& cplSiteName &

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
From The Founder
Cisco's Conrad Clemson, recently promoted to head up the company's Service Provider Apps & Platforms developments, talks to Light Reading's Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about how he's bringing cloud video, mobile and virtualization together to empower network operators.
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.
LRTV Custom TV
4.5G Evolution: Peter Zhou on Advanced MIMO Technologies & 5G Business Prep

2|25|17   |     |   (0) comments


In the process of service transformation, operators need to catch three major opportunities and start deploying in 4.5G networks, such as video, household broadband access and digital transformation of vertical industries. 5G is coming. Operators don't need to wait for it to happen but should progressively deploy 4.5G networks by introducing 5G-oriented ...
LRTV Custom TV
What WTTX Can Deliver

2|23|17   |     |   (0) comments


Mohamed Madkour explains the benefits of WTTX while Dimitris Mavrakis discusses the challenges of delivering home broadband access.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei on Mobile Broadband

2|23|17   |     |   (0) comments


Mohamed Madkour shares his vision on MBB for the next three years.
LRTV Custom TV
Analysys Mason Talks About the Future of Digital Operations

2|23|17   |     |   (0) comments


The future of digital operations has three key aspects: 1. Highly automated operations for both service and network; 2. Highly converged BSS/OSS for business and resources; 3. Highly merged management and control for real-time cloud native operations.
LRTV Interviews
Software Trends in the Telecom Sector

2|23|17   |   03:40   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading senior analyst James Crawshaw talks with Telecoms.com Editorial Director Scott Bicheno about trends and developments in the telecoms software sector and what to expect at MWC 2017.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei's Pre-MWC Analyst Briefing 2017 Highlights

2|22|17   |     |   (0) comments


Huawei shares its vision for this year's MWC.
LRTV Interviews
MWC17: 5G, Cloud RAN & More

2|21|17   |   04:35   |   (0) comments


Ovum Senior Analyst Julian Bright talks to Scott Bicheno from Telecoms.com about all things MWC, including Cloud RAN, Huawei's pitch to the industry and the road to 5G.
LRTV Interviews
MWC 2017's Key 2-Letter Terms

2|20|17   |   08:29   |   (1) comment


5G, AI, VR... these are just some of the two-letter terms that will dominate show-floor chat at MWC 2017 in Barcelona, according to these two blow-hards (a.k.a. Scott Bicheno of Telecoms.com and Light Reading's Ray Le Maistre). And then there's PB...
LRTV Interviews
Key Trends for Mobile Operators in Developing Markets

2|20|17   |   06:37   |   (0) comments


Ovum's Matthew Reed talks to Scott Bicheno from Telecoms.com about the challenges and opportunities facing mobile operators in the developing markets of Africa and the Middle East.
LRTV Documentaries
YouTube Takes on Facebook Live-Streaming

2|17|17   |     |   (0) comments


Popular 'YouTubers' will be the first to get the new service on their smartphones. You have been warned.
LRTV Custom TV
Open Source NFV/SDN Automation

2|17|17   |   05:54   |   (0) comments


AT&T ECOMP (Enhanced Control, Orchestration, Management and Policy) code is transitioning into the Linux Foundation for placement into open source. In this video, Carol Wilson provides an update on the maturation of open source ECOMP and meets with industry leaders from AT&T, Bell Canada, Orange, Linux Foundation and Amdocs to discuss what this means for the ...
LRTV Documentaries
Uber & NASA Collaborate on Flying Car Project

2|16|17   |     |   (0) comments


Is Uber for real? Well, it's hired NASA engineer Mark Moore to lead the project, and he wouldn't come cheap.
Upcoming Live Events
March 21-22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
March 22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
March 22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Austin Convention Center - Austin, TX
June 6, 2017, The Joule Hotel, Dallas, TX
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
Uber's HR Nightmare: Company Investigates Sexual Harassment Claims
Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 2/21/2017
Broadband Has a Problem on the Pole
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 2/21/2017
Verizon to Start Fixed 5G Customer Trials in April
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/22/2017
Sprint to Go Gigabit Crazy at MWC!
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/22/2017
MANO Marriage: ECOMP, Open-O Converge as ONAP
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 2/23/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders chats with Sportlogiq CEO Craig Buntin about sports data analysis.
Eyal Waldman, CEO of Mellanox Technologies, speaks to Steve Saunders, CEO of Light Reading, for an exclusive interview about the 100 GB cable challenge, cybersecurity and much more.
Animals with Phones
No One Likes This Click Here
Take a hint!
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.