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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MAY/JUNE 2014 | | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | 55 Gigabit to the MDU Tere are many approaches to delivering gigabit speeds to residents of multiple-dwelling-unit (MDU) housing, said participants in the "Gigabit to the MDU" workshop – and not all of them involve fber to the unit. Representatives of CampusConnect, Pavlov Media, CondoInternet and even Google Fiber talked about bringing fber to intermediate distribution frames inside buildings and using in-building copper cabling to connect individual units. Matthew Fitzgerald of Ruckus Wireless said delivering very high speeds over Wi-Fi was possible as long as a user was close enough to an access point – though most mobile devices don't yet support the advanced wireless connectivity features that enable gigabit speeds. Getting bandwidth to a building may be the biggest barrier to delivering gigabit speeds to users, panelists said. In markets where providers owned their own metro-area fber, they were able to provision as much bandwidth as building owners were willing to pay for. However, in markets where they bought bandwidth from others, they sometimes had difculty provisioning enough bandwidth. Mark Scifres, CEO of Pavlov Media, said his company took a "layered approach," using labor-intensive strategies such as peering and hosting to ensure good user experiences even when adequate bandwidth to a building was not available. Pavlov is also continuing to build out its national fber backbone and is fling permits to build fber in third-tier cities, where bandwidth shortages often exist. John van Oppen, CEO of CondoInternet, said Internet providers that serve MDUs could minimize bandwidth cost by building their own fber networks, except in cities where competition existed among fber providers. He added that there were opportunities for property owners to partner directly with private fber network owners; they could contract to connect their buildings and share transit costs with the fber owners. GIGABIT TO WHOM AND FOR WHAT? Does "gigabit service" mean a gigabit per user or a gigabit per device? To the bedroom, said Scifres, whose company specializes in student housing. To the device, said Rob Paver of CampusConnect, adding, "Most devices can't handle a gigabit." Catie McNaught of Corning stressed that MDU networks should be set up to address future needs – even if those needs aren't entirely predictable. John Hoover of Tellabs questioned what "gigabit service" actually meant, commenting, "Everyone can burst to a gig, but the committed information rate might be much lower." Ruckus's Richard Holtz (not shown) led a two-hour "Gigabit to the MDU" workshop with a panel of ISPs and equipment vendors. videoconferencing application • A distributed, virtual community supercomputer • Medical and public health analysis of big data • Remote radiology • Remote surgery • Personal sensor networks • Reliable process control for manufacturing • Collaborative design for manufacturing • Te CASA radar network for weather forecasting • Te SimCenter, a center for research into next-generation technologies in computational modeling, simulation and design • PlanIT Impact, an interactive application that helps designers, planners and constituents visualize future development scenarios. In answer to audience questions, panelists said applications were developed for the devices that developers thought their target demographic was most likely to use – whether that was a desktop computer or a smartphone. Surprisingly, there did not seem to be much development going on for the Google Glass, a device Levy called a "gadget in search of a solution." BBC_May14.indd 55 5/29/14 9:17 AM

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