Showing posts with label FTTH. Show all posts
Showing posts with label FTTH. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Openreach selects STL to supply millions of km of fibre

Openreach has selected Sterlite Technologies Ltd (STL) as a key partner to provide optical cable solutions for its 'Full Fibre' broadband network.

Under the partnership, STL will be responsible for delivering millions of kilometres of optical fibre cable to support the build over the next three years. Financial terms were not disclosed.

STL said it will supply its Opticonn solution – a specialised set of fibre, cable and interconnect offerings designed to drive significant performance improvements, including up to 30 per cent faster installation. Openreach will also have access to STL's Celesta – a high-density optical fibre cable with a capacity of up to 6,912 optical fibres. This compact design is 26 per cent slimmer compared to traditional loose tube cables, allowing 2000 metres of cable to be installed in under an hour. The high density super-slim cable will also help minimise the use of plastic across Openreach's new network.

Kevin Murphy, MD for Fibre and Network Delivery at Openreach, said: "Our Full Fibre network build is going faster than ever. We need partners like STL on board to not only help sustain that momentum, but also to provide the skills and innovation to help us go even further. We know the network we're building can deliver a host of social and economic benefits – from boosting UK productivity to enabling more home working and fewer commuting trips – but we're also trying to make this one of the greenest network builds in the world. So, it's good to know that STL's compact and efficient designs will contribute to this in a significant way."

Commenting on the collaboration, Ankit Agarwal, CEO Connectivity Solutions Business, STL, said: "We are extremely excited to join hands with Openreach as a key optical solutions partner to build Full Fibre broadband networks for millions in the UK. Our customised, 5G-ready optical solutions are ideally suited for Openreach's future-proof network requirements and we believe they will enable next-gen digital experiences for homes and businesses across UK. This partnership will be a major step towards our mission of transforming billions of lives through digital networks."

http://www.stl.tech 

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Open Dutch Fiber plans FTTH rollout across the Netherlands

Open Dutch Fiber, an independent platform majority owned by KKR and with DTCP as minority shareholder, will deploy Fiber-to-the-Home in the Netherlands across urban and higher population density areas.

The platform has an open architecture and will make wholesale fiber services available to all operators. Open Dutch Fiber will begin operations in Q2 2021 with a fully-funded commitment for an envisaged capital expenditure of approximately €700 million and construction agreements already in place.

Open Dutch Fiber has signed an agreement with T-Mobile Netherlands, the leading mobile operator and FMC challenger in the Netherlands. T-Mobile Netherlands, which currently has a mobile base of 6.8 million customers and a fixed base of 682,000, will be the anchor tenant for Open Dutch Fiber with a 20-year agreement.

Open Dutch Fiber will be led by Jordi Nieuwenhuis and Uwe Nickl, who previously were co-CEOs of Deutsche Glasfaser in Germany, which rolled out digital infrastructure to more than 1 million homes and 6,000 businesses. Prior to his role at Deutsche Glasfaser, Jordi co-founded Reggefiber in the Netherlands. They will be joined at Open Dutch Fiber by Michael Griffioen as CEO, who will oversee the company’s day-to-day operations.

Jordi Nieuwenhuis, co-founder of Open Dutch Fiber, said: "High-quality and reliable fiber connectivity is essential for the Netherlands and this has only been accelerated with the structural changes to working patterns of companies and citizens brought about by the COVID-19 crisis. We are building a digital infrastructure platform with open access to all operators, to ensure an efficient and rapid deployment of capital resources, while avoiding uneconomical overbuild. We look forward to making a significant contribution to the digitization of the Netherlands to benefit Dutch households and businesses.”


Monday, January 25, 2021

Oranges brings in investors to back rural fiber rollout

Orange will establish a new ownership structure and funding vehicle supporting its rollout of fiber connection in rural France.

Orange has entered into an exclusivity agreement with La Banque des Territoires (Caisse des Dépôts), CNP Assurances, and EDF Invest for the sale of a 50% equity interest and co-control of Orange Concessions, which will be France’s leading fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) operator of networks rolled out and operated on behalf of 23, local public authorities representing over 4.5 million built or to-be-built plugs.

