Broadband Communities

MAY-JUN 2014

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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14 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | MAY/JUNE 2014 FTTH DEPLOYMENT MDG and Bright House Networks Build ULTRAFi Communities A new partnership between a development group and a major cable company creates a path for a large-scale rollout of gigabit fber to the home. By Masha Zager / Broadband Communities "A t frst, I didn't understand," says Greg Singleton, president of Metro Development Group (MDG), a Florida-based land development and investment company. "What's a gigabit, and why do I care? Tey would talk about EPON, and I'd think, this all sounds like the stuf that techy guys get excited about." MDG, which has been involved in 70 residential and commercial projects over the last decade, was preparing to develop six new master-planned communities in the Tampa area with a total capacity of about 30,000 homes. Its CEO, John Ryan, had commissioned Te Broadband Group, a consulting frm focused on city- and communitywide integrated broadband planning, to create a technology master plan for the communities, and Te Broadband Group recommended building out fber to all the new homes – but Singleton and others in MDG's leadership team were dubious. "Ten, one day, I walked into my home from work," Singleton continues, "and my wife was streaming Pandora while she was making dinner, my 15-year-old son was on the Xbox, my 7-year- old daughter was watching 'My Little Pony' on Netfix, and I was about to remote in to my ofce through my desktop. We have three iPhones, a Mac, a printer, an iPad and a laptop all using the same pipeline. In just a few short years, just with what people are holding in their hands, the need for speed has become so much more relevant. "Tat's when I realized that technology is now an amenity, and that fber to the home and superfast Wi-Fi are what people are going to demand for 4K TV and smart-home technology. Everyone else will be living in the Stone Age. We have to plan for it now because it's really tough to do it later." "So that was my conversion," Singleton says, explaining how he became the most enthusiastic proponent of the advanced-services package that MDG now brands as ULTRAFi. "I was a somewhat skeptical guy until I realized it's such a win-win-win scenario. Some homeowners are going to love it from day one – those who live in the techy world. Ten there are the people who don't have eight or 10 devices now, but if you talk to them about it in fve years, they'll say, 'Tank goodness my developer was proactive about this.' Tis morning I saw 12 people in Starbucks with laptops, and I know they're getting degradation of service and that spinning wheel of death. You won't have that in ULTRAFi communities." PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE With MDG executives on board, Te Broadband Group designed a technology plan that would set the new communities apart from others being built in the region. Tom Reiman, president of Te Broadband Group, notes, "Te leadership of Metro understood the signifcance of a comprehensive technology master plan to defne the requirements we needed to place in front BBC_May14.indd 14 5/29/14 9:15 AM

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