Questions being raised by French carriers about promoting FTTB fibre service

Article – French language / Langue Française)

Is the fibre-optic Internet service to the building or to the apartments?

Is the fibre-optic Internet service to the building or to the apartments?

“Vraie” fibre contre “fausse” fibre : le gouvernement veut clarifier les choses |ZDNet.fr

“Real” fibre versus “fake” fibre : Government wants to set things right

My Comments

An issue that will surface with deploying fibre-based next-generation Internet service to apartment and office blocks and shopping centres is how should the Internet service be properly qualified as far as the consumers are concerned.

In France, where a lot of households are based in apartments, there is a fair bit of bickering about whether a service provider had installed a fibre-to-the-premises or a fibre-to-the-building deployment.  This is especially where service providers are wanting to run that their fibre installation is “real” fibre rather than “false” fibre as part of one-upping themselves against the competition.

In a multi-occupancy development, a fibre-to-the-premises deployment has fibre-optic cabling going to each apartment, shop, office or other premises. This is compared to a fibre-to-the-basement development, also known as a fibre-to-the-building development where the fibre-optic cabling goes to the building’s telecoms closet and a copper-based cabling solution is used to bring the Internet service to each apartment or shop. The copper-based cabling solution could implement VDSL2 which uses the building’s existing telephone cabling, DOCSIS 3.1 which uses the coaxial cabling that is part of cable-TV infrastructure or Gigabit Ethernet with new Cat5 or Cat6 twisted-pair “blue” cabling.

Most consumer-driven deployments would focus on the fact that households primarily download stuff and would focus on the download speed. But there are users who place value on upload speed which is one of the advantages offered by fibre-to-the-premises. These would include people who frequently work from home or run a home-based business, along with the shops, offices and like premises used for business purposes. They would place importance on uploading so as to facilitate cloud computing, telecommunications, onilne-storage and similar business services. Similarly, the concept of a future-proof next-generation Internet deployment would be considered important as peoples’ needs evolve.

An all-fibre deployment along with a fibre-copper deployment that uses Cat5 or Cat6 Gigabit Ethernet cabling for its copper component would offer the synchronous download-upload capabilities and high speeds that business users would want.

But there needs to be a standard for qualifying whether a service provider or infrastructure provider  has wired that multi-occupancy building with a fibre-to-the-premises setup or a fibre-to-the-building setup. This would include what kind of technology the copper component was based on in the latter service type and whether it is feasible to upgrade to an all-fibre installation along with extra approximate costs.

As well, there would need to be requirements concerning the kind of marketing spiel that service providers or infrastructure providers deliver to those with executive authority over the buildings and the marketing spiel delivered to potential customers who occupy these buildings.

At least the French are fleshing out this issue so that there are proper requirements regarding the marketing of next-generation broadband to apartment dwellers and shopping-centre tenants.

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C Spire and Google Fiber increase fibre-based competitive broadband coverage

Articles US Flag By Dbenbenn, Zscout370, Jacobolus, Indolences, Technion. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Google Fiber

Google Fiber Gets Approval For Expansion Into San Antonio | Broadband News And DSL Reports

San Antonio’s size proving to be a challenge for Google Fiber | San Antonio Business Journal

C Spire

C Spire Deploys Gigabit Service to a Fourth City | Broadband News And DSL Reports

My Comments

Some communities in the US’s south are about to face the end of the cable-TV / Baby-Bell duopoly courtesy of some fibre-optic Gigabit broadband services being rolled in those areas.

Google Fiber has received approval to start deploying in San Antonio which is their second Texas-based deployment. But they are facing logistical issues that are caused by that city’s geography, especially the land mass and topography. They still insist that they can surmount these issues and what I see of this is that they can learn from this deployment on how to roll out fibre-optic Internet in to cities that have difficult terrain and can share it with the rest of the industry.

While down in Mississippi, C Spire have been at it themselves rolling out Gigabit-capable fibre infrastructure to offer competing Internet service in nine cities in that state. They are an independent provider who offer mobile-telephony service in some of the US”s Deep South but are cutting in to fixed-infrastructure Internet service.

One of these that has “lit up” this week is Clinton where they offer Gigabit Internet for US$70 per month, double-play Internet + phone for US$90 per month, double-play Internet + super HDTV for US$130 per month and a triple-play phone, Internet and TV for US$150 per month.

The deployment is supposedly based on interest and they are focusing on Southern communities which are in their mobile-telephony footprint and are capitalising on their existing fibre infrastructure. C Spire could also follow in Google FIber’s footsteps by sponsoring various computer-literacy programs targeted at disadvantaged communities and older generations.

As long as there are more companies offering to compete with the Baby Bell or the cable-TV company by offering better broadband for the US’s neighbourhoods, it could be a chance to raise the standard for Internet service value and quality.

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Gigaclear increases their Essex footprint

Article

Epping Forest   © Copyright tim and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence tim [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Epping Forest – to get fibre-to-the-premises Internet

Gigaclear Deal Brings 1Gbps FTTP Broadband to 4,500 Essex Premises | ISPReview

From the horse’s mouth

Superfast Essex (Essex County Council)

Press Release

My Comments

Gigaclear has put their foot in Essex’s door to offer fibre-to-the-premises broadband Internet.

