& cplSiteName &

Utility Brings Gigabit to Oregon Town

Jason Meyers
1/5/2015
50%
50%

Sandy, Ore., a small town about 25 miles east of Portland, has joined the growing ranks of communities across the US whose residents can get ultra-high-speed broadband from an entity that's neither a telco nor cable provider.

Sandy is a Gigabit City thanks to SandyNet Fiber , the fiber-to-the-home network operated by the City of Sandy's municipally owned utility. SandyNet is in the process of extending its four-year-old fiber network to pass all 4,000 of the community's homes, making symmetrical broadband offerings of both 100 Mbit/s and 1 Gbit/s available to all 10,000 city residents.

As with many smaller communities in the US, the muni utility is stepping in where commercial broadband providers haven't -- in Sandy's case, for more than 13 years. (See 1-Gig: Coming to a Small Town Near You and Are Utilities Really Gigabit Players?)

"We started out because we couldn't get a DSL line at city hall," says Joe Knapp, IT director for the City of Sandy and general manager of SandyNet. The utility first built a 900MHz wireless network, then WiFi, then a wireless mesh network to connect residents to broadband, he says. "That became so popular that we took about 40% of the market with wireless, but that was a hard thing to sustain."

The City of Sandy built a fiber network to connect municipal buildings about four years ago, so it decided to extend that to residents starting in May 2014. The first homes were connected by late September.

"We started to realize that a lot of communities are doing this," Knapp says. "It took three years of beating my head against the wall to finally get it to happen."


For the latest on urban network innovation, visit Light Reading's dedicated Gigabit Cities content channel. And watch for forthcoming details on Light Reading's Gigabit Cities Live event, to be held in May 2015 in Atlanta.


SandyNet is deploying Calix Inc. (NYSE: CALX)'s E7-2 Ethernet Service Access Platform and 844G GigaCenters, which use 802.11ac Wave 2 WiFi. SandyNet is offering voice and video in addition to ultra-high-speed broadband. The 100Mbit/s data package is $39.95 with no caps and restrictions, and the 1-Gig package is $59.95. SandyNet has connected 280 homes to date.

Despite the network's capability, Knapp doesn't really view SandyNet as a competitive broadband entity. "We're not good salesmen," Knapp says. "As a muni network, we view this as trying to benefit the community. I tell them to try the 100-Meg service first -- we're actually not pushing the gig that hard."

As for the economic development benefits of gigabit networks touted by many municipalities, Knapp says the utility's 100% underground fiber network means that connecting businesses is more complex and more expensive, but that Sandy is working on a solution.

"There's very little disturbance of concrete and asphalt in residential areas, but in a business installation, I can guarantee you I have to pull at least one sidewalk panel," he says. "It makes it tremendously more expensive. We're circling the wagons to see how we can get the service more affordable for smaller businesses."

Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, Light Reading

(8)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
VictorRBlake
50%
50%
VictorRBlake,
User Rank: Moderator
1/7/2015 | 6:56:26 PM
details
Sounds great. Thanks for filling in the details. Have you published how many subs ?
joeknapp
100%
0%
joeknapp,
User Rank: Light Beer
1/6/2015 | 7:47:54 PM
Re: Transit ?
We are very fortunate to be well connected for a small community. Largely in part to the CBX project that clackamas county did with a BTOP grant. We have diverse dark fiber paths out of Sandy that makes procuring transit very easy and affordable. Currently we have 4Gbps of aggregate transit on 3 ISPs and NWAX. We are working on upgrading several of those connections to 10Gbps. Also, we used a distributed splitter model on our outside plant infrastructure. This makes over subscription on the OLT ports less of a problem as we will rarely have 32 customers on a port as we would have to get 100% of the customers in a splitter serving area to reach that. So to answer your question, when we say Gigabit we mean gigabit.
brooks7
100%
0%
brooks7,
User Rank: Light Sabre
1/6/2015 | 11:44:11 AM
Re: Transit ?
Wait...stop...

This is true even at the big providers and it starts way before you get to a Transit ISP.

The OLT itself will be oversubxcribed.  In the best case FiOS is oversubscribed physically by 7:1.  On top of that services can be oversubscribed on the PON itself (using DBA).  And all of this is in the upstream where oversubscription rates are lower.

