients were awarded 85

percent of network costs and were expected

to raise the remaining 15 percent


The cost of building the RNHN

was about $18 million, and, according

to Sorenson, raising 15 percent of that

amount was no easy task. The solution

was to install more than enough fiber

for the RNHN – a total of 84 individual

fibers – and then to lease 48 of those fibers

on a long-term basis to Zayo. The

money that the RNHN received from

Zayo for those leases was sufficient to

cover the RNHN’s portion of network

construction costs.

The remaining 36 fibers should provide

the RNHN with ample capacity for

years to come, even if new applications

arise that require health care organizations

to isolate certain types of traffic

onto separate fibers for privacy reasons,

G4S installs fiber duct along a roadway.

mIddle-mIle neTWoRks

says Duke Horan, regional manager for

G4S Technology (formerly Adesta), the

Nebraska-based construction company

that built the RNHN.


In the meantime, the unique partnership

between the RNHN and Zayo is

creating spillover benefits in the Nebraska


Zayo has lit some of its fibers and

connected them to its pre-existing commercial

network in the Denver area. In

addition, several businesses with operations

in the panhandle have purchased

connectivity into Denver “either because

they had another trading partner

or their own business in Denver or because

they wanted access to IP or voice

networks through Denver,” notes Glenn

The Nebraska panhandle is one of the most sparsely

populated areas of the United States.

Russo, executive vice president of corporate

strategy and development for Zayo

Group. “It allows them to virtually be in

a more competitive market and get access

to services there.”

Zayo also offers dark fiber leases on

its portion of the panhandle network,

and already at least one local service

provider – Imperial, Neb.-based ALLO

Communications, a competitive fiberto-the-home

provider – has purchased a

dark fiber lease from Zayo and installed

its own transmission equipment.

ALLO already had installed fiber

networks in business districts of several

panhandle communities to support

broadband services to local businesses.

However, if a business wanted to connect

multiple locations in different communities,

ALLO had to rely on circuits

leased from other network operators.

Now ALLO instead uses its own network,

built on the Zayo dark fiber, to

interconnect communities. This enables

ALLO to offer local businesses 10 times

the bandwidth without an increase in

price, says ALLO President and CEO

Brad Moline.

ALLO’s new regional network is

what some would call a middle-mile

network, and ALLO’s experiences validate

what many rural service providers

have long asserted – that competitively

priced middle-mile connectivity can

help justify the cost of FTTH deployments

in areas where such deployments

previously would not have been economically


When ALLO learned about plans

for the RNHN several years ago, the

March/april 2012 | | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | 57

Groundbreaking for the Rural Nebraska Healthcare

Network took place in 2010.

company gambled that the network

would indeed be constructed and began

to deploy FTTH infrastructure in

population centers within its service territory.

The company has not been able

to build a business case for deploying

FTTH outside population centers, but

Moline estimates that when ALLO’s

FTTH deployments are completed,

about 65,000 panhandle residents will

have access to high-speed broadband as

well as advanced video services based on

Microsoft Mediaroom.

ALLO’s regional fiber network will

enable the company to use a single

video headend for all the communities

it serves. “We need to be able to push 2

Gbps between towns,” Moline explains.

a MoDel To replICaTe?

The unique partnership underlying the

RNHN is a “win-win for western Nebraska,”

according to Kent Van Meter,

vice president of Fiberutilities Group, the

engineering company that designed the

RNHN fiber network and conducted a

mIddle-mIle neTWoRks

Bob Sommerfeld, president of G4S,spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony.

network feasibility study as part of the

process of helping the RNHN with its

100-page grant application. “They’re not

only getting a robust medical network;

they’re also getting new commercial

telecom products.”

Will other network operators and

health care organizations undertake

similar projects in other parts of the


Russo says Zayo has bid on some

other health care projects but sometimes

loses out to network operators or

grassroots organizations that already

have some network facilities in the area

Competitively priced middle-mile connectivity

can help justify the cost of FTTH deployments in

areas where such deployments previously would

not have been economically feasible.

58 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | March/april 2012

involved. He adds that Zayo’s involvement

in the RNHN was attractive, in

large part, because of the panhandle’s

proximity to Zayo’s Denver network,

hinting that such a partnership might

not be attractive in some other markets.

Horan was more optimistic, noting

that G4S is already working on a project

in another state involving a partnership

between a health care organization and

a network operator. The health care organization

won a grant to cover part of

the cost of building a network to support

a health information exchange, and the

network operator also will cover some of

the construction costs. As with RNHN,

the network operator will be able to use

part of the network commercially –

and that network also is expected to provide

health care and economic benefits

to the local community.

