Broadband Communities

OCT 2016

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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52 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | OCTOBER 2016 SERVICE PROVIDER STRATEGIES EATEL 10 Years Later EATEL, a family owned and operated telecommunications company in southeastern Louisiana, won a Cornerstone Award at the 2007 Summit for "far-sighted planning plus bold action in delivering FTTH." Ten years after building one of the first large-scale fiber-to-the-home networks in the United States, an EATEL executive reflects on the changes that have taken place since that time – and what fiber to the home means for his company and customers. By Harris Miller / EATEL T en years ago, the goal for telecommunications companies such as EATEL was to provide triple-play services – telephone, broadband internet and television. Triple play was successful until landline telephones became a thing of the past. Telecoms now provide such services as home security and automation in the residential space and managed and cloud services in the business space as well as connect everyone to the Internet of ings (IoT). But because all the services consumers desire run over the internet, the double play of internet and TV is EATEL's primary offering these days – along with the assurance and speed of fiber. Household income is a driver for premium channels and for new services such as home alarm and automation. Households near the median income tend to order more pay- per-view or video on demand, rather than spending more on higher-priced entertainment such as concerts, frequent dining out and vacations. Needless to say, there's a much better penetration rate for pay-per-view and video on demand with this market. By contrast, households at the 90th income percentile gravitate toward home security services and higher-speed connectivity to feed home offices and multiple internet-connected devices. WE STILL CAN'T RUN FIBER EVERYWHERE In some areas, getting fiber to homes is still cost prohibitive, so upgrading DSL is the best option. For these customers, we're trying to make the investment in DSL in lieu of laying new fiber. It's more cost-efficient to upgrade the DSL components on the customer and central office ends rather than run new fiber because new DSL electronics cost a fraction of what running fiber costs. So there is still DSL in the more remote and less dense communities, amounting to between 2 percent and 3 percent of EATEL's total area. What we have done there is refresh our technology with new DSL standards, such as EATEL now delivers fiber-to-the-home services in more than 97 percent of its territory. In the most remote areas, upgrading DSL to the newest standards is a more cost-effective option.

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