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Ritter's CTO on the future of fiber, HFC, video and (maybe) mobile

Victor Esposito, Ritter Communications' new CTO, says the company's fiber expansion is a top priority, even as the operator spruces up its HFC network and mulls the future role of video. Ritter is also exploring a mobile bundle strategy.

Jeff Baumgartner

January 26, 2024

At a Glance

  • A review of Esposito's priorities at Ritter, which start with the fiber footprint expansion (8:50)
  • Details on 'Project Lightspeed,' Ritter's HFC network upgrade initiative (10:30)
  • Adding mobile to the bundle is an 'exciting' opportunity that Ritter is currently exploring (26:20)

Ritter Communications, like many of its peers in the cable industry, is in a state of transition.

In addition to pushing ahead with aggressive fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) upgrades and the launch of multi-gigabit speeds, the operator is also exploring a path forward for its hybrid fiber/coax (HFC) plant (starting with DOCSIS 3.1 paired with a mid-split), mulling its video strategy and investigating whether it should add mobile to the bundle.

A key exec leading that charge is Victor Esposito, a cable industry vet who, after his most recent time at Alaska's GCI, joined Jonesboro, Arkansas-based Ritter Communications last April as SVP of engineering and network operations. He was promoted to chief technology officer in November 2023.

Esposito is moving ahead in the CTO role amid other recent changes at the company, including the launch of its new "RightFiber" branding and the recent promotion of Heath Simpson to CEO.

Here's a snapshot of the discussion (press the closed captioning button for a lightly edited transcript):

  • Background on Ritter Communications and how a focus on business and enterprise customers spurred its residential fiber network expansion strategy (1:45)

  • What drew Esposito to join Ritter Communications (5:30)

  • A review of Esposito's priorities at Ritter, which start with the fiber footprint expansion (8:50)

  • Some details about 'Project Lightspeed,' Ritter's HFC network upgrade initiative and how DOCSIS 4.0 might fit in further down the road (10:30)

  • Thoughts on how the Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) program and other broadband subsidies might fit into Ritter's picture (13:50)

  • How fixed wireless access might (or might not) become part of the company's roadmap (17:05)

  • How Ritter's video strategy is taking shape with a new IP-based product, potential over-the-top options and what the future holds for the company's legacy QAM-based video infrastructure (20:35)

  • Adding mobile to the bundle is an 'exciting' opportunity that Ritter is currently exploring (26:20)

About the Author(s)

Jeff Baumgartner

Senior Editor, Light Reading

Jeff Baumgartner is a Senior Editor for Light Reading and is responsible for the day-to-day news coverage and analysis of the cable and video sectors. Follow him on X and LinkedIn.

Baumgartner also served as Site Editor for Light Reading Cable from 2007-2013. In between his two stints at Light Reading, he led tech coverage for Multichannel News and was a regular contributor to Broadcasting + Cable. Baumgartner was named to the 2018 class of the Cable TV Pioneers.

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