Whether the sort of partnership

that occurred between the RNHN and

Zayo is the start of a trend or a onetime

anomaly is still unclear. But if the

new project in which G4S is involved is

equally successful, perhaps the two deployments

will serve as a model for how

to make future health care networks

more viable and to extend their benefits

beyond the health care realm. v

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passive optical lAN

For Smart Businesses

GPON, the most widely used technology for fiber to the home in the United

States, is now revolutionizing the design of building IT infrastructure.

By Rob Narzisi ■ Advanced Media Technologies

Today’s building designers are

looking for ways to decrease their

buildings’ impact on the environment

and on their clients’ bottom lines.

A new approach to network design for

commercial buildings, Passive Optical

LAN (POL), can dramatically decrease

the infrastructure cost, environmental

impact, power consumption, space and

HVAC requirements of a building’s IT


POL uses GPON, a well-developed,

proven technology, as the backbone of

a building’s LAN to deliver Ethernet

services as well as RF video to every location

throughout the property where

they are needed. GPON is an International

Telecommunication Union standard

that is the dominant standard for

fiber to the home in the United States.

Motorola’s xPON solution has been

deployed over the last decade to serve

millions of residential customers and

has proven extremely reliable, well exceeding

the carrier-grade standard of

five-nines (99.999 percent) availability.

Recently, Motorola added features

that make GPON advantageous to deploy

in enterprise applications that require

200 or more Ethernet ports. This

fiber-to-the-desk solution eliminates

most of the copper cabling and workgroup

switches in a building’s infrastructure,

replacing them with a passive fiber

backbone. With Motorola’s POL solution

– for which Advanced Media Technologies

is the largest distributor – all a

building’s data, IPTV, IP telephone and

RF video services can be carried over a

single fiber optic infrastructure instead

of over multiple copper-based systems.

Figure 1: Building owners can save both capital and operating expenses with a POL.



The biggest win for building owners is

that a POL solution does not require any

active components between a LAN core

and an end user. All the large data closets

filled with switches, copper cabling,

HVAC gear and fire mitigation equipment

can be replaced by an optical splitter

the size of a shoe box.

This new development allows building

owners to realize savings of between

40 and 60 percent on the up-front costs

of IT powering equipment and a reduction

in ongoing power usage of 10 to

33 percent compared with a traditional

60 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | March/april 2012

copper network. Users of POL technology

have also realized an increase in usable

space by repurposing areas formerly

allotted to data closets. One client, a

university dorm facility, was able to

house an additional eight students with

the extra space, a direct impact on revenue

and the bottom line.

Adding to the list of benefits is that

fiber optic networks are inherently more

sustainable than copper networks. A

copper network deployed today has an

economic lifetime of only seven to 10

years, by which time technology will

have exceeded copper’s transport capabilities.

However, because optical cables

about the author

Rob Narzisi is sales manager at Advanced Media Technologies (AMT), the nation’s

largest stocking distributor for Motorola equipment. You can reach him at rnarzisi@ or visit

have been proven to carry bandwidths

up to 100 terabits per second, fiber infrastructures

have life expectancies of

25 years or more. Additionally, the use

of AES 128-bit encryption makes a

GPON network extremely secure and

difficult to penetrate. This is a very attractive

feature for the military and for

financial institutions.

Figure 1 shows typical savings for

POL installations of various sizes.

pol IN DeTaIl

Figure 2 shows the differences in design

between a traditional copper LAN and

a POL.

In a passive optical network, the

bandwidth from each optical line terminal

(OLT) is split among multiple

optical network terminals (ONTs) at

user locations. The ONTs convert optical

signals from and to electrical signals

that computers, telephones and televisions

can receive. Usually, there are 32

or 64 ONTs per OLT.

With GPON technology, each OLT

has a total bandwidth capacity of 2.4

Gbps downstream and 1.2 Gbps up-


The workgroup terminal is in the corner,

mounted securely by a mounting bracket. Ethernet

cables are routed via the drop ceiling to a

standard Ethernet wall outlet; fiber and power

lines are also routed via the drop ceiling.

stream – not counting RF video, which

can be sent over a separate wavelength.

This capacity will increase over time;

Motorola’s roadmap for its POL product

line includes eventual migration to a 10

Gbps symmetrical PON platform.

Figure 2: The architecture of a traditional LAN compared with a POL

Here, the workgroup terminal is deployed beneath

a desk, with Ethernet cables routed via

the cubicle siding to other cubicles. The fiber

connection is hidden on the other side of the

workgroup terminal.

If an OLT’s signal is split among 32

ONTs, the maximum distance to an

ONT is 20 kilometers; a 64-way split

reduces the maximum distance to 10

kilometers. These long distances make

POLs suitable for campus environments

March/april 2012 | | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | 61

Conventional wiring for data and voice requires 144 multimode

cables and 144 copper cables.

as well as office buildings.

The POL system uses a special kind

of ONT called a workgroup terminal.

