Broadband Communities

NOV-DEC 2013

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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FTTH DEPLOYMENTS Q&A With CenturyLink's Danny Pate and Jeff Oberschelp CenturyLink is entering the FTTH arena with a splash, building gigabit networks in two mid-sized cities. Depending on customer response, these may prove to be the opening salvos in a larger deployment. W ith the acquisition of Embarq and Qwest, the rural telephone company CenturyTel became CenturyLink, a Tier One telecommunications provider. Tough the company has extensive fber-to-the-neighborhood infrastructure, over which it ofers its Prism IPTV service, its fberto-the-premises assets are restricted mainly to greenfeld subdivisions – so the announcement last May of a new, gigabit-capable network in West Omaha, Neb., was welcome news. (As of press time, the Omaha deployment was in its fnal stages.) In October, CenturyLink followed up with an announcement that it would deploy similar technology in Las Vegas, connecting residents beginning in late 2013 and small businesses in early 2014. In a statement, Jef Oberschelp, CenturyLink vice president and general manager for Las Vegas, said, "1 Gbps symmetrical speed provides a tremendous economic advantage for small businesses because it allows them to purchase their IT infrastructure through the cloud while substantially lowering operating costs. Tis Oberschelp says, "This [1 Gbps] capability is key to growing a vibrant startup and tech community in Las Vegas." 30 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | www.broadbandcommunities.com | capability is key to growing a vibrant startup and tech community in Las Vegas." Recently, BroadBand Communities had the opportunity to interview both Oberschelp and Danny Pate, CenturyLink vice president and general manager for Omaha, about the two FTTP projects. Following are the highlights of that discussion. BroadBand Communities: Now that you've deployed fber in Omaha, what kind of feedback are you getting from customers? Danny Pate: We are still early in our trial in Omaha in terms of operational efectiveness and customer experience, so longer-term assessments will need to be made, but we are very encouraged by performance to date. Te response from our customers and the Omaha community has been very positive. BBC: Are Omaha customers being converted to fber automatically, or do they have to request upgraded services frst? DP: CenturyLink upgraded its existing fber architecture in west Omaha to FTTP technology directly to each home or business. All current customers in our fber pilot footprint will receive the fber optic connections. As a result, we have a growing number of customers who are choosing to upgrade their current high-speed Internet service to a higher speed and/or bundle those with new products. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013

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