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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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Wednesday, December 17, 2003


Washington: Grant County PUD officials questioning costs of FTTH project

Moving beyond previously noted controversies over individuals associated with Grant County Public Utility District's FTTH (fiber to the home) project, the PUD's commissioners are now studying the Zipp project's economics. They're worried about major cost overruns in completing the system.

According to the article, they've connected 10,000 users at a cost of $80 million; another 30,000 remain to be connected.

The numbers in the article are a little murky since it's unclear whether these are costs per home passed or per actual subscriber. Most FTTH system developers build fiber to within a hundred feet or so of every house but do not invest invest in the equipment and labor to connect the house until the resident signs up for service.

As other communities look at these numbers, it's important to realize that this was the first wide-scale FTTH deployment in the U.S. Equipment costs have dropped dramatically since the Zipp project was initiated. Depending on a municipal power utility's line density (number of homes per mile) and its' mix of aerial versus underground service, current costs can be under 25% of the $8,000 per user that the first Zipp subscribers cost.


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