Gigabites: EPB Plans for 100-Gig

Your Gigabit Cities Live edition of Gigabites.

Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video

April 8, 2016

3 Min Read
Gigabites: EPB Plans for 100-Gig

Welcome to a very special episode (er, edition) of Gigabites. This week, EPB lays out its 100-Gig roadmap, schools study their options for gigabit applications, Santa Cruz preps for gigabit wireless and more.

  • If you thought residential Internet speeds would top out at 1 gigabit per second, or even 10 Gbits/s, get ready to adjust to a new broadband milestone. 100-Gig service isn't far away.

    Speaking at Gigabit Cities Live, EPB Fiber Optics executive Colman Keane revealed that 100-Gig speeds are on the company's year-to-year roadmap. That's not hyperbole, and it's not a vague promise of exponential speed increases. EPB created one of the first gigabit cities in the country in Chattanooga and has roughly 6,000 gigabit customers today. It's also among the first companies testing next-generation PON technology and deploying 10-Gig services to both business and residential subscribers. Keane believes the demand for greater broadband capacity will only continue to grow, and EPB plans to be ready when it does. (See Gigabites: EPB Signs First 10-Gig Customer.)

    Keane was also among those at Gigabit Cities Live to share new insights into why gigabit and multi-gigabit speeds are so important. As Keane explained it, speed was used as a proxy for latency when EPB first installed gigabit broadband to power communications in its smart grid network. Total capacity was less important than the ability to ensure fast response times.

    Today, latency continues to be important, but so too is the capacity for running high-bandwidth applications. For example, students in a Chattanooga high school lab are relying on gigabit broadband to learn from scientists at the University of Southern California, and to manipulate a 4K microscope 1,800 miles away. (See Chattanooga Charts Killer Gigabit Apps.)

    According to US Ignite COO Joe Kochan, other schools are interested in emulating the Chattanooga/USC model, and professors in other scientific disciplines are looking at how to share their equipment and expertise in similar ways.

    Kochan also talked about the future ability to offer services like telemedicine in schools, which could give students necessary healthcare consultation and treatment while also keeping them on site on school grounds.

    Broadband that solves education and healthcare problems? It's no wonder EPB is planning for the 100-Gig future.

Learn more about network transformation at our upcoming Big Communications Event in Austin, TX, May 24-25. You can register now.

Not all of this week's gigabit news came from Gigabit Cities Live, though much of it did. (See AT&T GigaPower Ready to RSVP, Charlotte CIO: It's Not Just the Gig Network and Google: Gigabit Hopefuls Need to Do Homework.)

In other headlines:

  • Independent ISP Cruzio is promising to bring gigabit wireless service to Santa Cruz later this year by connecting existing fiber to millimeter wave radios provided by Siklu Communications Ltd. According to officials, the new service will be ready for residents this summer.

    • Cox Communications Inc. has extended its Gigablast gigabit service to customers in Middle Georgia. With plans to offer residential gigabit service across all of its markets by the end of this year, Cox has already deployed Gigablast in parts of Phoenix; Orange County, Calif.; Las Vegas; Baton Rouge; and Omaha.

    • Windstream Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: WIN) is also on a roll. The telco launched gigabit service this week to roughly 35,000 residential and business customers in parts of Nebraska, Kentucky, Texas and North Carolina.

    • BendBroadband doesn't offer gigabit service yet, but the company plans to start a gigabit trial in Oregon later this year using DOCSIS 3.1 technology.

      — Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Mari Silbey

Senior Editor, Cable/Video

Mari Silbey is a senior editor covering broadband infrastructure, video delivery, smart cities and all things cable. Previously, she worked independently for nearly a decade, contributing to trade publications, authoring custom research reports and consulting for a variety of corporate and association clients. Among her storied (and sometimes dubious) achievements, Mari launched the corporate blog for Motorola's Home division way back in 2007, ran a content development program for Limelight Networks and did her best to entertain the video nerd masses as a long-time columnist for the media blog Zatz Not Funny. She is based in Washington, D.C.

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