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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, December 22, 2003


Verizon picks 4 more FTTP vendors: Corning, Tyco, PLP and ADC

Verizon announced this morning that it had "completed" the selection of vendors for its FTTP (fiber to the premises) program. The four vendors announced today -- Corning Cable Systems, Tyco, Preformed Line products (PLP) and ADC -- will provide fiber-optic cabling and other outside plant equipment, also known as the "passive" elements of the FTTP system.

It's not clear which vendors are providing which products, since many of their product lines overlap. It gets even more confusing when you note that Verizon had already picked Pirelli, Sumitomo and Fiber Optic Network Solutions (FONS) as FTTP passive element vendors earlier this fall. Pirelli, Sumitomo and Corning all make fiber optic cable, for instance. PLP, Tyco and Corning make splice closures. Most of these players make short connectorized fiber jumpers. Are these selections exclusive for individual products or is Verizon selecting multiple vendors to pit against each other? My guess is the latter, but if you know the real details, feel free to hit the "comments" link below and enlighten us.

PON (passive optical network) vendor Advanced Fibre Communications (AFC) remains an exclusive vendor (for now) for the "central office electronics" (does that mean that AFC may have competition for the electronics on the side of each house?).

Verizon's press release also had some information on deployment:
  • Two FTTP trials in the first half of 2004
  • Additional deployments in 100 central offices across 9 states
  • Deployments will consist of both "greenfield" (new residential construction) and overbuild (deploying fiber to existing subscribers now served by copper) projects
  • Total homes passed in 2004: 1 million
  • Verizon's deployment pace may "potentially" double in 2005
  • Verizon will not increase total capital expenditures but will rather shift them from copper to fiber

Verizon's press release continued the company's call for more favorable regulations from the FCC ("regulatory clarity" in Verizon's words).

Left unmentioned was the services Verizon intends to offer -- will they offer a cable TV type service? Video on demand?

The press release stated:
""With vendor selection complete, we are continuing work on our plans as well as the development of operations support systems (OSS) to start deploying a new technology that will revolutionize this industry."

OSS support for Verizon's FTTP network will not be trivial; I've noted in previous posts (1, 2, 3, 4) that the Bells' OSSs are incredibly complex, decades-old legacy systems. For this reason, my guess is that Verizon won't offer video in the first year or two; hopefully, I'm wrong.


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