This transaction values Orange Concessions at 2.675 billion euros, which highlights the value and the relevance of Orange’s investments in fibre.


The networks operated by Orange Concessions on behalf of local public authorities are open to all operators. Fibre roll-out and maintenance will continue to be performed by Orange who holds an efficient and proven industrial tool. On a local level, the teams working in partnership with local authorities with maintain the same level of mobilisation and commitment.

Commenting on this partnership, Stéphane Richard, Chairman & CEO of Orange stated: “I am delighted that Orange, Europe’s leader in fibre roll-out, is now set to establish this partnership in its domestic market with recognized investors who share our vision of digital communication infrastructure development.

Through this partnership, Orange holds the means to pursue the development of fibre in rural areas, by winning new public initiative networks or by participating in market consolidation. This is a key milestone in the delivery of our Engage 2025 strategic plan.

As to its financial merits, the achieved valuation reveals the value of Orange’s investments in fibre as well as the relevance of such strategic move.”

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Telefónica and Allianz JV to deploy FTTH in Germany

Telefónica and Allianz will create a 50-50 joint venture company to deploy Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) in Germany. The joint venture will operate as a neutral, wholesale provider and will build local fibre optic networks in underserved rural and semi-rural areas across Germany. The ambition is to pass more than 2 million homes with fibre network surpassing 50,000 kms, representing an overall investment of up to EUR 5 billion during the 6 year deployment period.

Telefónica Group’s participation will be held through Telefónica Infra (its infrastructure unit) holding 40% and Telefónica Deutschland / O2 holding a 10% stake.  Allianz Capital Partners will invest 50% in the joint venture on behalf of Allianz insurance companies and the Allianz European Infrastructure Fund.

This venture in Germany follows Allianz’s commitment to significant fibre roll-outs in France and Austria. Allianz is one of the world´s leading insurers and investors. 

Ángel Vilá, Chief Operating Officer at Telefónica Group, commented “We are very enthusiastic about the opportunity to partner with Allianz, one of the world’s largest investors with whom we share the ambition to drive fibre roll out in Germany, contributing to accelerate the country’s digital development.  We are delighted to put our expertise behind this partnership, joining forces with Allianz as a key element for success, strengthening Telefónica Infra's value proposition and reinforcing the strategy presented by Telefónica a year ago.”

Monday, October 26, 2020

Corning intros miniaturized fiber terminals and connectors

Corning introduced a new line of miniaturized terminals and connectors for simplifying fiber deployments. The new Evolv Hardened Connectivity Solutions with Pushlok Technology are designed for space-constrained environments, including FTTH deployments and 5G small cell applications. 

The Pushlok hardened connectors are half the size of existing offerings, connecting to terminals that are up to four times smaller. In addition, Pushlok Technology enables simple one-handed drop installation, with tactile and audible feedback.

The compact, easy-to-install Evolv terminals can be deployed in the ground, on a pole or facade, or on a strand. Corning estimates operators can save up to $500 per terminal location by shrinking handhole and pedestal size, reusing existing infrastructure, reducing pole-attachment fees and streamlining permitting.

“With the Evolv HC Solutions and Pushlok Technology, Corning is working with our customers to reduce barriers in deploying 5G-ready networks,” said Bob Whitman, vice president of market development, Carrier Networks, Corning Optical Communications. “More and more often, installers must deploy fiber in tight spaces not originally designed for today’s density of connections – and all types of network operators are looking to deploy more quickly and economically. That’s why they’ll find our miniaturized solutions so valuable, wherever they need to go.”

“These optical solutions are a prime example of Corning’s innovation portfolio in action,” Whitman said. “We’re leveraging our unparalleled expertise in optical physics and precision forming to co-innovate with our customers to solve their toughest technology problems – creating another competitive advantage that will help Corning deliver for customers and outperform the passive optical market over time.”

