Light Reading
Networking gear maker targets municipalities, utilities and cablecos for FTTP push, in addition to traditional telcos.

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
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!
Carol Wilson
50%
50%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
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.
Carol Wilson
50%
50%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
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.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Interviews
The New Wave of IP + Optical Integration

11|21|14   |   04:29   |   (7) comments


At the Alcatel-Lucent Technology Symposium, Heavy Reading senior analyst Sterling Perrin talks about how SDN has reshaped the discussion around packet and optical integration.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Highlights at BBWF 2014

11|20|14   |   3:40   |   (1) comment


Broadband World Forum is one of the world's largest telecoms, media and technology events with over 7,800 senior executives from across the globe converging on Amsterdam every year to identify the Next Big Thing. BBWF is an exciting place to meet the entire industry under one roof and identify the latest in network innovation, service optimization and customer ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
How Will BCMS Stimulate Margin for Broadband Operators?

11|19|14   |   6:52   |   (0) comments


In BBWF 2014, Liu Shuqing emphasizes the value of FMC 2.0 based full service experience by throwing light on the BCMS solution. The underlying principle of this innovative technique is to create network robustness and driving network from connection oriented to ACE – BAND oriented infrastructure, in which applications, cloud, and user experiences will be an asset ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
SingleFAN3.0: Better Connected Experience

11|19|14   |   3:06   |   (1) comment


At the BBWF 2014, David Hu, the VP of Huawei Access Network Product Line, talked about the future of access networks – SingleFAN3.0: faster broadband, wider coverage, and smarter connection.
LRTV Interviews
Basil Alwan Interview: The Road to Cloud

11|19|14   |   09:09   |   (0) comments


Alcatel-Lucent's head of IP and Transport talks about the migration towards a web-like networking environment, the impact of the cloud, SDN and NFV, and the yet-to-be-announced FP4 chip.
LRTV Documentaries
FairPoint Makes a Fair Point About Analytics

11|19|14   |   1:56   |   (1) comment


The US-based communication service provider gets to grips with advanced analytics, tackling data and breaking down the silos within its own business.
LRTV Documentaries
Analytics Lets C Spire Get to Know Subs

11|19|14   |   3:01   |   (2) comments


It's all about the data for US operator C Spire as it uses analytics to personalize its customer service down to individual subscribers.
LRTV Interviews
Nuage Branches Out With SDN: CEO Interview

11|17|14   |   9:32   |   (0) comments


Sunil Khandekar, CEO of Alcatel-Lucent's SDN-focused unit Nuage Networks, talks about the opportunities and challenges of breaking out of the data center into wide-area networks.
Light Reedy
Telecom Analytics Grows Up

11|14|14   |   1:15   |   (4) comments


The big data analytics debate has moved on from a year ago, with some experts suggesting it's no longer a technology challenge.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Compass

11|14|14   |   3:17   |   (1) comment


At OpenStack Summit 2014, Shuo Yang, Huawei Principal Cloud Infrastructure Architect introduced Huawei Compass, the software tool for solving customers' problems on the journey of OpenStack Cloud.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Cloud Strategy in European Region

11|14|14   |   2:56   |   (1) comment


At OpenStack Summit 2014, Dr. Gotz, CTO of Huawei IT in European Region introduced Huawei's cloud strategy in European region.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Contribution on OpenStack

11|14|14   |   5:58   |   (0) comments


At OpenStack Summit 2014, Dennis Gu, Huawei Chief Architect of Cloud Computing introduced the relationship between OpenStack and cloud computing, and Huawei's contribution on OpenStack.
Upcoming Live Events
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 8-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 12, 2015, Atlanta, GA
April 14, 2015, New York City, NY
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Irish Telecom outlines the rise of VoIP technology, including its adoption within businesses and their perception of its quality.
Hot Topics
Bell Labs Chief Slams 'Toy' Networks
Robert Clark, 11/19/2014
$38.3M: Ain't That a Kik in the SMS
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 11/20/2014
Do You Have a 2020 Vision?
Dennis Mendyk, Vice President of Research, Heavy Reading, 11/21/2014
Google, AT&T, BT Unite on Network Data Models
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 11/20/2014
The New Wave of IP + Optical Integration
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 11/21/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed