Broadband Communities

NOV-DEC 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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NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 | | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | 89 OPEN ACCESS TO DARK FIBER e basic concept of open access is to separate services from the network. (See Figure 3.) is can be done at the dark fiber (passive) layer or at the lit (active) layer. In the open-access dark fiber model, the city or other network owner funds the buildout of fiber strands to every premises and then leases individual fibers, address by address, to service providers. e lease payments cover the bond payments, and all is well. e dark fiber model is much better than today's broadband market, but it poses a barrier to entry to smaller companies. e lessee of any fiber must light both ends. e broadband data center (central office) needs optical equipment to light each fiber. Doing this at scale requires a budget and skills beyond the reach of most entrepreneurial broadband service innovators. e same is true on the premises side – the lessee must deploy some device to terminate the fiber and hand off traffic to the in-home or in-building network. Yes, it can be done, but to do it even once, not to mention at scale, a company must buy equipment and trucks and hire installers. us, a dark fiber model could lead to a faster version of today's broadband ecosystem (Figure 2), in which national, regional and local service providers compete to offer triple-play and internet-only connections. e lack of service providers is often cited as a problem with open access. But how many triple-play or internet- only providers does anyone really need? If a community had two companies that competed to lease dark fiber and offer today's services at gigabit speeds, it would be an elite global community. is alone does not solve the power Figure 1: Simplified broadband ecosystem Figure 2: Real broadband ecosystem Figure 3: Open-access model

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