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Altitude Infrastructure plans EUR 2.5 billion investment in FTTH for France

 Altitude Infrastructure announced plans to invest more than UER 2.5 billion to accelerate the rollout of fiber in France. The company raised EUR 500 million in new equity to help fund the initiative. The equity was raised through a pension fund managed by the Real Assets and Private Markets division of UBS Asset Management.

Altitude Infrastructure said this initiative will bolster its market position as one of the leading operators of optical networks in France.

http://www.altitudeinfrastructure.fr/actualites/53-altitude-infrastructure/908-altitude-infrastructure-leve-plus-de-500m-et-prevoit-2-5-mds-d-investissements-sur-la-fibre

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Google Fiber to offer 2 Gig service for $100/month

 Google Fiber plans to introduce a 2 Gig performance tier for residential broadband customers.

The 2 Gig service will be priced at $100 per month and will come with a new Wi-Fi 6 router and mesh extender.

The new 2 Gig service will begin rolling out in Nashville, Tennessee, and Huntsville, Alabama beginning in October. The company expects to extend 2 Gig to other Google Fiber and Google Fiber Webpass cities in early 2021.

  • Google Fiber is available in parts of the following cities: 
  • Atlanta, GA 
  • Austin, TX 
  • Charlotte, NC 
  • Chicago, IL 
  • Denver, CO 
  • Huntsville, AL 
  • Kansas City, KS/MO 
  • Miami, FL 
  • Nashville, TN 
  • Oakland, CA 
  • Orange County, CA 
  • Provo, UT 
  • San Antonio, TX 
  • San Diego, CA 
  • San Francisco, CA 
  • Salt Lake Valley, UT 
  • Seattle, WA 
  • The Triangle, NC 
  • West Des Moines, IA

https://fiber.google.com/blog/2020/the-next-step-in-speed-experience-2-gig-now-with-the-google-fiber-trusted-tester-program/

  • Google Fiber first introduced its 1 Gig residential broadband service in 2010


Sunday, August 9, 2020

CommScope intros cabinet optimized for RF-over-Glass (RFoG)

CommScope introduced its FDH3000 AgileMax Cabinet for RF-over-Glass (RFoG) deployments.

The new field combines CommScope’s AgileMax active optical distribution technology which prevents Optical Beat Interference (OBI) in RFoG deployments with its FDH3000 fiber distribution hub and integrated splitter cabinet. Together, they enable HFC network operators to install the AgileMax platform into an existing Fiber Distribution Hub (FDH) location to improve their networks’ upstream and downstream capacity and data speeds. The cabinet supports standard 19-inch rack mounted equipment using a patented swing frame design that houses the AgileMax product as well as additional passive products for maximum flexibility.

CommScope said its active-splitter technology enables operators to deploy high-capacity OBI-free, FTTH networks leveraging existing DOCSIS infrastructure.

“The FDH3000 AgileMax Cabinet is a turn-key solution for our HFC customers looking to eliminate OBI from their RFoG existing installations and improve network capacity and data speeds,” said Kevin Keefe, Senior Vice President and Segment Leader, Broadband Networks at CommScope. “It’s a showcase for the efficiencies and strengths of our combined company—integrating components of our legacy businesses to enable better cost savings for our customers as they build out their fiber networks of the future.”

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Windstream adds fiber locations in 1H2020

Windstream's Kinetic business enabled approximately 100,000 new fiber-connected locations with gigabit-capable services during the first six months of 2020 as part of its multi-year program to invest billions of dollars to bring gigabit services to millions of households across its footprint. As a result of these investments and recent additional network enhancements, Kinetic added over 40,000 net new broadband subscribers in the first six months of the year and completed its ninth consecutive quarter of broadband subscriber growth.

“Kinetic by Windstream is stronger than ever,” said Jeff Small, president of the company’s consumer and small and midsize business segment. “Our fiber investments are accelerating Kinetic’s broadband subscriber growth and equipping our rural communities to take advantage of greater opportunities to work from home, experience virtual learning and enjoy premium entertainment.”

http://www.windstream.com

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Sri Lanka Telecom picks Nokia for next generation fiber network

Sri Lanka Telecom has selected Nokia for its fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network. The carrier aims to bring new, high-speed broadband services to more than 200,000 enterprise and residential users across the country.

