& cplSiteName &

Grass Roots Fiber Booms

Light Reading
News Analysis
Light Reading
10/6/2003
50%
50%

Forget the RBOCs. When it comes to playing a key role in North American fiber-to-the-premises rollouts, municipalities are the stars.

That's the message behind two access gear contract wins announced today. Allied Telesyn Inc. says a wholesale network backed by the Utah Telecommunications Open Infrastructure Agency (UTOPIA) will be using its residential broadband gateways to provide voice, data, and video services to 18 Utah cities, starting early next year (see Allied Telesyn Gets Into Utopia). The rollout involves about 15,000 homes and businesses.

Separately, Wave7 Optics Inc. announced it will supply access gear to the Jackson (Tennessee) Energy Authority for POTS, IP telephony, video, and high-speed Internet services over a new fiber optic network set to pass over 31,000 homes and businesses (see Wave7 Wins in Jackson).

According to Michael Render, principal of Render Vanderslice & Associates, 180,300 North American homes now have access to fiber service, nearly none of which comes from incumbent telcos.

In contrast, Render says municipalities and public power utilities are responsible for about 32 percent of installed fiber stateside.

"The biggest wins have come from municipalities, utilities, independent telcos, not MSOs or RBOCs," says Michael Wearsch, VP of North American sales at Wave7. Today's announcement represents the company's biggest equipment sale yet, he says.

Today's announcements are among the largest access contract awards to hit the wires lately. But they're part of an ongoing pattern. Most recent equipment awards in the fiber access arena have been for municipal groups or regional utilities, including ones with Optical Solutions Inc. (see Optical Solutions Lights Minnesota) and Alcatel SA (NYSE: ALA; Paris: CGEP:PA) (see Alcatel Wins FTTU Deal).

The two entities in today's news are prime examples. Both UTOPIA and the Jackson Energy Authority reflect state legislation encouraging the creation of local entities responsible for fiber buildouts. This is turn mirrors national emphasis on local or regional initiatives (see FTTH Council Applauds Supremes).

These regional groups have grown out of grassroots demand for better services. Their funding reflects an emphasis on regional development. In UTOPIA's case, the goal of "a publicly owned advanced telecommunications network over the last mile to all homes and businesses within member communities" has been backed by municipal bonds. In Jackson Energy's case, it's part of a utilities conglomerate funded by rate payments.

In contrast, FTTH projects started by regional Bells must compete with the carriers' existing DSL services, and the RBOCs have been reluctant to build out fiber where the promise of big returns may not be immediately guaranteed. Thus, projects appear to be stalled, or at least on a long timeline contingent on evaluations that haven't quite materialized (see SBC Ratchets Up PON Politics).

Meanwhile, RBOCs have found municipal broadband efforts annoying. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) also has questioned the rights of municipalities to offer their own telecom services in several high-profile cases. So far, no RBOC or legislative body has managed to squelch the trend, however, as these contracts indicate.

— Mary Jander, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
From The Founder
Following a recent board meeting, the New IP Agency (NIA) has a new strategy to help accelerate the adoption of NFV capabilities, explains the Agency's Founder and Secretary, Steve Saunders.
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 Interviews
BT's McRae Sheds Light on 4K Strategy

5|25|17   |   4:45   |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's Big Communications Event 2017 in Austin, Texas, BT Group's Chief Network Architect Neil McRae talks about what it took for BT to broadcast live sports in 4K. Catch up with all our BCE coverage at http://www.lightreading.com/bce.asp.
From the Founder
How the NIA Aims to Advance NFV

5|25|17   |   08:07   |   (0) comments


Following a recent board meeting, the New IP Agency (NIA) has a new strategy to help accelerate the adoption of NFV capabilities, explains the Agency's Founder and Secretary, Steve Saunders.
LRTV Custom TV
Better Solutions That Address Growing Scale

