HomeNet Launches TriplePlay on IProvo

HomeNet Communications Inc., the first provider offering triple-play services on the IProvo network, flipped the switch on Tuesday, lighting up the first phase of the municipal fiber project in Provo, Utah.

HomeNet will offer integrated voice, video, and data packages that include high-speed Internet connections with speeds of up to 10 Mbit/s, digital television with video-on-demand (VOD) capabilities, and VOIP phone services. Cost for entry-level integrated triple-play services will range from $89.99 to $124.99 per month.

HomeNet’s services will be available to all of the 3,000-plus households in Provo’s Grandview neighborhood by January 2005, where more than 250 homes have been testing the service since early this year. The iProvo project is scheduled for completion in July 2006.

IProvo is just one of numerous municipal fiber-to-the-premises projects under construction throughout the country. Many communities, particularly in rural areas, have started building and financing their own fiber networks, because incumbent phone companies and cable providers have been reluctant to introduce cutting-edge services in areas that aren’t as densely populated. City-owned fiber networks also act as an incentive to lure businesses to an area.

Not everyone is thrilled that a city would want to improve itself by bettering its infrastructure. “We think it’s improper for the government to gamble with taxpayer dollars to compete with private industry,” says Vince Hancock, Qwest Communications International Inc.’s (NYSE: Q) spokesperson for the Utah, Montana, and New Mexico regions. “Especially when the services are already being offered in the private sector.”

Hancock counters the assertion that carriers aren’t reaching the areas that demand services. “The question is: ‘What is not being provided that customers are demanding?’” he says. “Big carriers have tended to fight the trend" of municipally-owned fiber networks, says Mike Render, principle of market research and consulting firm Render, Vanderslice & Associates. “In my opinion, it’s not a particularly big threat to them, because it’s a relatively small portion of the market, usually in areas where there are lower population densities where MSOs and major carriers are not coming in early.”

Qwest’s Hancock wonders what will happen when a larger municipality decides to build its own network. “If government networks are being supported by public dollars, then they have many essential advantages,” he says. “As a corporation, we pay taxes and we’re having our tax dollars used to compete against us. That’s unfair.”

He also points out that there is no pressure for municipalities to make a profit. “I challenge you to find a municipally-owned network that is profitable,” he says. Their job is to break even so they’re not spending taxpayer money.” Another project being worked on in Utah, the Utah Telecommunication Open Infrastructure Agency (UTOPIA), is one of the first municipally-owned networks to adopt a wholesale business model where cities participating pay to build the network and own the infrastructure, which is then leased to different providers (see Utopia Launches Phase I). Utopia is in its first phase of construction, which will connect more than 50,000 homes and business in portions of six cities in Salt Lake and Utah counties. The long-term goal of the project is to connect 11 to 14 cities that have pledged funding to the project.

”Many of these municipalities developing these networks do it out of the need for economic development and to keep human capital in the area,” Render says. “As one said when we interviewed them, ‘We were bypassed by the interstate, but we’re not going to miss out on the information superhighway.’” — Chris Somerville, Senior Editor, NGS

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firstmiler 12/5/2012 | 12:59:25 AM
re: HomeNet Launches TriplePlay on IProvo How can HD consume more than 100mb full duplex any time soon? At most an HD channel is 18mb so at 4 TVs simultaneously watching unique streams you are looking at 80mbps leaving 20mbps for data, voice and other.

Wouldn't there likely be an option for a user to upgrade to 1GB.... they do have fiber all the way to their premises after all.

mrdid13 12/5/2012 | 12:59:27 AM
re: HomeNet Launches TriplePlay on IProvo Hi people...I'm back again. I saw a comment about FTTH having reached "adolescence" and others citing the fact that the technology has "arrived" and I am sort of at a loss as to why some of you are even thinking in such a manner.

After the fiasco perpetrated on certain un-named carriers regarding the RF-overlay scenario provided by a certain northern California DLC/FTTH equipment provider using a PON architecture, it appears as though Alcatel will end up on the winning side of the equation.

I recently had a chat with an old buddy at SBC and learned three things. 1) The 'LightSpeed' FTTH project is going gangbusters (if a snail's pace can be considered in that way), 2) 3,000 positions were just named as 'surplus' two weeks ago and 3) 7,000 positions are to be eliminated during calendar year '05. What this tells me is that SBC wants to eliminate positions so that it has some additional cash to move forward with this sort of technology deployment. It also means that a lot of my old friends are going to end up out of work....'cest la vie...

Anyway, to get to the point....PON-based FTTH services are indeed in their adolescent stage. With Wave7, Optical Solutions, Alcatel, AFC, Arris and a few others installing their gear around the country, there is enough of it out there to no longer refer to it as a bleeding edge technology. Many of the bugs have been worked out of it and all we really need are larger scale deployments to say that the technology is on the road to success. Yes, a few of the RBOCs are playing with the gear and that's cool, but its such a slow and painstaking deployment schedule. Companies like Frontier, TDS and Century have the same problem....money. It costs plenty to build an overlay network.... but though it costs less to deploy in greenfields, how many new subdivisions do you see popping up outside of Lima, Ohio or in the corn patches surrounding Leaf River, Illinois?

Most of what I hear is that both fiber and copper are being run into the greenfields because once the hole is in the ground, what you drop in the hole is peanuts per running foot in comparison to the effort/cost of digging the trench.

