& cplSiteName &

Shaw Vetting FTTH for All New Builds

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
3/29/2010
50%
50%

US towns and cities are going ga-ga for Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)'s 1-Gig experiment, but north of the border, Shaw Communications Inc. is already laying the foundation to test out such lofty speeds in markets such as Vancouver and Calgary, and is crafting a plan to eventually use fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) architectures in all its "greenfield" opportunities. (See Googlemania!, My Town Wants Google 1-Gig! , Google's Gigabit Fiber Fantasy, Google's Pointy Stick , and Google Jumps Into Gigabit FTTH.)

In February, the Canadian MSO outlined its intentions to try out 1-Gig speeds starting as soon as next month, but, in a recent conversation with Light Reading Cable, company execs supplied more details on how it intends to provide those speeds, where it will offer them and at what scale, and how that work might factor into Shaw's network of the future. (See Shaw Preps 1-Gig Jig .)

Shaw, says MSO senior director of infrastructure systems Scott Atkinson, is getting ready to test FTTH and 1-Gig technology in a variety of scenarios, including in multiple-dwelling units (MDUs), in single-family homes, and with small and mid-sized businesses.

The trials
The first trial will involve a new 256-suite high-rise in Vancouver, where the MSO had some control of the riser and suite ducts. "Getting cable into a building can be a bit of a challenge if you don't have the right infrastructure," says Atkinson. "In this case, we felt we had enough access and control to do the type of things we wanted to do."

So, what's it going to do? Shaw is starting by building out a physical passive optical network (PON) coupled with RF over Glass (RFoG), an emerging Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) standard that allows MSOs to bring fiber to the premises but preserve its existing headends and backend systems and RF-based video, voice, and Internet services. (See Who Makes What: RFoG Systems and RFoG Gets the Squeeze.)

Shaw expects to have that construction done as tenants start moving into the building in April and May. After that, a separate Shaw team will come in and manage the installation of the Gigabit Ethernet layer.

The MSO hasn't revealed whether it's going with GPON, EPON, or 10G-EPON. "At this juncture, we're not advising which way we're going, but all of that [discussion] is happening within our Internet and transport teams," Atkinson says.

Shaw intends to apply the same general process in Calgary, where it's already identified a 53-lot, single-family area to do the test. Atkinson says that one will start coming together in the May to June 2010 timeframe, and will utilize any technical and operational adjustments and improvements it gets from the initial Vancouver trial.

The MSO also hopes to get a commercial services pilot underway by the end of this summer, and has five or six trial areas already under consideration. It will go with the same architecture, although business customers may not be as interested in the video services that come into play with RFoG. "But the focus will be primarily on Ethernet or added services [enabled by] the Ethernet PON underlay," Atkinson says.

With the architecture work pretty much solidified, Shaw has since moved into the product-specification phase.

For the trials, Shaw intends to involve at least two vendors for each of the "major" components. For example, it's already been looking at ONUs from suppliers such as Hitachi Telecom (USA) Inc. , Aurora Networks Inc. , and Alloptic Inc. , along with optical taps from CommScope Inc. , but hasn't made any vendor commitments yet.

Shaw's future: fiber-to-the-greenfield
Although Shaw hopes to use these trials to test out apps that require 1-Gig speeds in relatively small-scale scenarios, that work will also pave the path toward a fiber-to-the-premises architecture that the MSO may eventually use in all new-build situations.

Presently, Shaw is using an "N+1" architecture in greenfields, whereby just one power-hungry, "active" amplifier resides between the node and the homes it's serving. If Shaw goes with PON and FTTP, it would leap right over an "N+0" approach being touted by suppliers like Aurora Networks. (See Aurora Networks Plays the 'Green' Card and Costs Could Keep RFoG a Niche Player .)

"You'll see us move from N+1... into a fiber-to-the home architecture, hopefully using the PON architecture and RFoG overlay [with] an appropriate Ethernet underlay, as required, from now on," Atkinson says of Shaw's future greenfield strategy.

But Shaw still views RFoG as a transitional technology. "At some point, I think RFoG will give way to more IP or data-oriented transport schemes for all services."

Shaw likewise thinks an eventual migration of services to IP, which will take years, will alter its overall business in terms of how it delivers high-capacity Internet services, as well as voice and video.

"There's no doubt in our minds that IP-based set-tops are going to quickly outpace anything available in the more traditional, digital cable proprietary worlds," says Dennis Steiger, Shaw's group vice president of engineering. The move to IP "will make it possible to create a whole new customer experience down the road."

And Shaw believes that will help get it prepared to handle cable's transition from a broadcast medium to one that provides more and more unicast services. According to Shaw's forecast, unicast services (which include video-on-demand) will eat up about half of its plant capacity within 10 years.

But that transition won't happen overnight, so technologies like Docsis and RFoG will likely remain important factors for awhile. In fact, Shaw is already using Docsis 3.0 to deliver services that provide bursts of 100 Mbit/s. (See Shaw Maxing Out on 100-Meg.)