But this is the whole point of the problem with the way we sell/price things and Net Neutrality.  The end access customer pays for the bit rate provisioned at the Access Point.  The service is Best Effort.  This means improvement in the mid-mile - metro - long haul are all free to the user.  This was fine with everyone while we were looking at web pages and reading email.  The usage rate of ports was extremely low.  Faster access sometimes lowered congestion as the pipes at the edge emptied quicker.  Now move on to streaming.  This type of constant connectivity raises the usage time of all the ports and thus starts raising the average bit rate per user dramatically.  

Why do you think we pay a whole lot less for a Broadband Connection than for a Leased Connection of the same Access Bit Rate?  It is not just lower equipment costs....its lower actual costs from oversubscription.

 

seven

 
jasonmeyers
50%
50%
jasonmeyers,
User Rank: Blogger
1/6/2015 | 10:07:51 AM
Re: Transit ?
That's interesting, and not something I have discussed with these smaller providers. I will circle back with them and see what I can find out. Thanks.
VictorRBlake
50%
50%
VictorRBlake,
User Rank: Moderator
1/6/2015 | 9:41:21 AM
Re: Transit ?
The first question would be what access rate they are provisioning. Even if you have 1GigE dedicated (or shared on GPON as appears to be the case with the E7), you can set the access rate (XMbps). But my point was what is the total number of subs and what is their transit capacity. If their upstream ISP (aka transit service provider) is providing them 1Gbps for example and they are serving 10,000 customers even with a nice statistical distribution, what you've got is far less than 1Gbps.

I'm not even talking about Internet performance (which is out of most anyone's hands), I'm just talking about gross transit capacity as a ratio to subscribers. And unlike a large scale operate where some percentage of traffic will stay on-net (say Comcast, TWC, VZ, etc.), there is likely to be close to zero on-net traffic that doesn't go through a transit ISP in a smaller scale implementation such as described there.
jasonmeyers
50%
50%
jasonmeyers,
User Rank: Blogger
1/5/2015 | 10:53:17 PM
Re: Transit ?
Sorry, I'm not really understanding your post. Are you saying you think customers are not really getting a gigabit?
VictorRBlake
50%
50%
VictorRBlake,
User Rank: Moderator
1/5/2015 | 7:38:46 PM
Transit ?
Gotta wonder (out loud) just how much transit cap they have when they are selling a "Gigabit Ethernet" service in a small town. That's like saying folks have GigE to their desktop (when they do) at work, but they only have a DSL service with 5Mbps for access serving the whole office. A bit misleading ...
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
1/5/2015 | 6:03:46 PM
John Cougar Mellencamp would be pleased
Seems like if you want gigabit Ethernet you're better off living in a small town. 
Featured Video
From The Founder
Light Reading founder Steve Saunders grills Cisco's Roland Acra on how he's bringing automation to life inside the data center.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
February 26-28, 2018, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA
March 20-22, 2018, Denver Marriott Tech Center
April 4, 2018, The Westin Dallas Downtown, Dallas
May 14-17, 2018, Austin Convention Center
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
SmartNICs aren't just about achieving scale. They also have a major impact in reducing CAPEX and OPEX requirements.
Hot Topics
Project AirGig Goes Down to Georgia
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 12/13/2017
Here's Pai in Your Eye
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 12/11/2017
Verizon's New Fios TV Is No More
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 12/12/2017
Ericsson & Samsung to Supply Verizon With Fixed 5G Gear
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 12/11/2017
Juniper Turns Contrail Into a Platform for Multicloud
Craig Matsumoto, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading, 12/12/2017
Animals with Phones
Don't Fall Asleep on the Job! Click Here
Live Digital Audio

Understanding the full experience of women in technology requires starting at the collegiate level (or sooner) and studying the technologies women are involved with, company cultures they're part of and personal experiences of individuals.

During this WiC radio show, we will talk with Nicole Engelbert, the director of Research & Analysis for Ovum Technology and a 23-year telecom industry veteran, about her experiences and perspectives on women in tech. Engelbert covers infrastructure, applications and industries for Ovum, but she is also involved in the research firm's higher education team and has helped colleges and universities globally leverage technology as a strategy for improving recruitment, retention and graduation performance.

She will share her unique insight into the collegiate level, where women pursuing engineering and STEM-related degrees is dwindling. Engelbert will also reveal new, original Ovum research on the topics of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, security and augmented reality, as well as discuss what each of those technologies might mean for women in our field. As always, we'll also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air and chat board.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed