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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16 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | MAY/JUNE 2014 FTTH DEPLOYMENT fber's cost premium is low in new builds and because fber's cachet helps sell houses faster and for higher prices. Singleton reports that MDG's investors – Wall Street executives and private equity frms – have uniformly been excited about the ULTR AFi communities. "Tey got it quicker than I got it – especially the younger analyst types," he says. Te investors' optimism appears to be well founded; the frst of the ULTR AFi communities just opened up for sale, and, Singleton says, "We've had four sales quickly, the numbers are better than what we anticipated and people have mentioned ULTR AFi as one of the drivers." A BUNDLE OF SERVICES Of course, home buyers aren't attracted to infrastructure but to services – and the service package ofered under the ULTR AFi brand is impressive. First, there's fast Internet access – not just fast enough to support such new entertainment formats as Ultra HD but also fast enough to support telecommuting, digital learning and more. All residents will be entitled to a "lifeline" 35 Mbps symmetrical speed, which they can upgrade at reasonable rates to symmetrical 1 Gbps. For the frst six months, they will even receive free symmetrical 100 Mbps service – according to Singleton, "Te thought is that they'll like it so much, they'll keep it." Along with the initial 1 Gbps service, a roadmap to symmetrical 10 Gbps speeds for residents is in place for the future. ULTR AFi video service will start out RF-based – not unusual for cable providers that ofer services over fber – but will switch to pure IPTV in a short time. Smart-home services (also free for the frst six months) will include Internet-enabled thermostats, security cameras, light controls and sensors. Beyond residents' homes, shared gigabit Wi-Fi will be available on nature trails, in clubhouses and in playgrounds. In addition to providing access to standard services, MDG hopes to use the networks to create cohesive communities, and it is developing RFPs to implement a private social network in each community. Singleton envisions that residents will use the application to schedule community events, advertise babysitting services and compare notes on local home-repair providers. Local points of interest – nature trails, for instance – could be tagged with QR codes so residents can easily call up information about them on their smartphones. Te Broadband Group, which has been deeply involved in developing all these service oferings, is now designing a telemedicine service for one of the ULTR AFi communities. Te initial focus will be to set up a connection with a health care facility in Tampa to give residents access to specialists and regional providers without leaving their community. Reiman notes, "All the market research indicates that convenience drives [the demand for telemedicine], but we'll anchor the service with a local primary care physician; otherwise it will lose the 'human factor.'" In the years to come, still more services will become available; Reiman says several application providers have already expressed interest in developing ULTR AFi services. One of MDG's guiding principles – and part of its agreement with Bright House Networks – is to guarantee continual advancements in technology and applications so the communities remain at the cutting edge. Tat's why it has adopted the tagline "Live life connected." v Masha Zager is the editor of BroadBand C ommunities. You can reach her at Union Park is one of the ULTRAFi communities under construction. The ULTRAFi communities will open with 1 Gbps symmetrical Internet access and a roadmap to higher speeds in the future. A telemedicine service is also being planned. BBC_May14.indd 16 5/29/14 9:15 AM

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