Broadband Communities

JUL 2017

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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JULY 2017 | | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | 17 connected thousands of community anchor institutions. In November 2015, the board of OneCommunity agreed to accept a $50 million investment by MC Partners to accelerate and deepen the investments we sought for digital infrastructure through Everstream, OneCommunity's for-profit arm. As part of that agreement, we retained significant fiber optic capacity (through a legal arrangement known as IRUs) for our continued work in R&D, grants and mission-related activities. DigitalC's Connect the Unconnected network leverages community anchor institutions that have a presence on OneCommunity's fiber optic backbone. e first ring is a fully redundant network designed by engineers from Siklu, a leading provider of millimeter-wave (mmWave) wireless technologies. Many Siklu antennas have been deployed for WebPass, the wireless provider recently acquired by Google Fiber. Anchored to our fiber at St. Vincent Charity Medical Center, the antenna arrays for the Connect the Unconnected network in Cleveland have between one and three antennas per building, allowing us to extend fiber-like services. All the buildings in the ring are connected at gigabit speeds. e installation team from Agile Networks tethered and calibrated the Siklu mmWave antennas and then connected the wireless antennas from the rooftops to the demarcation points in the respective communications rooms, typically in the basement of each residential tower. DigitalC reached out to Actelis Networks to design a solution to connect the internal copper wiring plant through its switching technology to the gigabit mmWave antennas via a fiber optic link. e team from Actelis terminated the copper wiring in every apartment to customer premises equipment and a Wi-Fi switch as well as to their own switches in the demarcation room in the basement of the residential tower. Notwithstanding the promise of technologies such as, the Actelis solution turbocharged the existing copper wiring to provide residents with a symmetrical service of, on average, 25–30 Mbps. at's a service offering I would be very happy with, could I receive it in the suburbs. Given the well-documented challenges of leveraging the pervasive legacy copper plant in cities such as Cleveland, this pilot program provides proof positive that technology solutions can, with relatively modest investment requirements, provide all copper- connected customers with an FCC- defined, acceptable source of high- speed bandwidth. More than 1,000 men and women live in homeless shelters in Cleveland. As noted, 20 percent are returning veterans. Another 60 percent are re- entering the community after being incarcerated in prisons. ese men and women are demonstrably interested in gaining access to the internet for digital literacy training, keeping in touch with loved ones, and seeking opportunities for workforce training, digital upskilling and looking up health care records. e Lutheran Men's Shelter, the northernmost node on ring one, brought its connection from the rooftop to its computer lab via fiber optics. A group of 30 men immediately signed up for training. As the first computers were connected to the network, a speed test was performed at each station. e shelter now has one of the fastest internet connections in the entire city. BUILD IT, AND THEY WILL COME (NOT) Over the past 25 years, community technology centers have consistently demonstrated that making internet access available is a necessary but insufficient condition to onboarding those excluded from the digital economy. Digital isolation can The first ring of the Connect the Unconnected network builds off the OneCommunity backbone.

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