Workgroup terminals are low-profile

and can be mounted conveniently under

desks, in wall cabinets or in ceiling

enclosures. Each one is powered by a

12V wall transformer and has features

tailored for enterprise applications, such

as Power over Ethernet, coaxial output

and high port counts.


In an optical

LAN solution,

144 single-mode

fibers can carry

data, voice and video.

Because each workgroup terminal is

capable of providing four or more Ethernet

ports, the number of home runs

required is dramatically lower than for a

conventional LAN. This, in turn, slashes

both installation costs and the amount

of nonrenewable materials that enters

the environment. In a typical 2,000-port

installation, more than 3,000 pounds of

plastic and copper can be eliminated.

Even though a POL system has only

62 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | March/april 2012

a few basic building blocks, POL design

is extremely flexible and, for best results,

should be tailored to each individual

building and to users’ current and future

needs. Network designers who are experienced

only with conventional Ethernet

LANs will not necessarily have the

expertise to design a POL. Fortunately,

POLs have become so well established

in a few short years that many network

designers and installers have now been

trained to use them. POL electronics

providers such as Motorola offer courses

in installing, operating and troubleshooting

their systems. For the fiber

infrastructure itself, training is available

from fiber connectivity vendors and organizations

such as BICSI.

In summary, deployment of a POL

is forward-thinking and future-proof.

The opportunity to reduce capex and

opex while simultaneously enjoying the

green benefits is just too great to ignore.

I believe the industry is the verge of a

sea change in the way building designers

specify network infrastructures. v


the Case for Vectoring

A new technology that mitigates crosstalk on DSL networks now offers telcos

a more graceful – and financially sustainable – transition to fiber.

By Ariel Caner ■ ECI Telecom

Not so long ago, wireline operators

were leading the market

with voice and Internet services

and enjoying low customer churn. A lot

has changed over the last several years.

Consumer demand for high-bandwidth

services is on the rise, and video is now

one of the killer apps.

Internet-connected TVs, over-thetop

video, HDTV and video on demand

are all contributing to a data explosion.

These bandwidth-hungry services are

pushing residential data rate demands to

over 35 Mbps, with no end in sight. New

3DTV and other rich media services are

expected to bump this to more than 50

Mbps in the not-too-distant future.

This puts telcos in a difficult spot. It’s

no secret that their current copper infrastructure

has technology limitations

that restrict it both rate- and distancewise.

It simply can’t support very-highbandwidth

services. However, a new

copper-enhancement technology called

vectoring adds to their range of options.

THe opTIoNs

Clearly, telcos must act and the sooner,

the better. They have a couple of choices.

Obviously, they can invest in new

fiber plant. Fiber to the home is the

ultimate solution for the long term because

of its high capacity and low opex.

However, although FTTH may be

the best path forward for future-proof

broadband access, many operators find

themselves unable to execute a massive

fiber deployment due to capex or resource

constraints. FTTH can involve

higher installation costs, end-user premises

access issues (permits, digging) and

multiyear deployment schedules, so for

some telcos, building FTTH through-

By processing and limiting the interference

between copper pairs, vectoring offers

performance that approaches the theoretical

noise-free limit of VDSL2.

out their service areas isn’t an economically

feasible or near-term solution, as

the ROI is still not there.

Another option is to deploy a hybrid

network: fiber to the access portion,

terminating at the street cabinets, and

copper from the street cabinets to the

end users. This is a very cost-effective

way to provide superfast rates, and the

deployment time is much faster than

with other methods. However, this approach

involves running VDSL2 (veryhigh-speed

DSL2) over the final few

hundred meters of copper, and there are

limitations to this technology. Although

speeds of up to 100 Mbps are theoretically

possible using VDSL2, in reality,

because most access networks use copper

deployed decades ago, the practical

rate and reach are limited by crosstalk.

Crosstalk is the electromagnetic interference

caused by the simultaneous

transmission of signals in copper pairs

that are bundled together in a feeder

cable, which can typically contain 100

or more pairs. This noise can lead to in-

64 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | March/april 2012

creased error rates and degradation in

bandwidth, resulting in reduced rates

over shorter distances from the customer


Given these alternatives, there’s a

real need for innovative solutions. That’s

where vectoring comes into play.


Developed by a group of top DSL researchers,

vectoring – also known as

dynamic spectrum management (DSM)

Level 3 – is a technology that boosts

the performance of copper to near fiber

speeds, enabling higher-speed services

to be provided over longer distances in

existing copper access loops.

Vectoring works by mitigating crosstalk.

It processes and limits the interference

that occurs between twisted copper

pairs and, as a result, offers performance

that approaches that of theoretical,

noise-free VDSL2.

The advancements brought about

by the technology are impressive. For

loop lengths shorter than 1,500 meters,

about the author

Ariel Caner is a product marketing manager in ECI Telecom’s Network Solutions Division

with responsibility for product marketing activities related to ECI’s solutions.

