Ryan Potts and Tim Battle attended the Fiber to the Home in Fort Lauderdale, FL. This year’s show had a lot of great information, and was much busier than the conference has been in years past. A lot more cable company attendees this year and we had really good traffic at the booth.
Conference Opening Session
The opening session had presentations from 3 FTTH operators, Verizon, Guadalupe Valley Telephone Coop, and Jackson Energy Authority. At the end of each of their presentations, they presented questions to the audience that generated some good discussion.
Verizon - Christopher Levendos
GVTC - George O'Neal
JEA - Ben Lovins
Verizon's presentation was focused on their network transformation in the East Coast related to hurricane Sandy. One of the key takeaways was the incredible reliability improvements that they have seen in their network due to their replacement of the damaged copper cabling with fiber optics. The success that they have seen in their Manhattan market has caused them to look into how they can upgrade some of their other markets as well. One thing that they said was a "game changer" on the FTTH
design side, was the development of "plug 'n play" cable assemblies, which significantly improved speed, cost, and delivery of their FTTH network. Some ideas the attendees had about the "next big thing" for networks in the coming decade were: Low Energy Impact Data Centers which would allow content to be moved closer to the edges of the network, and SDN/NFV.
GVTC's presentation showed how a smaller, more rural service provider could implement an FTTH network. They have many types of network architectures: FTTH, Copper, HFC, and have seen an incredible 750% bandwidth usage increase in the last 5 years. Their drivers for going to FTTH were to: replace their copper infrastructure, to be ready for a possible FCC broadband definition increase (to 10 Mb up and 3 Mb down), and that they have identified broadband as the #1 long term, critical communications
product (not voice or video). Their question to the audience was: Given that they have a customer data warehouse and a GIS database with asset information, how should GVTC prioritize the possible areas for an FTTH overbuild of their existing plant?
presentation discussed their utilities success in implementing a FTTH network in their service territory. JEA's e+ service is a triple play service (voice, video, data) for their residents. Some key drivers for them building out the network were: 1) Companies are moving into the area and asking about high speed broadband service. They see this now as another utility (electric, gas, water) that is vital to companies moving into the area. 2) Their customers were asking for competition in voice, video, and data services. 3) Their customers like "one stop shopping" for their services, nice to have tv, phone, broadband and utilities on a single bill. For their PON services, they provide
100 Mb as their highest service, for Businesses, they can do point to point of 1 gig or 10 gig. His question to the audience was: What can JEA do to attract bandwidth intensive industries? Are there initiatives and programs they could do to create I.T. job growth? How can they help companies use the networks that they have built?