& cplSiteName &

Adtran Launches 'Gig Communities' Initiative

Carol Wilson
8/13/2014
50%
50%

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- Adtran is launching a national initiative around gigabit services, targeting municipalities, utility companies, and cable operators, in addition to the telco audience it has traditionally served. Focusing on the economic development benefits of high-speed Internet access and the benefits to schools and hospitals, the networking equipment maker is pledging to have 50 gigabit communities up and running this year and 200 in 2015.

One of its Gig Communities customers, C Spire , is hoping to raise the economic profile of much of Mississippi, in an ambitious effort that is directly copying Google Fiber Inc. 's approach to creating "fiberhoods" and getting local municipal engagement. (See C-Spire, Adtran Team on Mississippi Gig Network.)

Speaking to a group of analysts and press assembled here at Adtran Inc. (Nasdaq: ADTN)'s headquarters on Tuesday, Adtran VP of Global Marketing Gary Bolton said the effort would include a Gigabit Communities website with resources and case studies for interested parties to use in planning their own gigabit network effort.

Jay Wilson, SVP and general manager of Adtran's Carrier Networks Division, said the company is already working with hundreds of entities, including many of its traditional smaller telco customers, on targeted efforts to bring gigabit services via fiber-to-the-premises into communities that otherwise might struggle economically, in hopes of attracting and retaining new businesses.


Get the latest updates on the Gigabit Cities trend by visiting Light Reading's Broadband/FTTx content channel.


The Adtran effort is not without risk. Bolton cited the positive impact that the gigabit network in Chattanooga, Tenn., has had on that area, attracting new businesses to the area and prompting concern even in Huntsville itself about the loss of potential business. The EPB Fiber Optics effort has been controversial politically, however, as larger carriers such as AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) have fought to get laws in place in Tennessee and other states to prohibit or severely limit the ability of municipalities to build fiber networks using public money or bonds. (See Muni Utilities Take Gigabit Fight to FCC.)

"We're technology guys and that's a policy issue," Bolton said in response to a question on the possible negative response from Adtran's telco customers. "We are not weighing in on whether municipalities should be broadband providers. We believe people that have experience -- the guys who know what they are doing and are going to be in business for a long time -- should be the ones building the networks."

In many cases, he added, communities know what they are doing and shouldn't have to wait for gigabit services to come to them, but the better scenario is for communities and service providers to work together.

C Spire is one model of how that can work. The carrier, known mostly for its wireless services, is leveraging its statewide fiber optic network -- built mostly for backhaul -- to support the FTTP networks it is building in selected cities based on a competition modeled after Google Fiber's "Fiberhood" approach.

The "Get Fiber First" campaign is succeeding best in areas where the local mayors and town governments are engaged in promoting the effort, said Suzy Hays, SVP, consumer marketing, for C Spire. The campaign's goals are lofty -- no less than a statewide economic push that also intends to improve the state's oft-maligned education system and serve its hospitals and other community institutions as well.

The upside for Adtran to its Gig Communities initiative is an obvious one: The company hopes to sell much more of its networking gear, and particularly its GPON equipment, and gain some advantage over rivals such as Calix Networks Inc. (NYSE: CALX), which has been doing its own promotion on the economic benefits of FTTP, and Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU). By expanding its reach to munis, utilities and cable companies, Adtran is also hoping to create a larger customer base for the full range of its equipment. As Bolton pointed out, Adtran already sells its enterprise networking gear to the cable industry, which is rapidly growing its small business broadband services.

— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading

(7)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Duh!
50%
50%
Duh!,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/14/2014 | 11:21:50 AM
Re: Bolton statement
Because the economics of infrastructure is completely different than the economics of applications.

Incumbent telcos and MSOs - love 'em or hate 'em - are really good at building infrastructure.  They've got decades of experience, armies of experienced planners, engineers and techs, trucks, tools, processes, records.  And they've got volume, which translates to lower costs. 