He can be reached at Learn more about ECI’s vectoring

solutions at


Fig. 1: VDSL2 vectoring can improve data rates over copper wires by as much as 100 percent.

copper wire data rates can be improved

by 100 percent, to 50 Mbps or more.

(See Figure 1.) What’s more, the subscriber

coverage area for premium services

can be expanded by 300 percent.

For these reasons, vectoring is quickly

becoming the technology of choice for

enhancing deployed copper to superfast

speeds in the residential and business

markets. In fact, market analysts are

predicting that VDSL2-based networks

will dominate the xDSL-based access

network by 2014 and will be a major

part of most next-gen access networks.

VeCTorING’s BUsINess Case

The economic justification for offering

vectored VDSL2 services to subscribers

can be established by examining the

benefits to the operator, which are increased

revenue per subscriber, reduced

customer churn and postponed investment

in new fiber access infrastructure.

Increased revenue per subscriber

With its typical 50 Mbps rate, vectored

VDSL2 enables wireline carriers to offer

very-high-bandwidth services and

applications to subscribers. Although

the take-up rate for premium services is

largely dependent on pricing structure

and subscribers’ sensitivity to price, case

studies have shown that a price increase

of between 20 and 35 percent is acceptable

enough to encourage a take-up rate

of 10 to 30 percent.

Reduced customer churn

Carriers invest significant resources in

analyzing and trying to prevent customer

churn because they understand

that the cost of supporting existing customers

is significantly lower than the

cost of acquiring new ones. For wireline

Vectored VDSL2 services can increase revenue

per subscriber, reduce customer churn

and help postpone investment in new

fiber access infrastructure.

operators especially, churn is a major

concern, exceeding 5 percent per year in

many markets.

Although churn rates can vary according

to geographic region, the reasons

for churn remain similar and are tightly

coupled with competing offerings. ECI



estimates that in markets with multiple

competitive service providers, a telco can

reduce churn by up to 40 percent with

an offering that meets the local cableco’s

package on a price/performance basis.

Postponed investment in new fiber

access infrastructure

For the long term, FTTH is an ideal

choice, with its future-proof capacity

and low operating overhead. Still,

as mentioned earlier, the capex outlays

required for fiber deployment can make

such an investment prohibitive.

Figure 2 shows the investment costs

of VDSL and two FTTH technologies

– PON and P2P – in six European

countries. Using Germany as an example,

a countrywide FTTH deployment

would cost 120 billion euros while a

FTTC+VDSL deployment would cost

approximately 40 billion euros.

The cost of FTTH is higher because

installation costs are greater, fiber deployment

schedules are longer and terrain

issues, right-of-way limitations and

construction costs pose additional capex

implications. As well, the payback period

for an FTTH solution can be longer

given these factors.

When the business case for a full

FTTH deployment is difficult to justify,

vectoring is an attractive option because

Cost per Home accessed (in euros)

Germany France sweden portugal spain Italy

VDSL 457 n.v. 352 218 254 433

PON 2,039 1,580 1,238 1,411 1,771 1,110

P2P 2,111 2,025 1,333 1,548 1,882 1,160

Source: Elixmann et al. (2008)

Figure 2: VDSL can often be installed at a fraction of the cost of FTTH.

March/april 2012 | | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | 65

it prolongs the useful life of installed

copper infrastructure without the need

for large capital outlays.

aN exaMple

An operator plans to leverage vectoring

on its VDSL2 interfaces to provide

a 50 Mbps premium service offering

to its subscribers, thus reducing churn


GetSmartBeSmart BBC half 4.5x7.5 bar_Layout 1 3/8/2012 9:38 AM Page 1


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By extending the range and speed of VDSL2

networks, vectoring helps telcos keep costs down

and market share up so they can transition to

fiber at a pace that’s right for them.

Solving the Fiber Puzzle

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66 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | March/april 2012

and increasing average revenue per user

(ARPU) by $58 over a two-year period.

The revenue increase is based on the

following assumptions:

• $30 per month basic service rate

• $8 per month up-charge for

premium services

• 15 percent premium service take-up


• 4 percent reduction in customer

churn (customers are retained who

would have otherwise signed up for

a competitor’s premium service).

Taking into account these assumptions,

ARPU is increased by $58 over a

two-year period, as follows:

1. Increased revenue due to premium

service take-up:

$8 per month x 24 months x 15

percent take-up rate = $29 per user

2. Increased revenue due to a reduction

in customer churn:

$30 per month x 24 months x 4

percent customer base retained =

$29 per user


Wireline operators are facing considerable

competitive challenges, and the decision

of when to move to a fiber-based infrastructure

is not an easy one. Each operator

must carefully consider its unique circumstances

and determine whether it has

the financial means and other resources

to pull off such a huge undertaking.

