Light Reading
Using patented technology from cable veterans, Pulse promises cost-effective FTTH for rural electrical cooperatives

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
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 Huawei Video Resource Center
Dr. Dong Sun Talks About Carriers' Digital Transformation & Huawei’s Telco OS

1|29|15   |   6:28   |   (0) comments


Dr. Dong Sun, Chief Architect of Digital Transformation Solutions at Huawei, discusses how telecom operators can become digital ecosystem enablers and deliver optimal user experiences that are in real-time, on-demand, all-online, DIY and social (ROADS).
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Chief Network Architect Talks about Network Experience & Operators’ Strategies

1|29|15   |   3:39   |   (0) comments


In the digital age, network experience has become the primary productivity especially for telecom operators. In this video, Wenshuan Dang, Huawei’s Chief Network Architect, discusses how carriers can tackle the challenge of infrastructure complexity in order to enhance business agility and improve user experience.
LRTV Documentaries
The Rise of Virtual CPE

1|27|15   |   01:38   |   (5) comments


As NFV strategies evolve from tests and trials to production telco networks, expect to hear a lot about virtual CPE (customer premises equipment) rollouts during 2015.
LRTV Documentaries
Optical Is Hot in 2015

1|23|15   |   01:56   |   (2) comments


Optical comms technology underpins the whole communications sector and there are some really hot trends set for 2015.
LRTV Custom TV
Policy Control in the Fast Lane

1|22|15   |   2:57   |   (0) comments


What's making policy control strategic in 2015 and beyond? Amdocs talks with Heavy Reading's Graham Finnie about the key factors driving change in the data services landscape. Find out what his policy management research reveals about the road ahead for policy control – and sign up for
LRTV Documentaries
Highlights From the 2020 Vision Executive Summit

1|21|15   |   4:33   |   (2) comments


In December 2014, Light Reading brought together telecom executives in Reykjavik, Iceland to discuss their vision for high-capacity networks through the end of the decade. The intimate, interactive meeting was set against the backdrop of Iceland's spectacular natural beauty. As one of the event's founding sponsors, Cisco's Doug Webster shared his company's ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Pay-TV Partner Harmonic, Helping Carriers Accelerate 4K Video Deployment with Huawei

1|20|15   |   5:42   |   (1) comment


At IBC, Peter Alexander, Senior Vice President & CMO at Harmonic, speaks about the growing interest in pay-TV service and its branching into multiple devices.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Sony Marketing Director Olivier Bovis Discusses the Outlook for 4K and Cooperation With Huawei at IBC 2014

1|20|15   |   6:50   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Olivier Bovis, Marketing Director of Sony, speaks about the coming of the 4K era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Pay-TV Partner Envivio, Helping Carriers Accelerate 4K Video Deployment

1|20|15   |   2:57   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Olivier Bovis, Marketing Director of Sony, speaks about the coming of the 4K era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Pay-TV's Networked Future

1|20|15   |   6:29   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Jeff Heynen, Principal Analyst at Infonetics, speaks about the future of the pay-TV industry and its transition.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Jeff Heynen: Distributed Access Will Help MSOs Compete in the Future

1|20|15   |   2:26   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Jeff Heynen, Principal Analyst at Infonetics, speaks about moving to distributed access and the future trend of cable business.
LRTV Interviews
Cisco Talks Transformation

1|20|15   |   13:02   |   (0) comments


In December 2014, Steve Saunders sat down with Cisco VP of Products & Solutions Marketing Doug Webster at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Reykjavik, Iceland. They spoke about Cisco's approach to network virtualization as well as how service providers can begin to monetize high-capacity networks through the end of the decade.
Upcoming Live Events
February 5, 2015, Washington, DC
February 19, 2015, The Fairmont San Jose, San Jose, CA
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
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
September 9-10, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 2-3, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
Infographics
Hot Topics
Google Continues Gigabit Expansion
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 1/27/2015
Comcast Apologizes to 'A**hole' Brown
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 1/29/2015
US Ops Spend $32.5M to Bring 4G to Chicago's Subways
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 1/30/2015
Cablevision's New WiFi Try – Freewheeling Enough?
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 1/26/2015
Overture Builds on NFV Foundation
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 1/27/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Weekly Executive Interview
Join us live for Light Reading's interview with Jay Samit, the newly appointed CEO of publicly traded SeaChange International Inc. With a resume that includes Sony, EMI, and Universal, Samit brings a reputation as an entrepreneur and a disruptor to his new role at the video solutions company. Hear what he has to say about the opportunities in video, as well as the outlook for cable, telco, OTT and mobile service providers.