Light Reading
The service provider is using LTE to provide broadband connectivity in rural Vermont and building out a FTTH network.

VTel Turns Up LTE, Gigabit Networks

Jason Meyers
7/7/2014
50%
50%

VTel has delivered a one-two broadband punch to rural Vermont, launching both a wireless broadband offering over LTE and completing the first leg of a fiber-to-the-home buildout.

Vermont Telephone Company Inc. (VTel) is the incumbent carrier in 14 towns in southern Vermont and also operates a 1400-mile long-haul fiber network across the state. VTel's wireless holdings extend beyond the company's ILEC territory, reaching about 20,000 rural homes and businesses across the state over both 700 MHz and AWS spectrum, says Diane Guité, vice president of business development for VTel.

On the mobile network side, the company is using its spectrum cache and a partnership with Sprint to offer broadband wireless over its LTE network, operating under the assumption that residents in rural Vermont are starved for high-speed connectivity more than anything.

Service over the VTel Wireless LTE network is provided through an indoor router, or via a SIM card in a customer's existing smartphone or tablet or an unlocked (and not subsidized) device that customers can purchase from VTel. Pricing ranges from $10 for 1 GB of data usage to $90 per month for 50 GB. Download speeds vary, but the network theoretically can achieve download speeds of 100 Mbit/s, Guité says.

"It's really a wide range of speeds considering that there are so many factors involved -- how close customers live to a tower, and how many people are on the network at once," she says.

VTel Wireless is one of the rural operators that signed on as LTE partners with Sprint earlier this year to help extend broadband access to rural America, and Guité says Sprint has shared its technology deployment and pricing formats and provided the rural operator with access to LTE devices. (See Sprint Adds First 12 LTE Rural Roaming Partners.)

"Sprint has put down a blueprint for how to do that deployment that it's offering to rural partners," says Gabriel Brown, senior analyst for Heavy Reading, adding that the LTE connections will be a vast improvement for customers in VTel's territory that previously had no broadband access at all. "If you're going from dial-up to LTE, even with modest performance it's going to be like night and day."

VTel plans to add a voice offering to its LTE network, but is waiting for more device availability, Guité says.

"We are ready to rock with VoLTE -- the problem we're having is that we can't get devices," she says. "Nobody is selling us handsets -- nobody has them available."

VTel has also completed about one quarter of its planned FTTH network, reaching 4,000 of a planned 16,000 potential customers, Guité says. The service, called GigE Active Fiber, will make triple-play services and connections of up to 1 Gbit/s available within the carrier's ILEC territory. VTel is offering TV services but would prefer not to, echoing a sentiment that other entities deploying gigabit networks have voiced. (See Colorado Gigabit Network Shuns Video, Embraces OTT.)

"We'll sell TV because everyone seems to want it, but we hate being in the TV business because of the crazy costs," Guité says. "We tell customers they can buy it if they want, but we're encouraging them to just do broadband and we'll show them how to set up a Roku or something like that."

Both the LTE and FTTH deployments are results of $160 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, for which VTel was the largest single recipient to date, Guité says. About 70 percent of the funding -- which was a combination of Rural Utilities Service and National Telecommunications Information Administration grants, federal loans and VTel matching investments -- was designated for the fiber build, and the remaining 30 percent was to fund the statewide LTE network, she says.

— Jason Meyers, Utility Communications Editor, Light Reading

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
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 Custom TV
Using Service Quality to Drive WiFi Monetization

10|22|14   |   6:51   |   (0) comments


Live from the SCTE conference: Heavy Reading's Alan Breznick explores the forces shaping the WiFi opportunity in an interview with CableLabs' Justin Colwell and Amdocs' Ken Roulier.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed Access Architectures – 2

10|21|14   |   8:51:00 AM   |   (0) comments


ARRIS CTO Network Solutions Tom Cloonan discusses why many if not most MSOs will continue with integrated CCAP, while addressing why some are also looking at two futuristic, distributed access architectures: Remote PHY and Remote CCAP.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed Access Architectures – 1