For some, the most viable business

case is achieved by prolonging the life

of the existing copper plant. Innovative

new access technologies such as vectoring

make this possible. By extending the

range and speed of VDSL2 networks,

vectoring helps telcos keep costs down

and market share up – so that they can

transition to fiber at a pace that’s right

for them. v

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TOP 100

eConomIC deVelopmenT

proving the link Between

Broadband and economic


To make a convincing case for building next-generation broadband,

communities must share information about the benefits broadband delivers.

By Ken Demlow ■ NewCom Technologies

How can we prove that fiber-based

broadband delivers economic


At the 2011 FTTH Conference in

Orlando, Fla., David Russell, the solutions

marketing director for access

equipment vendor Calix and an industry

spokesman and leader, showed that

proving fiber’s benefits can be extremely

difficult and challenged the audience to

come up with better methods of proof.

(See “FTTH Lights the Economy” in

the November/December 2011 issue of

this magazine.)

Graham Richard, another industry

leader and a former mayor of Fort

Wayne, Ind., commented in a May 2011

interview with James Lardner: “From

the point of view of retaining and gaining

jobs, I can give you example after

example.… What I don’t have is a longterm,

double-blind study that says it was

just broadband.” However, “as a leader,

sometimes you go with your gut,” Richard

said, adding that his gut tells him

infrastructure investments are “probably

the most long-lasting and important decisions

that local leaders make.”

THe CHalleNGes

Proving the economic benefits of broadband

is challenging because broadband

is never the only factor. For example, a

business chooses a site based not only

on broadband but also on location, incentives,

affinities and so forth. Broadband

can play an important part, but

the other factors make it hard to assess

How much economic success is due to broadband

is difficult to measure – especially as definitions of

success may differ from place to place.

broadband’s impact. Similarly, increases

in wage scales or in higher-paying jobs in

an area may be due to an upturn in the

economy in general or to the emergence

of a new sector in the economy that is

helping everyone. How much is due to

broadband is difficult to determine.

In addition, definitions of success

may differ. Not everyone is trying

to land a large industry or call center.

For example, Pam Lehmann, the head

of economic development for Lac Qui

Parle County, Minn., pointed out to

me that helping residents stay in a rural

area can be as important as new companies’

coming into the area. Lac Qui

Parle’s economic development efforts

are geared as much to providing services

and opportunities for existing residents

as to attracting new employers. Measuring

that kind of success is tricky.

68 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | March/april 2012

In the last few years, economic studies

and surveys have begun to accumulate

evidence that broadband generates

economic growth and better broadband

generates more growth. Many of those

studies have been discussed in this magazine,

so I won’t go into them here other

than to suggest that all stakeholders

continue to educate themselves about

these findings. Here, I’d like to suggest

how to use anecdotal information to

help make the case for broadband and to

derive the greatest benefit from broadband



I am fortunate to work with people

I like, but I see them only every other

month or so. Most of my work is done

over the Internet and cell phones, which

would not be possible without high-

about the author

Ken Demlow is the national business development manager for NewCom Technologies,

which performs engineering services and network data management, including GIS

plant mapping and smart-grid deployment, for the telecommunications industry. You

can reach him at or 765-366-8370.

speed Internet access. I am exhibit one,

a person able to work from home (or

hotel) because of broadband, but I’m far

from the only example.

Washington State University researchers

recently completed case studies

of seven people who were able to

stay in their small towns only because

high-speed Internet was available. One

was a teleworker, as I am. Another was

a sole proprietor, a third was a start-up

entrepreneur and a fourth opened a

branch office of his employer’s business.

Others benefited from business growth,

business relocation or outsourcing made

possible by broadband.

I am sure we could find even more

kinds of examples in Chattanooga,

Tenn. – recently named one of the

world’s seven most intelligent communities

by the Intelligent Community

Forum – which provides ideas and guidance

as it uses broadband to turn itself

into a technology and innovation hub.

Chattanooga is also a leader in using

broadband for smart-grid technology.

As I know from working with smart

meter/smart grid projects, the more fiber

there is available and the closer it is to

customer premises, the more opportunities

utilities have to save large amounts

of money for customers and themselves

and to benefit the environment.

The Milken Institute, an economic

think tank, ranks the top-performing

cities in the nation by job creation, job

retention, economic growth, wages and

other measures. Figure 1 shows the

Milken list of the top 15 small cities, together

with information that I collected

from the National Broadband Map

about broadband availability.

All these cities have good Internet

speeds and quite a bit of competition.

City officials from several of these cities

told me they didn’t dwell on Internet

speeds in discussions with potential new

businesses. Rather, they made sure any

prospective company knew that adequate

broadband was available, then moved on

to other economic development topics.

Having adequate speed was critical so

that broadband wouldn’t be a negative.

