Light Reading

Time Warner Cable's Fiber-licious RFI

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
2/6/2009
50%
50%

Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) has issued a request for information (RFI) that aims to take a deep, hard look at next-gen fiber-to-the-home architectures for so-called "greenfield" areas and multiple-dwelling unit (MDU) environments, and to support high-end, business-class services.

Cable Digital News has learned from multiple industry sources familiar with the RFI that the MSO sought out a raft of information about current gear, pricing details, and product roadmaps for RF over Glass (RFOG), EPON, 10-Gig EPON, and a "Docsis management plane" that would enable these fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) networks to speak the same language as the operator's existing Docsis OSS (operations support system).

RFOG is an emerging Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) standard that enables cable operators to push fiber all the way to the premises, but also allows them to preserve their headends and to continue using the same digital set-tops, Docsis cable modems, and embedded multimedia terminal adapters (E-MTAs) they already deploy on their hybrid fiber/coax (HFC) networks. A small adapter on the side of the home or business handles the optical to electrical conversion. (See RFOG Comes Rolling In , Lifting the Fog on RFOG, Fog Lifting on RFOG, and SCTE Moves on RFOG.)

As envisioned, RFOG enables MSOs to bid for some new housing developments that require FTTP infrastructures, and allows operators to extend services to rural areas that previously were not economically reachable with HFC. But RFOG doesn't give MSOs much of a capacity boost. That's where EPON and 10-Gig EPON extensions could come in.

TWC is said to be partial to RFOG with EPON-based enhancements, particularly for business services, because the EPON is considered to be more compatible with Docsis than GPON is. Additionally, EPON standards are developed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. (IEEE) , said to be more "cable friendly" than the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) , which is linked to GPON. Other operators, however, have not ruled out GPON as a component of their next-gen fiber strategies.

Time Warner Cable declined to comment about the RFI, noting only that as far as RFOG and other fiber-based network architectures go, "we're looking into those technologies."

But a source who has seen the RFI says the MSO is "interested in RFOG for both business and residential and MDU [environments], and EPON or 10Gig EPON to supply more bandwidth to all of those applications. But the first driver is probably business services."

That last comment shouldn't come as a big surprise. Earlier this week, TWC execs said commercial services represent the growth engine with the most near-term potential. To that end, the MSO is throwing more resources at the initiative, going as far as hiring an executive to take up the biz-service mantle in each of its regions. (See TWC Tees Up More Meters and Time Warner Cable Subs Growth Slows in Q4 .)

Time Warner Cable, we're told, issued the request in early December, giving suppliers just a couple of weeks to scramble and submit their documents just prior to a pre-Christmas deadline. It's not known how many vendors responded, but sources say several suppliers teamed up with others for some submissions.

This list is not exhaustive, but the following vendors are likely to have participated in the RFI individually or in combination with partners: Alloptic Inc. , Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS), Aurora Networks Inc. , Calix Networks Inc. (NYSE: CALX), Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), CommScope Inc. , Harmonic Inc. (Nasdaq: HLIT), Hitachi Telecom (USA) Inc. , Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT), and Salira Systems Inc.

With that information now in hand, what will Time Warner Cable do about it? Industry insiders say it's not clear if the MSO will follow up with a formal request for proposal (RFP), but the expectation is that TWC is interested in conducting tests and trials later this year, with some initial deployments possible in 2010. The operator is also expected to use the RFI process to whittle down its number of approved vendors. On the optical network unit (ONU) front, the MSO wants to have access to interoperable devices from a handful of suppliers.

Although Time Warner Cable has yet to endorse RFOG and new FTTP architectures in the form of deployments, it is the largest U.S. MSO to give this much attention to the idea. Last year, Cox Communications Inc. issued a fiber RFI of its own. (See Cox Flirts With Fiber .) In the meantime, several small- and mid-sized operators have started to deploy RFOG or some form of FTTP where it's been needed, including Armstrong Cable , BendBroadband , Bresnan Communications LLC , Bright House Networks , Cable ONE Inc. , Sunflower Broadband , and NPG Cable Inc.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Jeff Baumgartner
50%
50%
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:12:15 PM
re: Time Warner Cable's Fiber-licious RFI
http://www.fiercetelecom.com/s...
Jeff Baumgartner
50%
50%
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:12:12 PM
re: Time Warner Cable's Fiber-licious RFI
http://www.dslreports.com/show...
From The Founder
Against the odds, Huawei is growing its telecoms networking equipment business in the US -- that should be ringing some alarm bells for domestic vendors.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Jeff Miller, ActiveVideo

8|28|15   |   19:05   |   (0) comments


Jeff Miller, President and CEO of ActiveVideo, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the impact of virtualization on the TV and video distribution market.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Vodafone: Mobile Money Is About Customer Trust

8|27|15   |   06.36   |   (0) comments


Light Reading spoke with Vodafone's Ian Ravenscroft about the unique responsibilities and opportunities facing operators handling customers' financial transactions over the network.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Palo Alto Networks on Expanding in the Carrier/Service Provider Market

8|26|15   |   07:54   |   (0) comments


Alfred Lee from Palo Alto Networks tells Steve Saunders about their new chassis-based system, the PA-7080, and how it can benefit service providers compared to legacy firewalls.
LRTV Custom TV
Global Services Forum Preview

8|25|15   |   02:36   |   (0) comments


Light Reading's CEO and Founder Steve Saunders talks about Huawei's upcoming Global Services Forum with the help of Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan and Teresa Mastrangelo.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Infoblox on DNS Threat Index

8|19|15   |   04:39   |   (0) comments


Dilip Pillaipakam from Infoblox talks to Steve Saunders about his company's core network services.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Ihab Tarazi, Equinix

8|14|15   |   20:18   |   (1) comment


Equinix CTO Ihab Tarazi talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the dramatic changes in the data center, cloud and interconnect markets and discusses the impact of SDN and NFV in the coming years.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
The Netformx Ecosystem

8|14|15   |   09:39   |   (1) comment


Ittai Bareket, CEO of Netformx, talks with Steve Saunders about the Netformx Ecosystem, which employs cutting-edge prescriptive analytics to help solution providers maximize profits.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Versa Networks on Leveraging VNFs

8|12|15   |   07:37   |   (0) comments


Kumar Mehta, founder and CEO of stealth mode startup Versa Networks, talks with Steve Saunders about how providers can best leverage virtualized network functions (VNFs).
LRTV Custom TV
Transforming the Network Through OPNFV

8|5|15   |   7:09   |   (0) comments


Sandra Rivera, VP Data Center Group; GM Network Platforms Group, Intel Corporation, on OPNFV Arno and how the industry is coming together to accelerate the deployment of NFV and transform the network.
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.
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
December 2, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Cisco's cloud and virtualization portfolio can increase business agility and innovation by building a more flexible network architecture.
Hot Topics
Verizon Hums a Driving Tune
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 8/26/2015
Gogo Approved to Speed Up In-Flight WiFi
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 8/24/2015
Could Market Volatility Hurt Tech IPOs?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 8/24/2015
Sprint's Claure: '3 to 5 Years' to Turnaround
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 8/25/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
September 22, 2015
Media Begins With “Me”
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Jeff Miller, President and CEO of ActiveVideo, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the impact of virtualization on the TV and video distribution market.
Equinix CTO Ihab Tarazi talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about data center, cloud and the impact of virtualization in the coming years.
Cats with Phones
Cats Are a Smartphone's Best Friend Click Here
Whoever said cats didn't live to please their humans?