Light Reading

Taking the Pulse of a Broadband Stimulus Winner

Carol Wilson
LR Cable News Analysis
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large
1/29/2010
50%
50%

A group of cable TV veterans, who believe they’ve found a way to cost-effectively use fiber-to-the-home in rural areas, has teamed up with a rural electric cooperative in Northeast Missouri to win $19 million in broadband stimulus funding from the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) 's Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP). (See Policy Watch: Stimulating Rural America .)

The network they are about to build could become a model for other rural electric cooperatives to bring broadband to unserved and underserved areas.

At the heart of the successful application by Ralls County Electric Cooperative is FTTH technology developed by Dave Pangrac, one of the men credited, along with James Chiddix, with inventing the hybrid fiber-coax (HFC) architecture now used by the cable industry, while working for Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC).

As described by Pangrac, whose consulting company was acquired by Pulse in the summer of 2009, the patented technology “looks a lot like HFC, in that it has a distributed path architecture, and it uses typically no more than four fibers in distribution as opposed to the traditional PON [passive optical network] with hundreds of fibers.” (See Pulse Picks Up Pangrac)

Pangrac and Don Gall, his partner in Pangrac Consulting, own a patent on the system and have licensed it to CommScope Inc. , which has been manufacturing and distributing the technology for the past four years, Pangrac says. The system uses a distributed tap architecture for easy deployment of drops and is cost-effective at population densities of as few as four homes per mile. (See CommScope Sees BrightPath for Cable FTTP.)

In a greenfield deployment, such as what Pulse is doing with RCEC, the system can support baseband IP delivery and QAM delivery of TV signals or analog signals simultaneously, Pangrac says. And because it is a fiber-to-the-home technology, the drops can be as much as a mile off the tap port of the cable.

“This is the world’s simplest approach -- it really is a low-level approach to how do you make this cost-effective,” Pangrac says.

Pulse holds an exclusive license on the technology for deployment in rural areas and first tested it with the rural cooperative that serves Pangrac’s home in New Mexico, says CEO Bill Shreffler. Pulse began meeting with electric cooperatives after that and found a quick ally in the Association of Missouri Electrical Cooperatives, which put the word out to its membership.

RCEC, which serves about 5,000 businesses and residents in Northeast Missouri, stepped up to join Pulse in submitting a stimulus grant in August of 2009. The grant had several things going for it, Shreffler points out.

The open access approach is one major plus: Pulse will serve as a wholesaler, opening the door to any cable, telco, or ISP that wants to provide a retail service or service bundle.

In addition, RCEC -- and other rural electrical cooperatives that work with Pulse -- will benefit from smart grid technology installed as part of the build, gaining automatic meter reading and advanced metering infrastructure, says Shreffler, another cable veteran who was most recently president and CEO of Broadstripe .

“For us, rural electrical cooperatives are the perfect partners because they are already out there, with the rights of way and utility poles,” he says.

Since winning the stimulus money with RCEC, Pulse has been deluged by calls from other cooperatives, according to Shreffler.

Pulse is also in negotiations with service providers that want to use the RCEC network, although non-disclosure agreements prevent Shreffler from identifying them or saying whether or not AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) -- one of the incumbents in the area -- has expressed any interest in the RCEC network.

— Carol Wilson, Chief Editor, Events, Light Reading

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Networks of the future will rely on "white box" switches and servers rather than proprietary hardware and that's going to alter the shape of the communications industry. Who says so? John Chambers.
LRTV Custom TV
The Benefits of HyperScale Clouds for NFV

3|27|15   |   01:50   |   (0) comments


Hyperscale cloud has been developed by the Internet giants to support the creation and delivery of software-based services at blistering speeds, and at the lowest possible cost. The original ETSI NFV vision was to adopt hyperscale cloud architecture and practices. This vision has become somewhat obscured along the way, due to misunderstandings about the hyperscale ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
eLTE Rapid Meets the Need for Speed

3|26|15   |   4:45   |   (0) comments


Designed especially for emergency and dedicated ad hoc local mobile communications coverage, Huawei's eLTE Rapid solution can deliver trunked voice, video and data coverage for multiple users over a 6km range and be set up in just 15 minutes, explains Huawei's Norman Frisch.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
On Videos: Challenges & Opportunities