10|21|14   |   9:01   |   (0) comments


SCTE Sr. Director of Engineering Dean Stoneback discusses the pros and cons of distributed access architecture (DAA) and its various forms, which range from basic Remote PHY to full CMTS functionality in the node.
LRTV Custom TV
The WiFi Road to Riches – 2

10|21|14   |   3:58   |   (0) comments


ARRIS Senior Solution Architect Eli Baruch talks about how MSOs can enable public and community WiFi through 1) outdoor access points, 2) businesses seeking to offer WiFi to customers, and 3) residential WiFi gateway extensions.
LRTV Custom TV
The WiFi Road to Riches – 1

10|21|14   |   10:15   |   (0) comments


SCTE Director of Advanced Technologies Steve Harris discusses WiFi deployments, drivers, challenges and advances, including 802.11ac, carrier-grade WiFi, community WiFi, Hotspot 2.0, Passpoint, WiFi-First and voice-over-WiFi.
LRTV Custom TV
Advantech Accelerates 100G Traffic Handling

10|17|14   |   7:56   |   (0) comments


Paul Stevens from Advantech explains why handling 100GbE needs a whole new platform design approach and how Advantech is addressing the needs of equipment providers and carriers to give them the flexibility and performance they will need for SDN and NFV deployment.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Holland's Imtech Traffic & Infra Discusses Huawei's ICT Solution and Services

10|16|14   |   4:49   |   (0) comments


Dimitry Theebe is from the business unit at Imtech Traffic & Infra which delivers communications solutions for transportations. His partnershp with Huawei began about a years ago. In this video, Theebe speaks more about this partnership and what he hopes to accomplish with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Comprehensive Storage Solutions Vital for SVR

10|16|14   |   6:16   |   (0) comments


SVR Information Technology provides cloud services for academic and special sectors. With Huawei's support, SVR and Yildiz Technical University has established Turkey's largest and most advanced High Performance Computing system. CSO Ismail Cem Aslan talks about what he hopes Huawei's OceanStor storage system will bring for him.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Mexico's Servitron's Impression of Huawei at CCW 2014

10|16|14   |   6:35   |   (0) comments


Servitron is a network operator in Mexico that has been in the trunking industry for the past 20 years. Its COO, Ing. Ragnar Trillo O., explains at Critical Communications World 2014 that his company has been interested in the long-term evolution of LTE technology and its adoption for TETRA.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Building a Better Dubai

10|16|14   |   2:06   |   (0) comments


Abdulla Ahmed Al Falasi is the director of commercial affairs, a telecommunications coordinator for the government of Dubai. Their areas of service span across multiple industries, including police, safety, shopping malls and more. In this video, Abdulla talks about his department's work with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Lights Up Malaysia Partner Maju Nusa

10|16|14   |   1:59   |   (0) comments


Malaysia's Maju Nusa is an enterprise partner to Huawei in networking, route switches and telco equipment. At this year's Critical Communications World in Singapore, CTO Pushpender Singh talks about what Huawei's eLTE solutions mean to his company and for Malaysia.
LRTV Custom TV
Evolving From HFC to FTTH Networks

10|15|14   |   2:19   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Todd McCrum delves into the future of cable's HFC plant, examining how DOCSIS 3.1 and advanced video compression will extend its life and how the IP video transition will usher in GPON and EPON over FTTH.
Upcoming Live Events
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
WhoIsHostingThis.com presents six of the world's most extreme WiFi hotspots, enabling the most epic selfies you can imagine.
Hot Topics
Analysts Warn of Major NFV Gaps
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/22/2014
Is Health the Killer App for the IoT?
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 10/22/2014
Drones Hover Over the IoT Sector
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 10/23/2014
Roku Raises $25M, But for What?
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/23/2014
1959 Newsreel: Make Phone Calls – From Cars!
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 10/24/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed