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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2 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | MAY/JUNE 2014 EDITOR'S NOTE Broadband Communities (ISSN 0745-8711) (USPS 679-050) (Publication Mail Agreement #1271091) is published 7 times a year at a rate of $24 per year by Broadband Properties LLC, 1909 Avenue G, Rosenberg, TX 77471. Periodical postage paid at Rosenberg, TX, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to Broadband Communities, PO Box 303, Congers, NY 10920-9852. CANADA POST: Publications Mail Agreement #40612608. Canada Returns to be sent to Bleuchip International, PO Box 25542, London, ON N6C 6B2. Copyright © 2014 Broadband Properties LLC. All rights reserved. CEO & ED I TO R IAL D I R EC TO R Scott DeGarmo / PU B LISH ER Nancy McCain / CO R P O R AT E E D I T O R , B B P L LC Steven S. Ross / E D I T O R Masha Zager / ADV ER T ISI N G SALE S A CCO U N T E X E C U T I V E Irene Prescott / O N L I N E N E W S E D I T O R Marianne Cotter / D E SI G N & PR O D U C T I O N Karry Thomas CO N T R I B U T O R S Joe Bousquin David Daugherty, Korcett Holdings Inc. Joan Engebretson Richard Holtz, InfiniSys W. James MacNaughton, Esq. Henry Pye, RealPage Bryan Rader, Bandwidth Consulting LLC Robert L. Vogelsang, Broadband Communities Magazine B R OA D BA N D P R O P E R T I E S L LC CEO Scott DeGarmo V I CE PR E SI D EN T, B USI N E SS & O PER AT I O N S Nancy McCain CHAI R M AN O F T H E B OAR D Robert L. Vogelsang V I CE CHAI R M EN The Hon. Hilda Gay Legg Kyle Hollifield B USI N E SS & ED I TO R IAL O FFI CE B R OAD BAN D PR O PER T I E S LLC 19 0 9 Ave nu e G • R o s e n b e r g , Tx 77471 281. 3 42 .9 655 • Fa x 281. 3 42 .1158 w w w. b r o a d b a n d co m m u n i t i e s . co m W ho knew what an impact the word "gigabit" would have? "Fiber" doesn't have quite the same cachet, apparently. For more than a decade, proponents of fber to the home – including BroadBand Communities – have educated the public about all the benefts of fber broadband, which range from reliability to ease of maintenance to future-proofng. Tough most FTTH subscribers are delighted with their services (a fnding confrmed year after year in research by RVA LLC), only 25 percent of the general U.S. population is familiar with the terms "FTTH," "fber to the home" or anything similar (again, per RVA). Credit Google, which announced its plan for gigabit cities in February 2010, and the folks at Chattanooga EPB, who launched actual citywide gigabit services in September 2010, with getting people excited about the "gig." A mere four years after Google's announcement, there are already dozens of gigabit communities, and the term "gigabit Internet" is about as well known as "fber to the home." PROVIDERS JUMP ON BOARD Large providers are now catching gigabit fever. Until recently, although the number of FTTH builds grew steadily (see BroadBand Communities' database), most deployers were relatively small companies. Verizon FiOS was the only large- scale, well-publicized residential fber deployment in the United States. Many large operators, and even some small ones, avoided publicizing any FTTH networks they built or provided essentially the same services over fber that they provided over fber-to-the- node or hybrid fber-coaxial networks. Now, CenturyLink, AT&T and Bright House Networks (see MDG and Bright House Networks Build ULTR AFi Communities in this issue) have publicly launched gigabit services over fber, and Cox Communications just announced its intention to do so. WHY DO CONSUMERS CARE? Tese responses are not just about competing with – or trying to derail – Google Fiber. Nor are they simply "fber to the press release," as some industry observers allege, although they do make for exciting press releases. My guess is that providers see the term "gigabit" has caught consumers' imagination as "fber" never did, and they are willing to invest a moderate amount to fnd out what its drawing power really is. Why should "gigabit" spark the public imagination, given that the vast majority of consumers don't yet need anything like gigabit speeds? Here are a few of many reasons: • "Fiber" is about what's needed for the future; "gigabit" is about what's right here, right now. • "Fiber" is about cables in the ground; "gigabit" is about the experience of freedom. • No one is actually counting bits. To most consumers, "gigabit" simply means, "Don't tell me how much I can or can't use." It means "No barriers." v Gigabit Vision In 2010, not many people knew a gigabit from a drill bit. How fast things change! BBC_May14.indd 2 5/29/14 9:14 AM

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