Broadband Communities

MAR-APR 2015

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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MARCH/APRIL 2015 | www.broadbandcommunities.com | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | 19 to other, competing providers on a nondiscriminatory basis. Reggefber uses a demand aggregation strategy to ensure sufcient revenues from the start of each deployment. Te company determines the next deployment area based on a presubscription level: once a certain level (between 30 percent and 40 percent, depending on the area) is achieved, the company is assured of sufcient revenues to make a viable business case in that area and start deployment. Te company's online platform allows households to check how close their area is to reaching this subscription level, stimulating families to persuade their neighbors to sign up. Te latest statistics show 1.82 million households passed and 586,000 connected to a service provider on FTTH – which shows the positive efect of the demand aggregation strategy on uptake. On the cost side, Reggefber also uses several measures to ensure a positive business case. First, it deploys fber in the streets using an innovative brush technique with rotating plastic brushes. Tis method is up to eight times faster than traditional deployment techniques and causes almost no damage. In addition, the company has set a maximum investment of 1,000 euros ($1,139) per home passed and seeks the support of local residents or the municipality in areas where costs exceed 1,000 euros. GOOGLE FIBER IN THE UNITED STATES Google, a well-known search engine company that gets its revenues primarily from advertising, started a new initiative in early 2010: Google Fiber. Its goal was to fnd an area in which to deploy a fber access network under the best conditions possible, maximizing the value of every dollar spent, and to provide an outstanding broadband ofer – a symmetrical 1 Gbps connection. Municipalities from all around the United States answered a public request for information, providing data about their existing facilities and proof of engagement. Google received data from more than 1,100 communities and local governments, endorsed by more than 194,000 individuals, all of them applying to get fber deployed in their towns and cities. From these applications, Google selected Kansas City, Kan., followed by other municipalities in the same metropolitan area. Google divided the city into fberhoods, which are smaller than neighborhoods, and set pre-engagement goals before starting any deployment. If a fberhood does not reach the minimum engagement needed, Google does not deploy fber there. (Tis is similar to the demand aggregation model used by Reggefber.) Presubscription allows for better deployment planning (the company can pass and connect houses at the same time) and reduces investment risk. Google's model seems to be exceeding the minimum presubscription goals. According to Sanford C. Bernstein, it could reach 50 to 60 percent of possible subscribers in two years after deployment. Te model, although not a true public-private partnership, benefts signifcantly from a strong commitment from the municipal government, which provides access to any existing telecom infrastructure (poles, dark fber, conduits) and eases the provision of rights-of-way needed to deploy the network. In addition, the city council gets involved in the demand aggregation process by stimulating residents to subscribe, thereby reaching the minimum presubscription level, and in return gets free fber connections to schools, hospitals and other public buildings in each fberhood where Google deploys. Combining both types of commitment – user and municipality – Google is seeking new deployment areas through public contests that ask local governments about their existing infrastructure and about the actions they will take to support participation in Google Fiber. GUIFI.NET IN SPAIN When a group of neighbors in a small rural community in Catalonia, Spain, decided in 2009 to deploy a fber network, they realized they did not know enough about deployment methods and associated costs. Tey met with the Guif.net Foundation, which was active in deploying community wireless networks, for help with the fber deployment. Tis neutral operator calculated the costs and recommended that, to keep costs below 1,000 euros ($1,139) per household, the group needed more than 60 percent takeup. Tis case thus follows a bottom-up scheme: Te network is fully paid for by the fnal users. Te fber network itself belongs to the Guif. net community, in which each user becomes an associate after paying for his or her own deployment. Volunteers carry out the installation, signifcantly decreasing the overall project installation costs. Te presubscribers pay all the equipment and material to get connected. Te deployment has been named Fiber From the Home/ Farm to give special attention to the direction of its construction. Tough Guif.net maintains the network and the network equipment, it does not interact with customers. Customers in Gurb village sign contracts with a separate service provider; Gurbtec was the frst to ofer broadband services Reggefber, Google Fiber and Guif.net all use variants of demand aggregation to decide where to deploy fber. The strategy is successful for all of them.

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