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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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Monday, October 27, 2003


Last hurrah for municipal HFC cable systems?

Groton, Connecticut is on its' way to building a municipal cable system using hybrid fiber/coaxial (HFC) technology:

"State OKs competitive cable provider in Groton"

"Groton Utilities gets into TV business"

HFC technology has been used successfully for a decade by cable operators across the U.S. but has begun falling out of favor for new municipal cable systems; most new systems are going with newer FTTH (fiber to the home) technology. This is because municipal power utilities can install all-dielectric self-supporting cable in the power region of their poles more cheaply than they can install copper coaxial cable in the communications space -- they don't have to install new, taller poles to make room for another communications cable.

The much higher bandwidth and lower maintenance costs of FTTH systems are additional advantages.

Groton's system may be the last major municipal HFC system built in the U.S.

Meanwhile, municipal cable systems in Alameda, California and Frankfort, Kentucky are upgrading or expanding their existing HFC systems.


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