And guess what, there are better ways of delivering services if you need to open the ground up....why settle for 100mbps? That is the part of the technology that isn't adolescent, its antiquated! How many of you have more than two or three kids and more than two or three TVs? Does anyone in this situation ever end up watching the same channel? How many of your kids multitask and play online games while watching the TV? Lots of new things to do with that bandwidth....

100 meg a sec might not be enough if HD is in the mix. Too....I don't care about ADSL2+ because the bandwidth is still only good out to 9 kft.....I still chuckle when I hear the xDSL discussion and yes, it works, but heck....I'm 22kft from the CO and though I am only 3,800 feet away, they don't plan on putting DSL into my optically-fed remote for two more years.... Yaweh only knows if there is an optical overlay planned to supercede the DSL deployment.

If someone is going to lay down the fiber, I want it ALL...big bandwidth...622 meg like the stuff that Phoenix-Lite (www.phoenix-lite.com)and others in that orchestra pit are fiddling with. Make it worth my while. Give me a plug and play solution. I know its got to be out there somewhere. The bits and pieces might have to come from three or four manufacturers but boys and girls...its time to get together and get those interoperability tests happening and those FOAs running in live environments.

I want my MTV HD (and my Dicovery HD, and my HBO HD, and on and on and on)....not to mention my VoIP and all the other goodies that automate the home and do security and lighting and heck....I don't want to pay an arm and a leg....maybe sometime in perhaps 2007 or maybe 2008. That should give all of you a few years to get your act together.
rjmcmahon 12/5/2012 | 12:59:32 AM
re: HomeNet Launches TriplePlay on IProvo It's interesting to note that today's San Jose Mercury News printed an article about WiFi cities, while places like Provo are figuring out how to deploy fiber and real broadband. It's hard to believe that Silicon Valley isn't taking an active and leadership role in this area.


The 'hot city'


By Sam Diaz

Mercury News

Going online from ``hotspots'' at the airport, Starbucks or McDonald's was a major breakthrough in Internet technology. Now, the next generation of wireless Web surfing is happening in ``hot zones,'' which are popping up in unlikely places.
rjmcmahon 12/5/2012 | 12:59:40 AM
re: HomeNet Launches TriplePlay on IProvo If you look at their web site... www.gohomenet.net it appears that they are offering IPTV and it would be very inefficient to do anything but IP Multicast for this type of service.

Thanks for the pointer.

I had thought they used WWP equipment and that the WWP equipment was being designed in a way that it carried the broadcast video on a separate wavelength (separate from IP). Looking at the WWP site does show their access portal as supporting IGMP. It seems I was mistaken and that traditional bcast TV is being carried over IP mcast.

Also, does the HomeNet's PVR offering require a storage device on customer premise or is it done on a centralized server? If done on premise, is it a device per TV setup or can the disk storage be a device adjunct to the access portal?

Finally, it's interesting to notice the difference in content providers between HomeNet's offerings and that of Akimbo. http://www.akimbo.com Neither have the diversity that is available on the WWW. It seems like the first one to get to that kind of diversity supported by the WWW wins.
firstmiler 12/5/2012 | 12:59:41 AM
re: HomeNet Launches TriplePlay on IProvo "Does HomeNet use IP multicast for any of its retail offerings?"

If you look at their web site... www.gohomenet.net it appears that they are offering IPTV and it would be very inefficient to do anything but IP Multicast for this type of service.

rjmcmahon 12/5/2012 | 12:59:42 AM
re: HomeNet Launches TriplePlay on IProvo Does HomeNet use IP multicast for any of its retail offerings?
rjmcmahon 12/5/2012 | 12:59:42 AM
re: HomeNet Launches TriplePlay on IProvo For me, the signal of FTTH arrival is when somebody connects a fiber to my house on the one side and to an internet colocation facility on the other side. Also, the bits on the fiber need to be transmitted at speeds which modern technology allows. Finally, the cost to me should be reasonable.
GreyPonyTail 12/5/2012 | 12:59:42 AM
re: HomeNet Launches TriplePlay on IProvo Triple Play over copper loops or FTTH are finally arriving and becoming a reality. Access speeds from the home to the Access Network using ADSL2+ (for Copper) can have bandwidth up to 28 Mb/s or lower depending on loop length. FTTH should reach 100 MB/s using 100BX. Handling 3000 homes of collective bandwidth back at the CO / Data Center is no small feat. Check out www.pannaway.com for insight on kewl solutions to make this a reality.

Subscribers of service offered by Municipalities and Rural ILEC's are tired of being in the dark ages and are ready for Triple Play even if just for the Video content alone. Qwest can go pound sand with their poor service, threat to markets they ignored and whinie comments about their tax dollars working against them.
lastmile 12/5/2012 | 12:59:45 AM
re: HomeNet Launches TriplePlay on IProvo A small company like Vonage triggered commercial VOIP.
Similarly, FTTH is beyond adolesence because because small players will trigger the "arrival" of FTTH as a bonafide market.

firstmiler 12/5/2012 | 12:59:47 AM
re: HomeNet Launches TriplePlay on IProvo Of the many projects both municipal and commercial that have been launched or announced, which is the one that triggers the "arrival" of FTTH as a bonafide market?

Is FTTH beyond adolesence?
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