"But there will come a time when [those technologies] become less important as we [connect] our customers with fiber access," Steiger says.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
stryderbsd
50%
50%
stryderbsd,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:40:32 PM
re: Shaw Vetting FTTH for All New Builds


Awww how cute, Shaw is doing the same thing TELUS started doing over 3 years ago.

From The Founder
Kicking off BCE 2017, Light Reading founder Steve Saunders lays blame for NFV's slow ramp-up and urges telecom to return to old-fashioned standards building and interoperability.
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.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Intel Ushers in the Revolutionary 5G Era

6|28|17   |   5:00   |   (0) comments


5G will bring job opportunities for women in telco and IT, as well as a whole new era of communications for consumers and industries of all kinds, says Caroline Chan, vice president and general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division at Intel.
LRTV Custom TV
VeEX at ANGA COM

6|27|17   |     |   (0) comments


At ANGA COM 2017, Cyrille Morelle, president and CEO of VeEX, updates Alan Breznick with VeEX's new products and technology. This includes VeSion cloud-based platform for network monitoring, AT2500-3G advanced spectrum analyzer and MTTplus-900 WiFi Air Expert module. He also comments on DOCSIS 3.1 deployment and Remote PHY technology.
LRTV Custom TV
The Overall Objective Is to Win the Game

6|26|17   |     |   (0) comments


SCTE•ISBE's Chris Bastian discusses Energy 2020's success to date and the importance of a flexible approach that allows for changes in specific strategies in order to reach significant milestones.
LRTV Interviews
CenturyLink: Let's Get Past SD-WAN Hype

6|23|17   |   04:02   |   (0) comments


Technology becomes a "shiny object" unless it's properly focused on solving business needs for enterprise customers, says Bill Grubbs, network solutions architect for CenturyLink. He explains to Light Reading why SD-WAN deployments have to be tailored to specific needs – and more.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Infinera's Sales Director Paints Tech's Big Picture

6|21|17   |   4:14   |   (1) comment


Shannon Williams, Infinera's director of sales, shares how she achieves work's many balancing acts -- between her role and the broader company, today and tomorrow's tech and more.
LRTV Custom TV
SD-WAN Innovation & Trends

6|20|17   |     |   (0) comments


Versa CEO Kelly Ahuja discusses with Carol Wilson the current status and trends in the SD-WAN market, Versa's innovation around building a software platform with broad contextualization, and the advantages that startups can bring to the SD-WAN market.
LRTV Interviews
Ovum's Dario Talmesio on 5G in Europe

6|20|17   |   02:16   |   (0) comments


At 5G World 2017, Dario Talmesio, principal analyst and practice leader on Ovum's fixed and mobile telecoms European team, explains the emerging trends amongst European operators as they prepare for 5G.
LRTV Custom TV
Putting Power on a Pedestal

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


ARRIS's John Ulm says a major accomplishment of SCTE•ISBE's Energy 2020 program is increased focus on power cost and consumption, including inclusion of energy requirements in operators' RFPs and RFIs.
LRTV Custom TV
Gigabit Access: The Last-Mile Pipe for All Future Services

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


A Gigabit access platform being deployed today must be able to deliver all types of services to an increasing number of devices. A non-blocking architecture is necessary to support the ever-increasing growth in bandwidth demand. The Huawei Gigabit access solution is based on a distributed design that is fully scalable to deliver a unprecedented performance.
LRTV Custom TV
Key Factors to Successfully Deploy an SD-WAN Service

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


As service providers transition their SD-WAN solution from trials and limited deployments into production at large scale, there are important considerations to successfully operationalize these solutions and realize their full potential, without adding complexity, introducing uncertainty or disrupting current business operations. Sunil Khandekar, CEO and Founder ...
LRTV Custom TV
IoT Solutions: Rational Exuberance

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


IoT solutions are morphing from hype into viable business opportunities. Huawei has the platform and ecosystem support to help carriers successfully address new business opportunities in the IoT space.
LRTV Custom TV
Realizing ICN as a Network Slice for Mobile Data Distribution

6|19|17   |     |   (1) comment


Network slicing in 5G allows the potential introduction of new network architectures such as Information-centric Networks (ICN) as a slice, managed over a shared pool of compute, storage and bandwidth resource. Services over an ICN slice can benefit from many architectural features such as Name Based Networking, Security, Multicasting, Multi-homing, Mobility, ...
Upcoming Live Events
October 18, 2017, Colorado Convention Center - Denver, CO
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, UK
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
No Imagination: UK Chip Biz Goes Up for Sale
Iain Morris, News Editor, 6/22/2017
Does AT&T Deserve Time Warner?
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 6/23/2017
Netflix's Lesson in Culture Expectation Settings
Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 6/21/2017
Kalanick Steps Down as Uber CEO
Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 6/21/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Following a recent board meeting, the New IP Agency (NIA) has a new strategy to help accelerate the adoption of NFV capabilities, explains the Agency's Founder and Secretary, Steve Saunders.
One of the nice bits of my job (other than the teeny tiny salary, obviously) is that I get to pick and choose who I interview for this slot on the Light Reading home ...
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.