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Squeezing Capacity From Copper Networks While Undertaking a Transition to Fiber Broadband

Jericho Casper

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Photo of Chip Spann of Connected Nation Michigan

November 24, 2020 — In a virtual conversation sponsored by Connected Nation Michigan, Wes Kerr, director of community solutions at Connected Nation, was joined by Chip Spann, director of engineering and technical services at Connected Nation, to discuss the predominant technologies providing broadband service today and detail what kinds of technologies can be expected in the future.

According to Spann, there has been much effort focused on revitalizing the broadband technologies of the past to meet the bandwidth demands of the present moment.

“Vectored DSL technology is keeping many companies in the game,” said Spann, explaining that “vectoring” is a method of increasing the speeds possible over existing digital subscriber lines, so that they can deliver higher bandwidth speeds than they previously would be able to achieve.

The technology is allowing companies like AT&T, CenturyLink, and Frontier to maintain relevancy across their rural DSL networks, rather than retiring the aging copper systems.

VDSL is claimed to be capable of delivering speeds of 80 Megabits per second (Mbps) within the first 500 feet from the DSL Access Multiplexer, and speeds of 10 Mbps at distances up to three to four miles away from the DSLAM, or the DSL Access Multiplexer.

“Many rural Americans currently have no choice besides DSL,” said Spann. “I’m glad to see these companies are stepping up to provide better through-put speeds to those customers.”

Spann detailed the fiber technologies being employed to power futureproof networks across the country and the differences between fiber-to-the-home technologies being utilized.

“The key difference between active optical fiber networks and passive optical fiber networks is how the signal is split between the multiple fibers going to each customer and the resulting speeds,” said Spann.

Active optical fiber networks are considered point-to-point networks, as each customer gets its own individual fiber strand. On the other hand, passive optical fiber networks use optical splitters to divide bandwidth. PON customers share bandwidth, while active ethernet subscribers do not, resulting in a difference in speeds.

While PONs typically offer symmetrical speeds of 1 Gigabit per second, active ethernet can exceed this, commonly offering symmetrical speeds of up to 10 Gbps.

“PONs are advantageous in rural marketplaces because they are more cost effective to deploy,” said Spann, adding that AONs are more beneficial in urban markets.

“XGS-PON, a higher bandwidth symmetrical version of PON, is something you’re going to start hearing about,” said Spann, detailing more future forward technology. XGS-PON is a way of introducing higher bandwidth to PON networks, offering symmetrical speeds of 10 Gbps.

“AT&T has advanced its fiber-to-the-home ‘last mile’ U-Verse network by deploying XGS-PON and has targeted 40 markets across the U.S.,” said Spann.

Looking forward, Spann said 5G and low earth orbit satellites hold the potential to offer new possibilities.

“LEOs claim they can solve the connectivity and latency issues associated with traditional geostationary satellites,” he said. LEO satellites “offer a new opportunity for areas unserved by other broadband technologies, if they work out the way Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos say they will.”

Open Access

Open Access Networks Key To Affordability Question, House Committee Hears

The House Energy and Commerce committee heard arguments that open access to networks is crucial for competition and affordability.

Benjamin Kahn

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Screenshot of Francella Ochillo from House hearing

November 24, 2020 — In a virtual conversation sponsored by Connected Nation Michigan, Wes Kerr, director of community solutions at Connected Nation, was joined by Chip Spann, director of engineering and technical services at Connected Nation, to discuss the predominant technologies providing broadband service today and detail what kinds of technologies can be expected in the future.

According to Spann, there has been much effort focused on revitalizing the broadband technologies of the past to meet the bandwidth demands of the present moment.

“Vectored DSL technology is keeping many companies in the game,” said Spann, explaining that “vectoring” is a method of increasing the speeds possible over existing digital subscriber lines, so that they can deliver higher bandwidth speeds than they previously would be able to achieve.

The technology is allowing companies like AT&T, CenturyLink, and Frontier to maintain relevancy across their rural DSL networks, rather than retiring the aging copper systems.