3|26|15   |   5:56   |   (0) comments


Most everything is now connected. And along with 4K and 4G technologies, everyone could be creating and broadcasting video contents. Users are expecting better video experience with any screen, anywhere and anytime. Operators will meet new challenges, but also see some big opportunities.
LRTV Custom TV
JDSU: Delivering Dynamic Networks for a Personalized Experience

3|26|15   |   5:59   |   (0) comments


Light Reading speaks to JDSU at Mobile World Congress 2015 about new solutions in the areas of HetNets, VoLTE, backhaul, virtualization, big data analytics, and real-time intelligence.
LRTV Custom TV
Smarter Service Chaining & New Ways to Benefit From Qosmos Technology

3|25|15   |   03:11   |   (0) comments


David Le Goff, director of strategic and product marketing at Qosmos, explains how the company has added application awareness to subscriber information to make service chaining more efficient and reduce costs for networking and infrastructure. In addition, Qosmos technology, which has been delivered as C libraries, is now also available as a virtual machine, ...
Between the CEOs
Qosmos CEO: The Changing Face of DPI

3|24|15   |   13:53   |   (0) comments


LR CEO and Founder Steve Saunders sits down with the head of Qosmos to talk about the changing state of the art in deep packet inspection technology, including its role in SDN and NFV architectures. Also, how the comms market is becoming more like the automotive industry.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
FC Schalke Scores With Its Agile Stadium

3|24|15   |   6:23   |   (0) comments


Top German soccer club FC Schalke 04 has deployed a new, agile WiFi network from Huawei in its Veltins-Arena stadium and is reaping the benefits in terms of customer satisfaction and business opportunities, explains marketing chief Alexander Jobst.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s Insights on Mobile Video

3|24|15   |   7:51   |   (0) comments


More people than ever are now watching videos on smartphones. Seventy percent of mobile traffic will be video traffic until 2018. In this video, Huawei's exports give their insights on mobile video in terms of business model, network planning and 4G network construction.
LRTV Documentaries
The Rise of Industry 4.0

3|24|15   |   02:26   |   (9) comments


Are you ready for the fourth industrial revolution? It's a big deal for influential operators such as Deutsche Telekom.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Getting Connected With eLTE

3|23|15   |   06:04   |   (0) comments


Trunked radio communications have entered the 4G LTE world, and with Huawei's eLTE solution, can now deliver a full range of data and video services as well as push-to-talk voice, explains Huawei's Norman Frisch.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Funkwerk’s on Track With Huawei

3|19|15   |   3:23   |   (0) comments


GSM-R technology specialist Funkwerk and Huawei have forged a partnership that is benefiting both parties, notes Funkwerk's Gottfried Winter.
LRTV Documentaries
How EANTC Tested Cisco's Virtualization Solutions

3|18|15   |   5:49   |   (0) comments


Carsten Rossenhövel, managing director of independent test lab EANTC, tells Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the innovative approach his team had to take when validating Cisco's service provider virtualization and cloud solutions.
Upcoming Live Events
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 5, 2015, Hyatt McCormick Place, Chicago, IL
May 6, 2015, Georgia World Congress, Atlanta, GA
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
AT&T Woos SMBs With Small-Scale WiFi
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 3/26/2015
The Rise of Industry 4.0
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 3/24/2015
Google Hires Wall Street's Most Influential Woman as CFO
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 3/24/2015
Average US Broadband Speeds No Great Shakes
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 3/25/2015
Net Neutrality Suits: Only The Beginning?
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 3/24/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
LR CEO and Founder Steve Saunders sits down with the head of Qosmos to talk about the changing state of the art in deep packet inspection technology, including its role in SDN and NFV architectures.
Chattanooga’s EPB publicly owned utility comms company has become a poster child for how to enable a local economy using next-gen networking technology. Steve Saunders, Founder of Light Reading, sits down with Harold DePriest, president and CEO of EPB, to learn how EPB is bringing big time tech to small town America.
Cats with Phones
Interspecies Phone Love Click Here
"No, you hang up."
"No, YOU hang up."
Latest Comment