Kiththi Perera, Chief Executive Officer at Sri Lanka Telecom PLC, said: “We are pleased to partner with Nokia to bring unparalleled data speeds to our enterprise and residential users. By fully utilizing the fiber-technology, we are looking to expand our customer offerings and provide access to a platitude of broadband-based services. Together SLT and Nokia will continue working towards the ultimate goal of improving broadband connectivity in Sri Lanka."

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Fifth Generation Fixed Network (F5G) initiative gets underway

A new Fifth Generation Fixed Network (F5G) industry initiative has been formed with backing from the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), China Broadband Development Alliance, Altice Portugal, and Huawei. The idea is to foster a booming ecosystem for 5G fixed networking similar to the ecosystem for 5G wireless. The new organization is inviting global fixed network industry players, both upstream and downstream companies, to join the F5G industry organization.

Earlier this year, ETSI formed Industry Specification Group F5G to work on new ODN technologies, XG(S)-PON and Wi-Fi 6 enhancements, control plane and user plane separation, smart energy efficiency, end-to-end full stack slicing, autonomous operation and management, synergy of Transport and Access Networks, adaptation of Transport Network, etc.

Luca Pesando, chairman of ETSI's Industry Specification Group F5G (ISG F5G), said, "On February 25, ETSI officially released the ISG F5G, which aims at studying the fixed-network evolution through defining improvements with respect to previous solutions and the new characteristics of the fifth-generation fixed network to turn the Fiber to the Home paradigm into Fiber to Everything Everywhere, and defined three major F5G use cases: full-fiber connection (FFC), enhanced fixed broadband (eFBB), and guaranteed reliable experience (GRE). We would like to invite all the peers to join this ETSI ISG F5G initiative and to contribute, fostering the improvement of individuals’ and society’s life that fiber technology can offer in F5G era."

Wei Leping, deputy director of Communication Technology Steering Committee, MIIT & Chairman of Technology Steering Committee at China Telecom, commented, "To support the wide-scale deployment of a series of new technologies and applications such as 5G, and to promote fiber networks to all possible application scenarios, it is essential for the industry to focus on F5G to formulate unified specifications covering three basic application scenarios: transport, access, and customer premises networks. This can reduce unnecessary fragmented private specifications and achieve economies of scale in the optical industry."

Ao Li, Director of the Technology and Standards Research Institute at the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT) and Deputy Secretary-General of the China Broadband Development Alliance, said, "China is rapidly heading into the F5G era, and 100M fiber broadband has become increasingly popular. By the end of February 2020, the number of gigabit broadband users had reached 1.97 million. China is dramatically accelerating F5G application innovations to boost the digital economy, acting as a reference for other countries."

https://www.huawei.com/us/press-events/news/2020/5/develop-a-thriving-fixed-network-industry

https://www.etsi.org/committee/f5g

The kick-off meeting for the ETSI ISG F5G took place on 20-21 February at an ETSI facility and members of the group elected Dr. Luca Pesando, TIM, as the Chairman of the ISG and defined 5 areas to work on:

  • F5G use cases: the use cases include services to consumers and enterprises and will be selected based on their impact in terms of new technical requirements identified.
  • Landscape of F5G technology and standards: this work will study technology requirements for F5G use cases, explore existing technologies, and perform the gap analysis.
  • Definition of fixed network generations: to evaluate the driving forces and the path of fixed network evolution, including transport, access and on-premises networks. It will also identify the principal characteristics demarcating different generations and define them.
  • Architecture of F5G: this will specify the end-to-end network architectures, features and related network devices/elements’ requirements for F5G, including on-premises, Access, IP and Transport Networks.
  • F5G quality of experience: to specify the end-to-end quality of experience (QoE) factors for new broadband services. It will analyze the general factors that impact service performance and identify the relevant QoE dimensions for each service.

