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Fiber Planners Inc.
Designers of fiber networks for electric utilities and communities.

News and comments on community broadband networks, the communities deploying them and the technologies that support them. Published by Denise Frey and Al Bonnyman.

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Some of the topics we cover:

  • ADSS cable technology
  • OPGW cable technology
  • Fiber to the home
  • Powerline broadband
  • Fixed wireless broadband
  • Other power utility telecom topics
  • Innovative fiber deployment technologies

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Note: comments posted are strictly the opinion of the poster and not necessarily those of Fiber Planners Inc. or any other posters.


Tuesday, May 20, 2003


"Forrester Research Media Alert: Who Will Network The Home?"

"Forrester Research Media Alert: Who Will Network The Home?"

Forrester Research has released a report looking at some of the issues and opportunities involved in networking the home. Few homes now are networked, but increasing adoption of broadband will drive families with multiple PCs to install home networks. Once that happens, Forrester predicts new applications will arise that marry PC-based technology with entertainment equipment in thehome. Finally, various home automation will extend to appliances and ventilation systems.

The press release contains a synopsis of Forrester's report and is worth reading.

At Fiber Planners, we're evaluating 3 last mile connectivity options for some of our power utility clients -- FTTH (fiber to the home), fixed wireless and powerline broadband. A major factor in evaluating vendor products in any of these 3 areas is the amount of work required to get a signal from the outside of a new customer's home to the customer's computer (and, if applicable, to their TV and telephone). A few comments:

1. For "triple play" (voice, data and video) FTTH offerings, we prefer customers be able to hook into the utility's device on the side of the house using their existing CATV coax, at least to get basic and expanded cable TV. Customers should not have to rewire the home with Category 5 twisted pair or fiber optic cable just to get the same type programming already offered by cable TV operators. Likewise, they should not have to deploy a set-top box for basic cable. (For true video on demand or other new advanced services a set-top box or even new wiring might be required.)

We've also suggested FTTH vendors include the option for a Wi-Fi base station integrated into the boxes they put on the side of the house so that homeowners can distribute the data signal to their PCs without having to pull Cat 5 cable. This would likely lower the cost and hassles of hooking up new FTTH subscribers (while offering the vendors some incremental revenue).

2. Likewise, if phone service is offered, it makes more sense (and is more easily implemented) to have a simple phone jack on the utility's device rather than requiring the customer to invest in special VoIP (voice over IP) phones or converters.

3. In areas with a lot of trees (notorious for absorbing 2.4 GHz wireless broadband signals), fixed wireless networks should be designed so that subscribers can reliably get signals 24X7 without someone (the subscriber or the utility) having to spend over $1000 to connect to the network with a large antenna rig or sawing down trees.


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