Shaun Arneson, vice president of the

Iowa Lakes Corridor Development

eConomIC deVelopmenT

Broadband is coordinated with other aspects

of economic development to make a package

that is extremely strong.

Corporation, says broadband is a key

piece of the economic development package

and is coordinated with other pieces

to make a package that is extremely

strong. When Paul Froutan, director of

hardware operations for Google, made

the decision to open a facility in the area,

he noted, “In Council Bluffs, Iowa, we

found one of the best locations around

the world with the right combination

of infrastructure capacity and other resources

to support an Internet data center

of this size.” Again, broadband wasn’t

the only factor, but it had to be in place

for other factors to work.

Rochelle, Ill., deployed fiber in the

early years of broadband and used that

to appeal to businesses that needed high

capacity. In 2007, Allstate Insurance

agreed to build a 50,000-square-foot

data center in Rochelle’s technology





speeD (MBps)

park – a development that Rochelle

City Manager Ken Alberts said would

help the city’s efforts to attract high-tech

jobs and technology-based companies.

Again, broadband wasn’t the only factor

that brought this company to Rochelle,

but it was an important factor.

Midwest TeleServices International

decided to locate a call center

in Moulton, Iowa, and celebrated its

grand opening in January 2012. An August

2011 article in the Daily Iowegian

highlights two factors that attracted

Midwest TeleServices: Moulton’s workforce

and the fiber that Farmer’s Mutual

Telephone Co. had deployed.

Yet another way to measure success

is negatively – by not being left behind.

Could a person be unable to sell a house

because of a lack of high-speed Internet

access? If a city doesn’t have broadband,




oFFerING >

3 Mbps

1 Logan, UT 50 – 100 Comcast 4

2 Bismarck, ND 50 – 100 Midcontinent 3

3 Morgantown, WV 50 – 100 Comcast 4

4 College Station, TX 50 – 100 Suddenlink 2

5 Ithaca, NY 50 – 100 Time Warner 3

6 Lebanon, PA 1,000 Level 3 5

7 Fargo, ND 10 – 25 Cable One 4

8 Iowa City, IA 50 – 100 Mediacom 5

9 Longview, TX 10 – 25 Longview 3

10 State College, PA 100 – 1,000 Getwireless 4

11 Warner Robbins, GA 25 – 50 Cox 4

12 Waco, TX 10 – 25 Grande 10

13 Las Cruces, NM 10 – 25 Comcast 5

14 Charlottsville, VA 1,000 Level 3 4

15 Dubuque, IA 10 – 25 Mediacom 4

Figure 1: Small cities rated as top performers by the Milken Institute

March/april 2012 | | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | 69

eConomIC deVelopmenT

Sharing best practices can help all

communities make good use of their

advanced broadband networks.

will jobs just go to other places? Will

those who can’t communicate with their

doctors from home miss opportunities to

take control of their health? Fear of the

negative isn’t always the best motivator

– but it has its place in this discussion.

BesT praCTICes

People are using broadband successfully

to make a difference in their communities.

Some of these are methods that we

can all consider for our own areas.

Gig Tank: Chattanooga leads the

way in a lot of areas, and this is another

one. The city has annual 48-hour entrepreneurial

blitzes that bring the necessary

expertise together to help people

start businesses. A start-up accelerator

takes advantage of and highlights the

city’s gigabit-level broadband.

Incubators can also help businesses

start and succeed. They can take advantage

of and highlight broadband and

promote technology businesses. There

are challenges, but there can also be

grant dollars and community excitement.

I have worked with setting up incubators

and using broadband to help.

It is exciting but needs a lot of planning,

commitment and sources of financing.

Computer Commuter: To help

people become more comfortable with

computers so they could take advantage

of broadband, Lac Qui Parle County developed

a computer training center on


Regional Broadband Planning:

Many areas of the country are forming

regional groups to promote broadband

deployment, adoption and economic

development. These can be at the level

of the state, county, group of counties

or cities, geographic region and so forth.

By working with several of these groups,

I have become convinced of their importance

in defining regional goals and

cooperation and in bringing together re-

70 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | March/april 2012

gional financial resources. They need a

strong focus, goals and procedures, but

they can do tremendous good.


Proving the role of broadband helps municipalities,

institutions and companies

know what they need to do to ensure

they have adequate broadband. The financial

costs can be significant, and the

better the industry can define the benefits,

the easier it is for participants to get

involved and commit capital. However,

that proof is nuanced and takes work.

I was impressed by David Russell’s

challenge at the FTTH Conference.

Now I would like to extend this challenge

to you. A lot of work is being done

on this subject – research, surveys, economic

development teams and regional

teams working, companies making decisions,

best practices – and industry

members should work together to share

the results.

