Broadband Communities

NOV-DEC 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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22 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014 FTTH DEPLOYMENT Q&A With Stephen Lane, InteliPort I nteliPort is a North Carolina ISP that is now building out fber to the home in several communities, thanks to a middle- mile network funded by the BTOP program. Recently, BroadBand Communities had the opportunity to talk with Stephen Lane, president of the company. Following are highlights of that conversation. BroadBand Communities: How did you decide to deploy fber to the home? Stephen Lane: We've been in business since 1997 and are one of the few local Internet service providers still functioning in the black. Customer service is very important for us, and we've learned from our mistakes. We frst looked at FTTH in the mid-2000s, but we couldn't wrap our budgets around it. However, we knew we had to start doing something besides wireless. We're using unlicensed wireless spectrum, and it doesn't scale very well. In North Carolina, it's difcult to penetrate many locations. Tere's less and less spectrum and more and more devices. It's a very crowded space. So we looked at hybrid systems, we looked at everything and then fnally we realized, "We can do this." BBC: What changed the economics of fber for you? SL: Originally, we didn't have enough money to build to a location where we could get cheap enough backhaul. We started working with MCNC early on but never could put anything together till their BTOP project. [MCNC builds and operates the North Carolina Research and Education Network, which was vastly expanded as a result of $144 million in grants from the BTOP program and the Golden LEAF Rural Broadband Initiative.] After that, we acquired 500 miles of fber from them through indefeasible rights of use. MCNC has been very supportive to Stephen Lane runs a quality-control test on a Genexis ONT. Backhaul from a BTOP-funded middle-mile network and the clever use of FTTH technology make it possible to deliver ultra-high-speed broadband to small cities in North Carolina.

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