Munis, coops, regionals etc. can acquire the expertise (disclosure: including mine) and contract out the construction work.  They may be less efficient than an incumbent.  They also can support business cases that the investor-owned organizations can't.

People in the industry get too hung up on who does the build-out.  The right answer is  "It doesn't matter whether a cat is black or white, only that it catches mice".
nasimson
50%
50%
nasimson,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/14/2014 | 1:08:19 AM
Bolton statement
> We believe people that have experience -- the guys who know > what they are doing and are going to be in business for a long time > should be the ones building the networks." That's a lame argument by Bolton. If that is allowed no disruption would never happen. The reason we are witnessing ecommerce, car sharing, taxi ordering, cloud music, app stores, movie streaming is that guys from other industries could innovate and experiment in other industries. How can people get away with such statements!
cnwedit
50%
50%
cnwedit,
User Rank: Light Beer
8/13/2014 | 4:36:45 PM
Re: Beautiful Day in the Giga-Hood
Karl, 

I would agree, in general. I think the danger is where service providers are doing this to jump on the gigabit bandwidth and they basically do a limited deployment. 

Where the munis are getting into the picture, I think that is less likely to happen. But I guess where politicians are involved, anything is possible. 
KBode
50%
50%
KBode,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/13/2014 | 4:26:23 PM
Re: Beautiful Day in the Giga-Hood
"There is one concern I have with the rush to gigabit services: If we wind up with some set of cities/towns/areas with gigabit services while others still don't have broadband at all, then we've just created a new and deeper digital divide"

And we need to keep the attention focused on price and competition. It's great if a few developments, college dorms, and high-end apartment/condos get 1 Gbps in a city, but what good does that do the rest of the city if price and availability are lacking?
jabailo
50%
50%
jabailo,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/13/2014 | 12:42:44 PM
Re: Beautiful Day in the Giga-Hood
Yes, well that's just it.   We can...and should...create these Gigabit Cities away from the Shipping, Railroad and Highway cities.   The reason?  We can!   The rise of Cloud Jobs and Social Media means new metrics for judging a best place to live.

Look at all the expensive cities like Seattle and San Francisco.  Part of the reason?  They are 18th century cities based on shipping.   Their downtowns are isthmuses -- surrounded by water on 3 sides!   Yes, if you are a ship chandler waiting for a schooner, then these are ideal places to live...but if you want a modern house, in a low cost, yet quality suburb...then you should build your Gig City on the plains of Nebraska.
cnwedit
50%
50%
cnwedit,
User Rank: Light Beer
8/13/2014 | 11:24:17 AM
Re: Beautiful Day in the Giga-Hood
I think most mayors would agree with you on that. 

There is one concern I have with the rush to gigabit services: If we wind up with some set of cities/towns/areas with gigabit services while others still don't have broadband at all, then we've just created a new and deeper digital divide.

So in the rush to do gigabit services, we can't lose sight of the need to continue pushing broadband into areas that aren't served

The C spire effort made me think of this - there are rural areas of Mississippi that aren't served at all, and creating gigabit towns in that state will help those towns but not necessarily the unserved areas. 
jabailo
50%
50%
jabailo,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/13/2014 | 10:39:18 AM
Beautiful Day in the Giga-Hood
Just as ship ports created communities in the 18th century, railroads in the 19th,   Interstate highways in the 20th, expect Giga-Hoods to arise whose economy is based on fast access to Cloud jobs and services.
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Interviews
Can Cable Climb Upmarket?