I am volunteering to set up a clearinghouse

for information on broadband success

stories. If you hear of a research effort

about broadband, email me about it, and

I will include it. If you hear of an economic

development effort that involves

broadband, email me, and I will keep

track of it. If you hear of a company that

made a location decision (either to newly

locate or to stay) and broadband was part

of the decision, please let me know. If you

hear of something that a municipality or

company is doing that involves the promotion

or use of broadband (a best practice),

please send me a quick email.

I will verify the information, post

it on the NewCom website,,

and help publicize it. Information

coming in from all across the

country will help people keep moving

forward to prove the economic benefits

of broadband. Thank you for your help,

and keep up the good work. v


Getting Started

With Video Advertising

For new video providers, local ad insertion can be expensive and

daunting. But there are benefits – notably, being able to promote their

own services – and third-party specialists are available to help.

By Jack Olson ■ Viamedia

Most companies that

deploy fiber to the

home decide to offer

pay TV as a service

on their networks.

After all, fiber is extraordinarily good at

delivering video, and video attracts customers.

However, for deployers that may

have originally been in the telephone or

electrical power or wireless broadband

business, becoming video providers is a

giant leap.

Even after rolling out fiber, there’s

a lot to do before airing the first TV

show. A new provider must obtain a

video franchise, build a video headend,

install software to run the electronic

program guide and the advanced services

that get customers’ attention, negotiate

programming rights, market the

new services to customers and install the

services at the customer premises. Each

one of these tasks is a major undertaking

– and this list just scratches the surface.

Luckily, the video platform itself is

a great tool to promote video services.

Providers have the ability to insert local

advertising into the video stream, and

perhaps the most important businesses

to advertise are their own.

As a provider, why should you promote

your own services? For one thing,

doing so can help you gain more subscribers.

This seems counterintuitive – if

people are watching the service, aren’t

they already subscribers? – until you remember

that many viewers first encounter

a video service when visiting friends

or when sitting in a bar, restaurant or

Service providers can increase revenues by

advertising on their own video platforms.

doctor’s office. Even if viewers are already

subscribers and are watching TV

at home, reminding them who you are

helps build loyalty and increase retention

rates. You can also use advertising to sell

new, revenue-generating services such as

VoD, DVR and business services (local

business owners watch TV, too!) – or to

persuade subscribers to bundle voice and

broadband with their video service.

Finally, you can use ads to promote

tutorials about your services and technology.

Consumers easily become frustrated

with new technology if they can’t

quickly figure out how to use it. Shortform

videos of two to four minutes can

help them master new devices and features.

You can place the videos on a special

section of your VoD platform and

then use cross-channel, 30-second ads to

help subscribers find the videos.

Keys to success

Succeeding with self-promotional ads

requires careful attention to producing

ads, scheduling them and maximizing

72 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | March/april 2012

branding opportunities. Most important

is making sure messages are clear

and well-scripted. Production values are

critical, too – video quality should be on

a par with everything else that appears

on your stations. To schedule ads, determine

which audience demographics

you’re trying to reach and then find out

which networks they watch and which

times of day they’re likely to watch them.

To make the most of branding opportunities,

be certain that every message,

advertisement, tutorial or any

other communication reinforces your

brand. Always emphasize the qualities

you want customers to associate with

your company, whether that’s high-tech

expertise, local presence or superior service.

You can promote other brands as

well, of course – many programmers

and providers offer financial incentives

or co-op marketing dollars if you use

their promo spots and tag them or reinforce

their brand in a particular way in

your advertising.

about the author

Jack Olson is the vice president for business development of Viamedia, the largest

non-MSO-affiliated video ad sales organization in the United States. You can reach

him at

the cost of entry

The downside of video advertising is

that it isn’t cheap. Creating and inserting

high-quality ads requires a substantial

investment in terms of both money

and effort. On the ad creation side,

you’re not on your own – strategic partners

can help. Some production companies

create syndicated promotional, sales

and tutorial videos that can be tailored

and tagged specifically for each market.

By buying and customizing their videos,

you can get superior products at a

very affordable cost. Alternatively, you

can join forces with video providers in

nearby markets to form a marketing

cooperative. Pooling resources among

a group of companies is a good way to

create high-production-quality videos at

a reasonable cost.

On the ad insertion side, hardware

costs can be very steep. The illustration

shows where ad insertion fits into the

video distribution system. The cost of

hardware, such as servers, depends to

some extent on the video distribution

platform used – for example, the GigE

servers required for IPTV, the platform

used by most FTTH deployers, are relatively

costly. Costs also depend on where

in your lineup you insert ads. Running

ads on high-definition channels incurs

extra costs, though neglecting HD channels

means missing a large part of your

target audience. Costs also vary a great

deal among vendors, so shopping around

is mandatory.

