Nokia will look to establish a more direct connection with hundreds of independent cable and broadband operators after striking a fiber-focused deal with the National Cable Television Cooperative (NCTC).
The deal effectively gives Nokia a PON-focused hunting license to engage with about 700 members of the NCTC, an organization that negotiates programming and tech deals for its contingent of tier 2/3 operators.
Financial terms were not disclosed, but they said the deal gives Nokia the green light to provide NCTC members with "tailored fiber solutions and access to premier service programs, along with a claim that Nokia's technology provides them network capacity in the range of 2.5 Gbit/s to 10 Gbit/s, along with an upgrade path to 25 Gbit/s. Nokia also claims its offering can help NCTC members transition to network automation with cloud-native capabilities designed to cut costs.
They also point out that the agreement comes about after several NCTC members came away with winning bids following phase I of the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) auction.
While Charter Communications, a tier 1 service provider that's not part of the NCTC, was the big RDOF winner in the phase I auction, several smaller cable operators also won bids. Among them were Consolidated Communications ($58.87 million for 27,021 locations); Shenandoah Cable Television ($5.05 million for 8,642 locations); Midco ($4.97 million for 6,506 locations); and DTC Cable ($834,897 for 481 locations).
It's not clear yet if Nokia has scored any commitments from NCTC members for the new agreement.
Nokia said the NCTC pact has the ability to expand beyond the vendor's fixed access network technology.
"In addition to our family of PON products built on our in-house designed chipset, we expect our agreement will expand to include a full range of fixed and wireless network solutions," Sandy Motley, president of Nokia's Fixed Networks division, said in a statement.
— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading, special to Broadband World News