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        ADD A COMMENT
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Anshul Sadana answers questions from Steve Saunders, Light Reading's founder and CEO, about Arista's CloudVision, a global cloud network controller for workload orchestration and workflow automation delivering a turnkey solution for cloud networking.
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei ONS Product Demo

8|3|15   |   6:01   |   (0) comments


Huawei shows at Open Networking Summit 2015 in Santa Clara how its SDN and NFV solutions embrace openness.
LRTV Custom TV
End-User or Enterprise Benefits to the New IP

7|30|15   |   04:27   |   (1) comment


Andrew Coward discusses what the New IP means to end users or enterprise customers. He explains compelling reasons, including how every customer can get their own network, from the transformation to the New IP.
LRTV Custom TV
Network Visibility & the New IP

7|30|15   |   02:23   |   (0) comments


Mukund Srigopal provides an explanation of what network visibility is and how it is essential as service providers transition to the New IP. In addition, the importance of the network packet broker is discussed.
Between the CEOs
Video Exclusive With Basil Alwan, Alcatel-Lucent

7|24|15   |   26:44   |   (5) comments


Basil Alwan, President of IP Routing & Transport at Alcatel-Lucent, discusses virtualization, cultural challenges, the capex crunch and more with Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders.
LRTV Custom TV
VDF: Enable the Financial With Mobile Money

7|20|15   |   06:53   |   (0) comments


Ian Ravenscroft discusses how operators can expand to occupy the entire digital services value chain through service innovation.
LRTV Custom TV
Telefónica on OSS Transformation

7|20|15   |   06:01   |   (0) comments


Jose Gonzales discusses the details of Telefónica's operation transformation program.
LRTV Custom TV
Judi Achmadi on Huawei's Cloud Storage Solution

7|20|15   |   03:33   |   (0) comments


Judi discusses the key business goals of TelekomSigma's public cloud service and how Huawei's solution helps them address challenges.
LRTV Custom TV
KPN Enlightening Digital Business & IT Transformation

7|20|15   |   06:19   |   (0) comments


Rob de Beer discusses the changes that operators need to make with service innovation now coming from the Internet world.
LRTV Custom TV
Stratus Telco-Grade Cloud Solutions & NFV

7|20|15   |   07:34   |   (0) comments


Ali Kafel from Stratus Technologies addresses high-availability concerns within the telco industry with a solution that enables telcos to provide high-availability and stateful fault-tolerance using a software-based approach.
LRTV Documentaries
The Six Million Dollar Business Man

7|20|15   |   01:52   |   (0) comments


Steve Saunders, publisher. A man barely alive after an acquisition malfunction imploded the company he founded. Gentlemen, we can rebuild Light Reading. Better, faster, stronger.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Anukool Lakhina, Guavus

7|20|15   |   38:51   |   (1) comment


Guavus CEO Anukool Lakhina talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the role of operational analytics in the communications services and networking sectors, particularly in relation to IoT.
LRTV Custom TV
IBM's Flash Storage With Intel QuickAssist

7|20|15   |   03:18   |   (0) comments


Intel's Bev Crair and IBM's Eric Herzog discuss how IBM's V9000 Flash Storage System has helped customers around the world. Featuring real-time compression powered by Intel QuickAssist Technology, the V9000 is a next-gen flash storage solution.
Upcoming Live Events
September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
November 17, 2015, Santa Clara, California
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
To keep up with consumers' increasing digital lifestyles, an IT system and operating model overhaul is required using a modern BSS, IES and analytics.
Hot Topics
FCC Plan Could Stymie Rural Broadband
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 8/3/2015
Eurobites: Nokia Seals HERE Sale
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 8/3/2015
Verizon Small Cells Ready to Rock in Chicago
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 7/31/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
September 22, 2015
Media Begins With “Me”
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
I was pleasantly surprised when Ericsson recently agreed to let me interview its CEO, Hans Vestberg. Traditionally, mega-companies like Ericsson (or Cisco) have kept ...
Basil Alwan, President of IP Routing & Transport at Alcatel-Lucent, discusses virtualization, cultural challenges, the capex crunch and more with Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders.
Cats with Phones
Comes With Free Phone Stand Click Here
Who says cats don't have any skills?