Digital insertion also requires

grooming and splicing hardware as well

as a license for each network feed you

splice into. You may need at least one

additional employee to manage promotional

efforts, traffic and schedules. Finally,

assuming that you wouldn’t invest

in ad insertion unless you were going

to sell ads to other local businesses, you

need sales and support staff to do the

right job.

Partnering With a third Party

For smaller providers that can’t achieve

the economies of scale of the Tier 1 providers

and may not have a large enough

local advertiser base to recoup the costs of

ad insertion equipment, partnering with

a third-party expert, such as Viamedia,


How Viamedia’s ad insertion process fits into a video distribution network

may make sense. The partner may absorb

a significant portion of the variable hardware

cost in return for being able to sell

national advertising or direct-response

ads (the kind that ask viewers to dial a

toll-free number right away).

An independent ad insertion partner

can offer other benefits, too. For example,

it can provide access to expensive resources,

such as research data and technical

expertise. Research data can help

you identify your market, schedule ads

to reach the right target audiences or target

sales efforts for business broadband

services. A third-party partner can even

assist in producing ads, scheduling and,

of course, selling ads, thus eliminating

the need to hire additional personnel.

advertising revenues

Using advertising to promote your own

services is certainly beneficial, but can

you expect to make a profit from selling

advertising to other businesses? That depends

on the size and desirability of your

local market. On average, 75 to 80 percent

of video advertising revenue is driven

by local sales, so a dynamic local business

community is key to selling advertising,

as is a local advertising sales force.

Obviously, the number of TV subscribers

you have is important to both

local and national advertisers; being in a

larger market helps. You may also attract

advertising by cooperating with other

nearby video providers or by partnering

with a third party that represents other

video providers in your market. Either of

these approaches makes your subscribers

more desirable by aggregating them with

others to form a larger market.

There’s no magic number of subscribers

that guarantees a profitable advertising

venture, but to illustrate the difficulties

of operating on a small scale without

help, assume that you have 3,000 subscribers

and that advertising sales

amount to $30 per subscriber per year –

which is more than you are likely to see

in the first year. This equates to gross revenues

of $90,000 per year, not enough to

cover staff salaries, let alone equipment

and operating costs. That’s why audience

aggregation is so important.


Launching an advertising program may

be daunting, but it can also be a great

opportunity. First, determine what a

self-promotional advertising campaign

could be worth to you. Research the cost

of entry and of ongoing operations, and

meet with neighboring video providers to

discuss opportunities for sharing equipment,

producing ads cooperatively and

aggregating your audiences to sell advertising.

Then, find out what services thirdparty

strategic partners can provide and

what those services will cost. With all

this information, you’ll be ready to compare

the costs and benefits of in-house efforts

versus third-party involvement and

to develop your plan. Don’t make the

mistake of doing nothing! v

March/april 2012 | | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | 73


To reserve space in this section and LEVERAGE the power of your advertising via print, digital, and multimedia exposure in


the global market, contact Irene Prescott at 505-867-2668 or email

From design to deployment...




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March/april 2012 | | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | 75

Ad Index Calendar

aDVerTIser paGe WeBsITe

3M 21, 33

Adtran 34, 39

Anritsu 5, 34

Advanced Media Technologies 24, 34

AT&T Connected Communities 35, 75, Inside Back Cover

Atlantic Engineering Group 35, 67

ATX Networks 35

Blonder Tongue 36

BroadBand Communities 53, 75

Calix 36

Charles Industries 37, 70

Charter Communications 9, 37

Clearfield, Inc. 37, 66

Comcast 38, 45

Connexion Technologies 75

Corning Cable Systems 38, 75, Back Cover

COS Systems 38

Cox Communications 38

Design Nine 40, 47

Display Systems, Int’l 30, 40

FTTH Conference 74

G4S Technology 25, 40

Great Lakes Data 36, 41

Matrix Design Group 31, 41

Multicom, Inc. 42, 63

Multilink 42

OFS 43

Power & Tel Supply 1, 43

Spot On Networks 43, 71

Sumitomo Electric Lightwave 44

Televes 44

Tellabs 7, 46

The Mesh Networks 42, 62

Time Warner Cable 3, 46

Verizon Enhanced Communities Inside Front Cover, 46, 75

Walker & Associates 47, 59

76 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | March/april 2012



6 – 8

Intelligent Community Forum

Platforms for Innovation

Polytechnic Institute of New York University

New York, NY


28 – 30

NAA Education Conference & Expo

Boston Convention Center

Boston, MA



16 – 20

BICSI Fall Conference & Exhibition

Anaheim Convention Center

Anaheim, CA


23 – 27

FTTH Conference & Expo

Hilton Anatole

Dallas, TX



12 – 14

NMHC Apartment Operations & Technology

Conference & Expo

Hyatt Regency Dallas

Dallas, TX




16 – 18


InterContinental Hotel – Dallas

Addison, Texas


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