Broadband Communities

JAN-FEB 2017

BROADBAND COMMUNITIES is the leading source of information on digital and broadband technologies for buildings and communities. Our editorial aims to accelerate the deployment of Fiber-To-The-Home and Fiber-To-The-Premises.

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JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017 | | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | 33 Power Administration facility several miles out of town and loop it around Maupin's business area. Maupin's partner, QLife, is a collaboration among public entities in e Dalles, about 40 miles from Maupin, that created a fiber optic loop through that city in the early 2000s. Its goal is to enhance the region's economic development efforts with links to the Bonneville Power Administration's fiber. When LS Networks, which was getting ready to build fiber to a cell tower in Maupin, learned about the city's plan, it suggested that, rather than duplicate the fiber trunk, the city should connect to LS Networks' fiber and use its grants to build an access network inside the city. e city repurposed the grant money to connect every home and business in Maupin and contracted with QLife to build and manage the access network. LS Networks invested $690,000 to build the fiber trunk and establish a point of presence in town. Within the POP, it provided half the rack space free of charge to the city so additional service providers can colocate there. "We want to make sure open acccess is real," says Adams. As of press time, LS Networks was on the verge of connecting Maupin's school and severall cell providers, and it will begin turning up resident and business services in spring 2017. A second provider, which now operates in the area as a wireless ISP (WISP), will also offer services over city fiber and, with fiber backhaul, will improve its wireless offering outside the city. Says Ewing, "Hopefully, the fees paid by the two providers will cover repair costs for the network going down the road." THE FUTURE OF MAUPIN Ewing expects the new network to benefit Maupin greatly. "We're essentially dependent on tourism for our economy," he says. "A lot of homes are owned by people who don't live here, several by people in high-tech industries. But because of the lack of internet, they don't live here full time. Some of those have said they plan to be here more, or even full time, and telecommute – that will be huge." Businesses that depend on the internet to book fly fishing and rafting trips struggle with dropped calls and unreliable connections, so the fiber network will make an enormous difference to them. "A couple of times last summer, the DSL lines went down on weekends, and businesses couldn't take credit cards," Ewing says. "ey lost thousands of dollars." e city also hopes to attract other types of businesses – for example, manufacturers of recreation-related equipment – that would not previously have considered Maupin as a location. e city and the schools have already signed on as customers, says Ewing, a retired schoolteacher. "Today the schools have to limit other network uses when they do state testing, which is all online. Now there should be enough bandwidth for everyone. is will make it more feasible for students to take online classes from community colleges or universities." e local health clinic, which is operated by a nurse practitioner and a doctor who visits once a week, plans to set up a gigabit connection to a large hospital. "ey won't have to send people on a 90-mile trip to see a doctor," the mayor says. THE NEXT 24 COMMUNITIES ough LS Networks has not yet announced the other 24 connected communities, it is in discussions with nine of them and hopes to select all 24 The white-water rapids on the Deschutes River will no longer be the only high-speed thrill Maupin has to offer.

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