Members of the group include: Association eG4U, Altice Portugal, BOUYGUES Telecom, BTC, Cadzow Communications, CAICT, CATT, China Unicom, China Telecommunications, CICT, ECO, Fraunhofer HHI, Futurewei, Huawei Technologies, JSPRC Kryptonite, POST Luxembourg, Rostelecom, TIM, Turk Telekomunikasyon.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Clearfield intros FTTH Home Deployment Kits

Clearfield introduced new FTTH Home Deployment Kits containing everything a service provider needs to connect a home to fiber.

Clearfield said its Home Deployment Kits can reduce install time by 30 minutes per install.

Home Deployment Kits include four choices of an Outside Plant (OSP) Test Access Point (TAP) as follows:

  • NEW CraftSmart TAP-Base – splice only, limited slack storage, NEMA 4
  • NEW CraftSmart TAP-Flex – plug-and-play, 25’ incoming slack storage, NEMA 3S
  • YOURx TAP – plug-and-play, 50’ incoming/100’ outgoing slack storage, NEMA 4
  • FieldSmart TAP – plug-and-play, 100’ incoming/200’ outgoing slack storage, NEMA 4

“At Clearfield our priority is to accelerate cost-effective fiber fed deployments. Our customers are eager for a product package that includes all the necessary materials to easily install fiber and feed it all the way to the customer equipment no matter the varying scenario,” said Kevin Morgan, Chief Marketing Officer, Clearfield. “With everything needed for a home installation all in one box, not only are truck rolls reduced, but service providers will have everything from fasteners to the correct length of patch cord right at their fingertips. We anticipate service providers will save time and money for any deployment model, suiting even the most challenging home installations.”
http://www.SeeClearfield.com

Sunday, March 29, 2020

UK's CityFibre acquire FibreNation

CityFibre, the UK’s third national digital infrastructure platform, has acquired FibreNation from TalkTalk Group.

The acquired full fibre network builder allows CityFibre to increase its rollout ambition from 5 million to up to 8 million premises, supporting an investment programme of up to £4 billion. It will also help to accelerate the availability of full fibre across the UK, a platform critical to social and economic recovery in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic. The completion also triggers TalkTalk’s onboarding as CityFibre’s latest major customer, making long-term commitments of both residential and business customers.

FibreNation was founded in 2018, four years after a joint venture between TalkTalk, Sky and CityFibre was launched to deploy full fibre infrastructure and services across the City of York. The FibreNation brand will remain in market and the company will continue to operate and expand its networks where nearly 60,000 premises can gain access to gigabit speed broadband services from TalkTalk. FibreNation has network construction projects underway in Harrogate and Dewsbury and has most recently announced Bolton as the next town to benefit from full fibre. The company is currently mobilising in both Knaresborough and Ripon, with plans to make full fibre available to up to 3 million homes and businesses.

CityFibre’s increased rollout plan to reach up to 8 million premises is expected to span more than 100 towns and cities, and is estimated to create up to 7,000 construction jobs outside London. To date, CityFibre has identified 62 towns and cities to benefit from its rollout and CityFibre has connected thousands of public sector sites including hospitals, GPs, schools and community venues.

Greg Mesch, Chief Executive at CityFibre, said: “In the face of the rapid spread of the Coronavirus and its unprecedented impact on the UK’s society and economy, we believe that the need for world-class digital infrastructure has never been greater.

https://www.cityfibre.com/network/

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Deutsche Telekom signs sharing deal with Deutsche Glasfaser

Deutsche Telekom reached a network sharing agreement with Deutsche Glasfaser, which has laid more than 9,000 fiber-optic lines in the City of Lüdinghausen and its individual city districts.

For a pilot project in Lüdinghausen (North Rhine-Westphalia, Coesfeld district), Deutsche Glasfaser will open up its existing network for use by Deutsche Telekom.

Deutsche Telekom has the possibility to use optical fiber between the main fiber-optic distribution frame and the customer's building, thus offering its complete product portfolio. These offers are also valid for households in Deutsche Glasfaser's rollout area in Lüdinghausen that do not have an FTTH line yet. Deutsche Glasfaser will retrofit these home connections accordingly.