12|7|16   |     |   (0) comments


Carol Wilson and Alan Breznick assess cable's prospects for winning more enterprises in a landscape rocked by corporate M&A activity.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
TalkTalk Exec: Find Your North Star at Work

12|7|16   |   3:38   |   (1) comment


Women need to find their purpose, a professional North Star, and create a personal board for themselves, according to Alex Tempest, director of partners at TalkTalk Business.
LRTV Interviews
Verizon: Beware Unknown Unknowns

12|7|16   |   04:58   |   (0) comments


Chris Novak, director of the Verizon Enterprise Solutions Risk Team, explains that enterprises who don't conduct a thorough audit of their assets often leave some things unprotected because they don't know they exist. Many times these unprotected assets are part of corporate M&A activity but left unshielded they can become a hacker's playground, he tells Light ...
LRTV Interviews
ETSI's CTO Talks NFV, 5G & NGP

12|5|16   |   09:45   |   (0) comments


Adrian Scrase, CTO at standards body ETSI, talks about the various initiatives and specifications developments related to NFV, 5G and NGP (next-generation protocols) that will underpin next-gen networks.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Korn Ferry Consultant: How to Find, Cultivate & Be the Best Talent

11|30|16   |   4:10   |   (2) comments


Erin Callaghan, a managing consultant for Korn Ferry Futurestep, shares strategies for companies to improve how they recruit and for women to ensure they don't get lost in the pipeline.
LRTV Custom TV
We Can Make the World More Sustainable

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


GeSI is a global e-Sustainability Initiative organization bringing together 40 big multinational companies around the world. According to GeSI's report, information and communication technology can make the world more sustainable. Luis Neves, chairman of GeSI, shared with us his opinion at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
Finding a New Way to Engage Customers & Drive Revenue

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


Mobile revenues are declining. Digicel, a player in the Caribbean telecommunications/entertainment space, has found a new way to engage customers and drive revenue. John Quinn, CTO of Digicel, shared with us its story at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016)
LRTV Custom TV
Do You Really Need Gigabit Infrastructure?

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


Altibox is the biggest fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) player and the largest provider of video and TV in Norway. They started out with zero customers in 2002. Now they have close to half a million households and companies attached to their FTTH business. Nils Arne, CEO of Altibox shared with us their story and insight on 5G at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
BTís Openreach Strategy & Its Updates in 2016

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


A lot of developments at Openreach this year in terms of strategy and planned investments. Peter Bell, CIO of Openreach BT, shared with us the updates of Openreach at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
ITU: The Broadband Is Our Future

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


At Ultra-broadband Forum, Houlin Zhao, Secretary General of ITU, discussed how important it is for countries, companies and everybody to be working together to help to build the broadband and digital economies (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
Tackling 5G in Dallas

11|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


Here are our highlights of the 5G North America show in Dallas, Texas with Light Reading's Dan Jones.
LRTV Interviews
Cox Prepping for Virtualization Trials

11|14|16   |     |   (0) comments


In this video interview, Cox's Jeff Finkelstein discusses MSO's plans to test managed business services in early 2017 and tackle Distributed Access Architectures.
Upcoming Live Events
December 6-8, 2016, The Westin Excelsior, Rome
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
Cable Nodes Becoming a Choke Point
Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading, 12/5/2016
WiCipedia: After-School Coding, Salary Probing & Pro-Parenthood Companies
Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 12/2/2016
Consolidated Snaps Up Fairpoint for $1.5B
Iain Morris, News Editor, 12/5/2016
Altice FTTH Bill Could Hit Almost $9.6B in US
Iain Morris, News Editor, 12/1/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Eyal Waldman, CEO of Mellanox Technologies, speaks to Steve Saunders, CEO of Light Reading, for an exclusive interview about the 100 GB cable challenge, cybersecurity and much more.
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Even when there's a strong pipeline of female talent in the comms industry, it tends to leak all the way to the top. McKinsey & Company says women experience pipeline leakage at three primary points: being unable to enter, being stuck in the middle or being locked out of the top. Each pipeline pain point presents its own challenges, but also opportunities to stop the leak. Wireless operator Sprint is making a conscious effort to improve its own pipeline from new recruits to the C-suite, and it wants the rest of the industry to do the same. In this Women in Comms radio show, WiC Board Member and Sprint Vice President of Enterprise Sales Nelly Pitocco will give us her take on the industry's pipeline challenges. Pitocco, who joined Sprint in May and has spent 20 years in the comms industry, will also offer solutions, share how Sprint is tackling the challenge within its own organization and take your questions live on air.