VDSL is claimed to be capable of delivering speeds of 80 Megabits per second (Mbps) within the first 500 feet from the DSL Access Multiplexer, and speeds of 10 Mbps at distances up to three to four miles away from the DSLAM, or the DSL Access Multiplexer.

“Many rural Americans currently have no choice besides DSL,” said Spann. “I’m glad to see these companies are stepping up to provide better through-put speeds to those customers.”

Spann detailed the fiber technologies being employed to power futureproof networks across the country and the differences between fiber-to-the-home technologies being utilized.

“The key difference between active optical fiber networks and passive optical fiber networks is how the signal is split between the multiple fibers going to each customer and the resulting speeds,” said Spann.

Active optical fiber networks are considered point-to-point networks, as each customer gets its own individual fiber strand. On the other hand, passive optical fiber networks use optical splitters to divide bandwidth. PON customers share bandwidth, while active ethernet subscribers do not, resulting in a difference in speeds.

While PONs typically offer symmetrical speeds of 1 Gigabit per second, active ethernet can exceed this, commonly offering symmetrical speeds of up to 10 Gbps.

“PONs are advantageous in rural marketplaces because they are more cost effective to deploy,” said Spann, adding that AONs are more beneficial in urban markets.

“XGS-PON, a higher bandwidth symmetrical version of PON, is something you’re going to start hearing about,” said Spann, detailing more future forward technology. XGS-PON is a way of introducing higher bandwidth to PON networks, offering symmetrical speeds of 10 Gbps.

“AT&T has advanced its fiber-to-the-home ‘last mile’ U-Verse network by deploying XGS-PON and has targeted 40 markets across the U.S.,” said Spann.

Looking forward, Spann said 5G and low earth orbit satellites hold the potential to offer new possibilities.

“LEOs claim they can solve the connectivity and latency issues associated with traditional geostationary satellites,” he said. LEO satellites “offer a new opportunity for areas unserved by other broadband technologies, if they work out the way Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos say they will.”

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Fiber

Partnerships And Trust Go Long Way To Securing Financing For Broadband Projects, Panelists Say

Broadband Breakfast panelists wrestle with the challenge of financing broadband infrastructure projects.

Tim White

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Screenshot taken from Broadband Live Online event

November 24, 2020 — In a virtual conversation sponsored by Connected Nation Michigan, Wes Kerr, director of community solutions at Connected Nation, was joined by Chip Spann, director of engineering and technical services at Connected Nation, to discuss the predominant technologies providing broadband service today and detail what kinds of technologies can be expected in the future.

According to Spann, there has been much effort focused on revitalizing the broadband technologies of the past to meet the bandwidth demands of the present moment.

“Vectored DSL technology is keeping many companies in the game,” said Spann, explaining that “vectoring” is a method of increasing the speeds possible over existing digital subscriber lines, so that they can deliver higher bandwidth speeds than they previously would be able to achieve.

The technology is allowing companies like AT&T, CenturyLink, and Frontier to maintain relevancy across their rural DSL networks, rather than retiring the aging copper systems.

VDSL is claimed to be capable of delivering speeds of 80 Megabits per second (Mbps) within the first 500 feet from the DSL Access Multiplexer, and speeds of 10 Mbps at distances up to three to four miles away from the DSLAM, or the DSL Access Multiplexer.

“Many rural Americans currently have no choice besides DSL,” said Spann. “I’m glad to see these companies are stepping up to provide better through-put speeds to those customers.”

Spann detailed the fiber technologies being employed to power futureproof networks across the country and the differences between fiber-to-the-home technologies being utilized.

“The key difference between active optical fiber networks and passive optical fiber networks is how the signal is split between the multiple fibers going to each customer and the resulting speeds,” said Spann.

Active optical fiber networks are considered point-to-point networks, as each customer gets its own individual fiber strand. On the other hand, passive optical fiber networks use optical splitters to divide bandwidth. PON customers share bandwidth, while active ethernet subscribers do not, resulting in a difference in speeds.

