Light Reading
Bolt Fiber Optic Services, owned by a utility co-op, will bring fiber-based Internet to 32,000 homes in the northeastern portion of the state.

Utility to Go Gigabit in Oklahoma

Jason Meyers
5/29/2014
50%
50%

Bolt Fiber Optic Services, a subsidiary of Northeast Oklahoma Electric Cooperative, has joined the growing ranks of municipal and member-owned utilities vying to extend broadband services to underserved rural regions of the country. The company signaled its intent this week with the selection of Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) as infrastructure supplier and systems integrator for its fiber-to-the-home deployment.

In a three-year, three-phase buildout, the utility intends to cover 3,200 miles of rural northeastern Oklahoma, passing 32,000 homes and delivering speeds of up to 1 Gbit/s over the network, says Sheila Allgood, manager of Bolt Fiber Optic Services. Bolt will function as a separate entity from Northeast Oklahoma Electric Cooperative, but "profit or loss will go back to the co-op," which is owned by its members. The deployment is being funded in part by a $90 million loan from the Rural Utilities Service.

Bolt plans to start offering commercial voice and data services in early 2015, Allgood says, and it intends to keep pricing for its triple-play bundle less than $100 per month for the entry-level 20 Mbit/s option. The utility subsidiary picked Alcatel-Lucent and its gigabit passive optical network (PON) platform because of the company's track record with other US utility fiber network buildouts.

"We have limited experience," she says. "When it comes to video and VoIP services and the massive deployment of rural fiber-to-the-home, we were in way over our head."

Michael Brayen, senior director of business development for the targeted verticals division of Alcatel-Lucent, says it will deploy its end-to-end PON infrastructure and act as systems integrator, providing network design, engineering and installation services, and third-party solutions for the headend, OSS/BSS, fiber mapping, and integration of Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC)'s Mediaroom IPTV middleware. The vendor's platform can run 160 Gbit/s from the optical network terminal back to the router, which should guarantee Bolt the speeds it is promising end customers.

"There's no such thing as future-proofing, but it does give Bolt a fighting chance to grow with demand," Brayen says.

Bolt is already promoting the service at community events and via social media marketing. Allgood says it is asking interested customers to pay the $100 installation fee upfront to help fund the buildout and gauge demand. So far, about 1,600 customers have done so. Some residents even launched their own grassroots efforts to distribute letters to their neighbors' mailboxes encouraging them to sign up -- which incited the wrath of the US Postal Service.

"That tells you that consumers are eager for the service, if they are promoting it themselves so it will get to them first," Allgood says.

— Jason Meyers, Contributing Editor, Light Reading

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
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 Interviews
Liberty Global Sees Business Goldmine

12|18|14   |     |   (0) comments


Steen Sorensen, VP of business services for Liberty Global, explains where the giant international MSO sees growth potential.
LRTV Documentaries
EE: The Road to 5G

12|16|14   |   16:02   |   (1) comment


Andy Sutton, the principal network architect at UK mobile operator EE, explains how his company is using Wembley stadium as a wireless test bed and how that's helping EE to plan the evolution to 5G.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Highlights of Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014

12|16|14   |     |   (0) comments


Huawei hosted its inaugural NFV Open Cloud Forum during the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014 in Düsseldorf, Germany. The Forum brought together technology thought leaders, senior executives and telecom professionals from global carriers, industry associations, as well as other partner companies in the ecosystem, to exchange views on and collectively explore how ...
LRTV Custom TV
Realizing Operators' Digital Vision

12|16|14   |   5:23   |   (0) comments


Leveraging technology is fundamental to digital transformation but understanding customers and serving them really well is at the heart of digital businesses. TM Forum lists the following as the strategic pillars of the digital business: business agility and rapid innovation, operational agility and effectiveness, IT and data centricity, plus customer centricity. ...
LRTV Documentaries
US Cellular Injects Analytics Into LTE

12|16|14   |   2:57   |   (1) comment


US Cellular's Mario Vela explains how the operator uses analytics for network planning and what comes next as the carrier looks to eke more value out of its metrics.
LRTV Interviews
How Cox Biz Plans to Keep Growing

12|15|14   |     |   (1) comment


Steve Rowley, SVP of Cox Business, details how the third-biggest US MSO intends to boost its revenues to $2 billion and beyond over the rest of the decade
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Bill Zhang, Director of SoftCOM Product Management, Huawei

12|15|14   |   2:50   |   (0) comments


Bill Zhang elaborated on Huawei's open philosophy in NFV solution development and network architecture design at the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Event Highlights: Huawei at SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014

12|15|14   |   3:43   |   (0) comments


Huawei joined the 2014 SDN & OpenFlow Congress as one of the key sponsors and contributors. At the event, Huawei reinforced the openness and flexibility of its network infrastructure strategies, and provided updates on its SDN and NVF innovations. Through participations at the exhibitions, forums and speeches, Huawei encouraged the industry to "think bigger and ...
LRTV Interviews
How Cable Biz Services Hit $10B Mark

12|12|14   |     |   (1) comment


Cable operators reached $10 billion in annual business services revenues by delving deeper into their vertical markets and expanding beyond the smallest firms.
LRTV Documentaries
Mediacom Aims to Test Connected Tractors

12|11|14   |   05:07   |   (3) comments


Cable business service provider is taking its services to the 'agribusiness' sector in partnership with farm equipment specialist John Deere and is getting involved in Gigabit Cities developments.
LRTV Interviews
TWC Business Looks Beyond $3B

12|10|14   |     |   (0) comments


TWC Business Services chief Phil Meeks explains how his unit has reached $3 billion in annual revenues and what its plans are for next year.
LRTV Documentaries
AT&T's New Security Strategy

12|10|14   |   02:36   |   (1) comment


AT&T's Chief Security Officer Ed Amoroso explains how his company is wrapping virtual security layers around micro network domains.
Upcoming Live Events
February 10, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Hot Topics
Vodafone to Ride T-Mobile Back Into US
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 12/12/2014
1-Gig: Coming to a Small Town Near You
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 12/17/2014
T-Mobile, BlackBerry Flirt With Reuniting
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 12/17/2014
Gardner's Departure a Cautionary Tale
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 12/12/2014
T-Mobile Lights Up 27 Wideband LTE Cities
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 12/15/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Upcoming Webinars
Webinar Archive