BBWN Bites: Openreach Aims to Accelerate Fiber Rollouts
Also, a rumor of Charter picking Plume for WiFi, Full Fibre wraps up Leominster, Arvig manages expectations with CrowdFiber and European Space Agency goes sky-high with Adesto.
Openreach is testing a trench-digging tool, called a diamond cutter, that slices through carriageways and footways. The cutter leaves a channel and simultaneously feeds fiber-optic cables as it moves along the ground at a pace of almost 700 meters per day. That's more than 20 times the distance a two-person crew can go using traditional drill and excavation, Openreach said. And it's trialing remote nodes, where engineers install broadband equipment that boosts connections about 1.5 times their current reach while housed in existing roadside cabinets, an approach that can cut six months off the process and undisclosed costs compared with new-fiber deployment. The UK wholesaler is testing these out in 13 rural UK communities as part of its efforts to bring fiber cost-effectively to more of the country, especially less accessible regions.
The Long and Winding Road
When technicians find roads in rural areas, like this part of Lancashire in England, they may be very narrow, twisty and unpaved -- or blocked by sheep. (Source: Openreach)
Charter Communications may have found a WiFi partner, something it's been seeking for months, as Light Reading reported in August. The MSO reportedly is working on a deal with Plume for a whole-home, app-driven, customized WiFi solution, Multichannel News said. Now, before letting this affect you one way or the other, recall that Charter's been fleshing out its smart home strategy for months. Charter has had talks with Ring, discussed licencing Comcast's X1 platform and
shown interest in using open source software stack, Prpl. Reps at Charter and Plume had "nothing to discuss," the article said.
UK wholesaler Full Fibre Ltd., which is using Openreach's Physical Infrastructure Access (PIA) when possible, is finalizing a build in Leominster, Herefordshire, that will cover more than 5,600 properties with high-speed broadband -- or just about the entire town, according to ISP Preview UK.
Broadband provider Arvig is using CrowdFiber's platform to woo new customers and keep existing ones. CrowdFiber's algorithm calculates the Internet speeds available within Arvig's footprint, depending where a customer's premises is located related to the nearest network node, the network-access technology used and other factors. With reasonable expectations of speeds and latency, customers then can sign up for service via an online shopping card CrowdFiber provides.
In a co-funded project, Adesto is working with the European Space Agency to develop technologies for next-gen satellite communications, focusing especially on Ku and Ka bands that are used for residential, satellite mobile and aviation broadband. (See European Space Agency Beams In On Adesto for Next-Gen Satellite.)
— 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.