5|25|17   |     |   (0) comments


For Comcast, the X1 rollout and 17-fold increases in broadband speeds in the past 16 years are among factors driving the need for Energy 2020 solutions that reduce cost and consumption, says Mark Hess.
LRTV Custom TV
Ethernity Network Delivers Instant Offloading of Network Functions With All-Programmable Intelligent NIC

5|25|17   |     |   (0) comments


David Levi, CEO of Ethernity Networks, explains that programmability of the hardware makes the company's All-Programmable Intelligent NIC uniquely beneficial for communications service providers that need advanced data appliances with agile support of virtualization. Utilizing the company's patented network processing technology, Ethernity offers data path ...
LRTV Documentaries
BCE 2017: Vodafone Gets Obsessed With Cloud-Native

5|25|17   |     |   (0) comments


Vodafone's Matt Beal updates us on Project Ocean and explains why simple virtualization isn't enough of a goal for network transformation. Catch up with other BCE 2017 keynotes and news at http://www.lightreading.com/bce.asp.
LRTV Documentaries
BCE 2017: Intel's Take on Network Transformation

5|24|17   |     |   (0) comments


In this BCE 2017 keynote, Lynn Comp discusses Intel's vision for areas such as analytics, automation and service assurance. For more videos and BCE coverage, see http://www.lightreading.com/bce.asp.
LRTV Documentaries
Order From Chaos: The Steve Saunders BCE Keynote

5|24|17   |   17:27   |   (0) comments


Kicking off BCE 2017, Light Reading founder Steve Saunders lays blame for NFV's slow ramp-up and urges telecom to return to old-fashioned standards building and interoperability testing.
Think of this as the video sequel to the recent columns he's written about NFV and the prospect of a telecom app store. (See

LRTV Documentaries
Service Provider Panel: Partnering in the Digital Era

5|22|17   |     |   (0) comments


Coopetition has always been part of telecom, but the ecosphere now includes data centers, vendors, apps developers, cloud service providers and Internet content providers. This BCE 2017 panel explores the new attitudes among network operators as to the value and variety of ...
LRTV Interviews
Site Demo: AT&T's IoT Flow Platform

5|19|17   |   04:25   |   (0) comments


At AT&T's R&D center in Tel Aviv, Israel, project leader Eyal Segev talks about the operator's Flow platform and how it helps to prototype IoT applications.
LRTV Documentaries
Agent of Change: A Q&A With AT&T's John Donovan

5|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


Carol Wilson talks with the man leading AT&T's transformation efforts about the challenge of change.
LRTV Documentaries
BCE Service Provider Panel: The New Business Realities

5|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


For virtualization to happen, the telecom industry first has to grapple with key functional aspects of SDN and NFV that need to be universal, such as onboarding of virtualized network functions and federation of software-defined networks.
LRTV Interviews
BCE Service Provider Keynote: CenturyLink

5|16|17   |   22:32   |   (0) comments


Aamir Hussain leads the Product Development and Technology organization at CenturyLink, which includes the company's information technology function. He is an experienced senior technology executive with more than 25 years of proven success in the implementation of global technology operations, operationalization of complex technology, infrastructures and business ...
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
Cities Clamor for More Clout at FCC
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/23/2017
What's Blocking 4K TV Today
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 5/22/2017
Sonus & Genband Finally Combine to Form $745M Company
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 5/23/2017
Apple Looking to Cook 5G Test Devices
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 5/24/2017
Fright Wigs & Cocktails: BCE 2017 in Pics
Mitch Wagner, Editor, Enterprise Cloud, 5/19/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
One of the nice bits of my job (other than the teeny tiny salary, obviously) is that I get to pick and choose who I interview for this slot on the Light Reading home ...
TEOCO Founder and CEO Atul Jain talks to Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the challenges around cost control and service monetization in the mobile and IoT sectors.
Animals with Phones
What Brogrammers Look Like to the Rest of Us Click Here
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.