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Ultra-Broadband

Gigabites: How We Know Capex Will Grow

TGIF. In today's edition of Gigabites, network infrastructure gets a capex injection, Google Fiber inches forward, entrepreneurs invent new high-bandwidth applications for gigabit networks and more.

  • The promise of virtualization may give network operators a better way to manage their infrastructure resources, but it won't suddenly change the reality that telecommunications is a capital-intensive business, particularly as operators look to one-up each other with new gigabit broadband rollouts.

    In a Prime Reading feature this week, Light Reading examined how vendors are looking at the network infrastructure market, and why they're bullish on continued capex spending. (See Don't Put a Cap on Capex Just Yet.)

    In fact, despite the potential for efficiency gains with software-defined networking, many vendors see a major capex upswing underway. According to Dycom Industries Inc. , which provides contract engineering services to the telecom industry: "Calendar 2016 performance to date and outlook clearly demonstrate we are currently in the early stages of a massive investment cycle in wireline networks."

    And who are Dycom's biggest customers? AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL), Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ).

    A big-time upgrade cycle is particularly evident throughout the cable industry as cablecos drive fiber deeper into their networks. Is it any wonder that network specialist Adtran Inc. (Nasdaq: ADTN) announced this week that it's buying up key cable access products from vendor CommScope Inc. ? Adtran wants a bigger presence in the cable market where the next several years look particularly lucrative. (See Adtran Seeks Cable Stardom With EPON Deal. )


  • For more gigabit coverage and insights, check out our dedicated Gigabit/Broadband content channel here on Light Reading.


  • Elsewhere in the gigabit world, Google Fiber Inc. continues to make headlines. In addition to the release of a software upgrade for Fiber TV this week, Google Fiber also notched successes on the broadband front. In North Carolina, the company began accepting gigabit sign-ups in Morrisville, part of the Research Triangle area. And in Huntsville, Google Fiber laid its first fiber optic cables this week. (See also Google Fiber TV Revamp – Top Takeaways.)

  • There were a number of other deployment milestones around the country too. Cable One Inc. announced new gigabit launches in parts of Alabama and Idaho. And Suddenlink Communications added two towns in Oklahoma to its gigabit roster.

  • On the west coast, Wave Broadband went public with news that it's raised another $125 million to accelerate the expansion of both commercial and residential gigabit services across Washington, Oregon and California. At the same time, Wave also announced the acquisition of two smaller ISPs: CoastCom in Oregon and Washington-based SawNet.

  • Finally, for those still asking the question of why anybody needs a gigabit anyway, The Company Lab and Mozilla have a few new answers to share. The two organizations hosted a "48Hour Launch: Internet of Things Edition" competition, and are now celebrating several winners and their innovative applications. Top prize in the event went to entrepreneur Forrest Pruitt, who developed a virtual reality platform for foreign language immersion and learning.

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

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