While PONs typically offer symmetrical speeds of 1 Gigabit per second, active ethernet can exceed this, commonly offering symmetrical speeds of up to 10 Gbps.

“PONs are advantageous in rural marketplaces because they are more cost effective to deploy,” said Spann, adding that AONs are more beneficial in urban markets.

“XGS-PON, a higher bandwidth symmetrical version of PON, is something you’re going to start hearing about,” said Spann, detailing more future forward technology. XGS-PON is a way of introducing higher bandwidth to PON networks, offering symmetrical speeds of 10 Gbps.

“AT&T has advanced its fiber-to-the-home ‘last mile’ U-Verse network by deploying XGS-PON and has targeted 40 markets across the U.S.,” said Spann.

Looking forward, Spann said 5G and low earth orbit satellites hold the potential to offer new possibilities.

“LEOs claim they can solve the connectivity and latency issues associated with traditional geostationary satellites,” he said. LEO satellites “offer a new opportunity for areas unserved by other broadband technologies, if they work out the way Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos say they will.”

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Europe

Openreach Partners With STL For Fiber Build

Openreach aims to get 20 million fiber-to-the-premise connections by later this decade.

Tim White

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on

Screenshot of STL's Ankit Agarwal via YouTube

November 24, 2020 — In a virtual conversation sponsored by Connected Nation Michigan, Wes Kerr, director of community solutions at Connected Nation, was joined by Chip Spann, director of engineering and technical services at Connected Nation, to discuss the predominant technologies providing broadband service today and detail what kinds of technologies can be expected in the future.

According to Spann, there has been much effort focused on revitalizing the broadband technologies of the past to meet the bandwidth demands of the present moment.

“Vectored DSL technology is keeping many companies in the game,” said Spann, explaining that “vectoring” is a method of increasing the speeds possible over existing digital subscriber lines, so that they can deliver higher bandwidth speeds than they previously would be able to achieve.

The technology is allowing companies like AT&T, CenturyLink, and Frontier to maintain relevancy across their rural DSL networks, rather than retiring the aging copper systems.

VDSL is claimed to be capable of delivering speeds of 80 Megabits per second (Mbps) within the first 500 feet from the DSL Access Multiplexer, and speeds of 10 Mbps at distances up to three to four miles away from the DSLAM, or the DSL Access Multiplexer.

“Many rural Americans currently have no choice besides DSL,” said Spann. “I’m glad to see these companies are stepping up to provide better through-put speeds to those customers.”

Spann detailed the fiber technologies being employed to power futureproof networks across the country and the differences between fiber-to-the-home technologies being utilized.

“The key difference between active optical fiber networks and passive optical fiber networks is how the signal is split between the multiple fibers going to each customer and the resulting speeds,” said Spann.

Active optical fiber networks are considered point-to-point networks, as each customer gets its own individual fiber strand. On the other hand, passive optical fiber networks use optical splitters to divide bandwidth. PON customers share bandwidth, while active ethernet subscribers do not, resulting in a difference in speeds.

While PONs typically offer symmetrical speeds of 1 Gigabit per second, active ethernet can exceed this, commonly offering symmetrical speeds of up to 10 Gbps.

“PONs are advantageous in rural marketplaces because they are more cost effective to deploy,” said Spann, adding that AONs are more beneficial in urban markets.

“XGS-PON, a higher bandwidth symmetrical version of PON, is something you’re going to start hearing about,” said Spann, detailing more future forward technology. XGS-PON is a way of introducing higher bandwidth to PON networks, offering symmetrical speeds of 10 Gbps.

“AT&T has advanced its fiber-to-the-home ‘last mile’ U-Verse network by deploying XGS-PON and has targeted 40 markets across the U.S.,” said Spann.

Looking forward, Spann said 5G and low earth orbit satellites hold the potential to offer new possibilities.

“LEOs claim they can solve the connectivity and latency issues associated with traditional geostationary satellites,” he said. LEO satellites “offer a new opportunity for areas unserved by other broadband technologies, if they work out the way Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos say they will.”

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