Optical/IP Networks

IQ Fiber's CTO talks about the startup's fiber foray in Florida

Fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) buildouts and the pursuit of multi-gigabit broadband is all the rage these days. That activity spans a wide range of use cases – from upgrades of old copper plant, overlays of existing hybrid fiber/coax (HFC) networks, "edge-outs" to adjacent areas, and relative greenfield areas that are lacking solid broadband connectivity or competition.

IQ Fiber, a startup based in Jacksonville, Florida, falls into that latter camp. It has embarked on an initial buildout to about 60,000 homes where high levels of competition is lacking in an area that rubs up against incumbent operators that include AT&T and Comcast. Initial buildout targets include Atlantic Beach.

Aiding in IQ Fiber's pursuit is the company's recently named chief technology officer Aamer Abbasi. Abbasi, an engineering exec previously with Hargray Fiber, Byers Engineering, Ericsson and FiberTower, heads up the team tasked with the network design, construction and operation of the company's emerging fiber network.

Abbasi recently joined the Light Reading podcast to discuss IQ Fiber's opportunities in northeast Florida, offer a status report on when it will be ready to start connecting customers, when or if multi-gigabit services will become part of the company's service portfolio, and how the company is working closely with local partners to help mitigate tricky supply chain constraints that have become pervasive in the telecom industry.

"We are starting everything from ground level ... We're building everything from a greenfield perspective," Abbasi explained. "How to bring everything together is really the challenge, and that's my biggest priority."

— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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