"Today's agreement is an important step in accelerating the FTTH fiber-optic expansion," said Uwe Nickl, CEO of Deutsche Glasfaser. "Two of Germany's most important fiber-optic providers are now collaborating for the benefit of end customers, who will now enjoy much broader offerings in the same infrastructure. We at Deutsche Glasfaser will enable nearly one million customer lines by the end of this year. Open networks are part of our standard, because they enable competition and selection for end customers without having to lay redundant fiber-optic networks."

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Altice to acquire Covage, 4th largest FTTH wholesale operator in France

Altice Europe N.V., acting through its SFR FTTH subsidiary, agreed to acquire Covage for a total cash consideration of €1.0 billion.

Altice is acting in partnership with its consortium of financial investors, led by OMERS Infrastructure and including Allianz Capital Partners and AXA Investment Managers - Real Assets.

Covage is the 4th largest fibre wholesale operator in France with 2.4 million homes to be passed (including 0.8 million homes already built).  This network will be added to SFR FTTH footprint
of more than 5.4 million secured homes to be passed (including 1.7 million homes built). Investors in Covage include Cube Infrastructure Fund and Partners.

SFR FTTH said the acquisition expand its footprint, with more households still yet to be awarded as well as selective opportunities for consolidation.

Patrick Drahi, founder of Altice, said: “I am very pleased that we are further expanding the leading FTTH wholesaler in Europe. We are extremely proud to integrate Covage, a great company, with a portfolio of areas in France complementary to ours. With this transaction we also bring onboard excellent local relationships. We continue to be focused on deleveraging Altice Europe notably thanks to growing revenues and EBITDA which will be supplemented with disposal proceeds. As I have explained previously, we are in advanced discussions with several parties in relation to our Portuguese fibre asset."


Monday, November 25, 2019

Bloomberg: BT Seeks Third Fiber Supplier

BT will seek a third supplier of fiber optic equipment as it looks to reduce purchases from Huawei Technologies, according to Bloomberg. Openreach is conducting an evaluation process. Nokia is the other lead supplier for the carrier's broadband fiber rollout, which currently reaches about 1.9 million homes.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-11-25/huawei-s-u-k-prospects-dented-as-bt-seeks-third-fiber-supplier?


Friday, January 25, 2019

Nokia wins FTTH project in Italy

Open Fiber, a wholesale-only player in the Italian broadband market, selected Nokia for a fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) rollout covering small towns and rural areas of Italy.

Specifically, Nokia has been selected as the sole supplier for clusters C and D (white areas) under a broadband plan drawn up by the Italian government. Nokia will deliver products, services and software needed to plan, design, deploy and support the end-to-end active network infrastructure based on GPON technologies. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Stefano Paggi, Network & Operations Director at Open Fiber, said:  "We have selected Nokia as our supplier in clusters C and D to deliver giga-services and pave the way for future ultra-broadband technology evolutions. With Nokia's solutions we will be able to offer services at 10 Gbps and in the future at 40 Gbps on the access network. We will also have the opportunity to adopt the SDAN (Software Defined Networking) paradigm and therefore to maximize the potential of a new generation access network, with high automation, programmable and integrated with cloud environments."

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

AT&T Fiber launches in 12 new metros

AT&T launched fiber broadband service in 12 new metros, bringing its total to 84. During 2018, AT&T passed over 3 million locations, bringing its total to 10 million locations passed.

The newly launched metros are: Amarillo, Texas; Beaumont, Texas; Bowling Green, Ky; Florence, S.C.; Gainesville, Fla.; Hattiesburg, Miss.; Lake Charles, La.; Northeast Miss.; Panama City, Fla.; Pensacola, Fla.; Topeka, Kan.; and Waco, Texas.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Altice France sells 49% stake in SFR FTTH project for EUR 1.8B

Altice France announced an exclusivity agreement with Allianz Capital Partners, AXA Investment Managers, and OMERS Infrastructure for the sale of a minority equity stake of 49.99% in SFR FTTH for a total cash consideration of €1.8 billion based on a €3.6 billion1 equity value.

