BBWN Bites: Virgin Media Plans Speedy Rollout of Gig Broadband
Also, Canada looks to Telesat to span its digital divide, Northern Ireland's broadband plan advances and new research ponders next-gen optical networks.
Virgin Media today unveiled "Gigabit Britain," its plan to use a combination of DOCSIS 3.1, fiber and EPON to bring high-speed broadband to almost 15 million UK residents by the end of 2021. In fact, by the time champagne corks pop this year, Virgin Media expects more than 1 million British residents will have gigabit broadband, the operator said. Virgin Media, part of the Liberty Global family, added more than 1.7 million premises via its Project Lightning network expansion program, which debuted in February 2015.
The Canadian government chose Telesat to provide a low-earth orbit satellite-based communications architecture to deliver high-speed, affordable Internet access to rural and remote areas of the country. Telesat is expected to generate CAD 1.2 billion ($91 million) under the 10-year P3, including up to CAD 685 million (about $522 million) from the government. About 2.3 million Canadian households don't have affordable, reliable high-speed Internet -- in part, because some areas have terrain that's difficult and expensive for fiber deployment, according to Telesat.
Northern Ireland's Department for the Economy (DfE) today began inviting offers as it entered the procurement step of Project Stratum. This is a £165 million program to provide broadband to the almost 100,000 premises that do not have "next-generation access" speeds of at least 30Mbps. This represents about 11% of premises in Northern Ireland, DfE said.
Worldwide revenue for PON equipment will reach $7.3 billion by 2023, driven by operator spending on 10 Gbps EPON and XGS-PON deployments as well as ensuring they maximize existing 2.5 Gbps GPON networks, according to a new report by Dell'Oro Group. XGS-PON trials rapidly are moving into production, empowering operators to compete with cable providers' D3.1 networks, said Research Director Jeff Heynen.
Roku's smart-TV operating system is one of the biggest winners in the US-China trade dispute, according to IHS Markit Research Director Paul Gray. In the 1Q 2019, smart TVs accounted for 89% of North American TV shipments versus 75% a year earlier. Roku-based units represented 37% of North American smart TVs, compared with 23% in Q1 2018, the researcher said. This was the first time Roku's OS topped the chart -- and North America is the only region in which Roku leads the pack, IHS Markit found.
Not Many Neighbors
Beautiful scenery at this Canadian home, but not ideal terrain for dropping fiber.
The entire Illinois city of Aurora is expected to sign a public-private partnership withSmart City Capital to transform the entire metropolis into a "true smart city," Cities Today reported. SCC, a risk-fund firm that specializes in "outcome based smart city and IoT solutions," would invest $300 million. Of that, $200 million would go toward projects with technology providers and $100 million would go to smart-city infrastructure development.
Surprise Victor in Tariff Dispute
— Alison Diana, Editor, Broadband World News. Follow us on Twitter or @alisoncdiana.
Here's where you can find episode links for 'The Divide,' Light Reading's podcast series featuring conversations with broadband providers and policymakers working to close the digital divide.
As we have for the past two years, Light Reading will present our Cable Next-Gen Europe conference as a free digital symposium on June 21.
Charter has sparked RDOF work in all 24 states where it won bids. The cable op booked about $19 million in RDOF revenues in Q1, and expects to have about $9 million per month come in over the next ten years.
As we have for the past two years, Light Reading will stage the Cable Next-Gen Technologies & Strategies conference as a free digital event over two half-days in mid-March.
Launch of 2-Gig and 5-Gig FTTP tiers in 70-plus markets puts more pressure on cable ops to enhance their existing DOCSIS 3.1 network or accelerate their upgrade activity centered on the new DOCSIS 4.0 specs.