SFR FTTH is the largest alternative FTTH infrastructure wholesale operator in France. The company anticipates passing 5 million homes over the next few years, including 1 million homes built by year-end. The company will offer wholesale services to all operators at the same terms and conditions including SFR as a customer with no minimum volume commitments.

Altice France will sell technical services to SFR FTTH for the construction, the subscriber connection and the maintenance of its FTTH network.

Patrick Drahi, the founder of Altice, said: “I am very pleased that three of the most renowned infrastructure investors in the world are becoming our partners and committing large resources to build the leading FTTH wholesaler in Europe. "With this transformational transaction and the various tower sales and partnerships announced earlier this year, Altice Europe has been able to crystallize €8 billion of infrastructure value and obtain cash proceeds of €4 billion in total in a few months. Through these transactions, Altice France and Altice Europe will deleverage and will have access to new and cheaper liquidity to invest in its fibre infrastructure."

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Google's Super PON could be a game changer

Google is working on a "Super PON" architecture that could improve the economics of fiber-to-the-home deployments, said Claudio DeSanti, Architect at Google Fiber, speaking last week at ADTRAN's Broadband Business Solutions event in Huntsville, Alabama.

Google's foray into last mile fiber access networks dates back to 2010 when it announced plans to challenge the incumbent telcos and MSOs in the U.S. with a Google-branded and delivered gigabit broadband and TV service. Google Access picked Kansas City for its first deployment and opened a public comment process to identify future rollout locations. Nearly 1,100 communities across the country expressed interest in participating in the Google project and nearly 200,000 individuals submitted comments.

DeSanti presented the timeline that eventually took Google Access to 11 cities

Then, in October 2016, the Google Fiber project officially hit the pause button. Craig Barratt, who was CEO of Access, stepped down. The said it would continue rolling out in the cities in it was already present, but that is was pausing operations and laying off workers in many cities where it had once anticipated deploying an FTTH network. Google said its effort had spurred AT&T and others to get serious about FTTH, while holding out the possibility of reentering the market if and when new technology options became available.


De Santi said the major lessons learned from this undertaking were that building infrastructure is complex, especially the lengthy permitting process that varies from city to city, and that last mile construction and outside plant costs represent the bulk of spending, mostly because of labor. Google found aerial FTTH to be prohibitively expensive due to policy restrictions of pole sharing with utility companies.

Regarding future rollouts, DeSanti said Google is now taking a more practical perspective on running the business for profit and sustainability.

In February 2018, Dinesh (Dinni) Jain ws been appointed CEO of Access, the new name for the Google Fiber and Webpass business. Jain most recently served as Chief Operating Officer of Time Warner Cable.

DeSanti said the Super-PON architecture that his team is developing could be a game changer for several reasons. First, it targets a 50 km reach from the Central Office to the subscriber, rather than the 20km target of the current technology. The longer reach is achieved with amplification. This means a larger serving area per CO, and few COs needed to cover a whole city. For a mid-sized U.S. metropolitan area, the current PON architecture requires Google to operate 16 COs. The Super PON might need as few as 3 COs to do the same job. These CO could also be CDN distribution points. No active equipment is deployed outside the CO. It operates over a passive ODN.

Second, the Super PON targets up to 1,024 subscribers, up significantly from the maximum 64-subscriber split available on its current technology. With Super PON, DWDM is used to multiplex multiple channels over a single feeder fiber. DeSanti said few fibers would be needed to support the same number of customers, enabling the deployment of small cables (12-48 fiber cables versus 432-fiber cables). The advantage of smaller cables is that micro-trenching techniques can be used, cutting the time and cost of deployment. Repairs to a fiber cut could also be handled much faster for a 24-fiber cable (under 2 hours) versus 8-hours to repair a 432-fiber cable.

DeSanti noted that Super PON standardization began in January 2018 with a presentation at the New Ethernet Applications group of IEEE 802.3. Last month, IEEE 802.3 approved the formation of a Super PON Study Group. In parallel, Super PON has also been presented to both ITU-T and FSAN, possibly as an NG-PON2 extension. Google has a pre-standard implementation deployed in the field.

An open question is whether Super PON economics leads Google to unpause its Access ambitions.