Here, they were selected by the Superfast Essex project team initiated by the Essex County Council as a break from BT deploying most next-generation Internet projects in the county. It is part of the new “Rural Challenge” effort covering the Epping Forest area and receives funding from public and private sources with public money coming from the UK Government and from local government in the form of the Epping Forest District Council and the Essex County Council. The private source of funding comes primarily from Gigaclear.

They will deploy fibre-to-the-premises next-generation broadband to 4,500 properties in the Epping Forest area which will encompass Fyfield, Stapleford, Tawney, Bobbingworth and closely-located communities. The project will get off the ground in November 2015 and be complete by December 2016 if things go to plan and Gigaclear were awarded GBP£7.5m to have it running. As regular readers will know, Gigaclear’s fibre-to-the-premises infrastructure supports the same bandwidth for both uploading and downloading and they are capable of offering Gigabit transfer speeds for the Internet services.

If this project is deemed successful, the Essex County Council could consider covering more of that county with the fibre-to-the-home technology courtesy of Gigaclear. The wider Superfast Essex project is still based on FTTC fiber-copper technology provided by BT Openreach and this covers 87% of the county.

A good question that is worth raising is whether these rollouts could technically and legally support infrastructure-level competition including allowing one provider to provide infrastructure for FTTP broadband while another can provide infrastructure for fibre-copper broadband services. It also encompasses whether a retail provider would be able to have access to one network or all of the networks and I would find it worth looking at how the French have been rolling out fibre broadband on an infrastructure-competition basis and is something that Ofcom could investigate when it comes to assuring a sustainably-competitive best-value Internet service for urban-living and rural-living Britons.

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European Commission gives financial thumbs-up for Germany’s rural-broadband efforts

Article

German countryside - By Manfred&Barbara Aulbach (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

European Union provides aid to Germany for real broadband in its rural areas

Euro Commish OKs €3bn German broadband aid scheme | The Register

Further resources

Breitbandauschreibungen.de – Broadband infrastructure office (German language / Deutsche Sprache)

Previous coverage

Discussions in Germany about how broadband can benefit rural areas

Deutsche Telekom raises isssues about rural broadband in Germany

My Comments

Germany has had a long desire to make sure that rural areas in their Länder (States), especially their Flächlander (Area States) which have these rural areas, were getting real broadband. Now they have been given EUR€3 billion to help them with these efforts.

According to the Breitbandauschreibungen.de Website which is administering this aid, Saxony-Anhalt have become the “first cab off the rank” to seek funding for various projects to assure 50Mb broadband over the State. Most of these efforts in the site have been fielded by local governments under the auspices of the Staatskanzlei des Landes Sachsen-Anhalt (the state government for the Saxony-Anhalt state).

Most likely these efforts will take place at the state (Länder} level with help from local government rather than the onus being placed on Berlin. This works better because the state and local governments know what’s going on at the coalface. But Berlin would need to play its part in assuring real competition for broadband Internet service throughout Gernany and not give Deutsche Telekom special favours.

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Gigaclear provides full-fibre Internet to the Cotswolds

Article

Cotswolds hill and village picture courtesy of Glenluwin (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

More of the Cotswolds to benefit from real broadband

Gigaclear wins Gloucestershire contract to provide ultrafast broadband  | ThinkBroadband

UPD 1Gbps FTTP Broadband Coming to 6,495 Premises in Gloucestershire UK | ISPReview.co.uk

From the horse’s mouth

FasterShire public-private Internet partnership

Press Release

My Comments

The Cotswolds is an Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty located south of the centre of England. Because of this characteristic underscored by the rolling hills and the villages that have their buildings built out of the local stonework, it is another of those country areas that attract people who want to move out of the city to the country. It also attracts an artisan culture with a fair bit of local arts and crafts going on.

But what about making sure that these people who live and work in the Cotswolds have access to real Internet service? This problem is being rectified by a partnership between Gigaclear and the FasterShire public-private Internet-service partnership to bring full fibre broadband to the villages of Guiting Power, Chedworth, Whelford, Bilbury and Icomb.

This was initially a British Telecom project which covered Phase 1 of the rollout but the Gigaclear partnership has underscored that BT can’t have a clear run of the Phase 2 contracts. It is based on Gigaclear’s track record with supplying some of the small villages around the Home Counties with a future-proof fibre-to-the-premises broadband service, something regular readers of HomeNetworking01.info will be familiar with. It will still complement British Telecom’s efforts in this locale and the goal will be to have the Internet service pass 6,450 premises in the Cotswolds area and will break FasterShire’s goal of 90% broadband coverage.

Geoffrey Clifton Brown, who is the local MP for Cotswolds established an election promise to cover his electorate with real broadband at the door for all of his constituents.

As well, the Gigaclear solution isn’t just about fibre to the premises but also about Internet services with a subscriber-level bandwidth of a Gigabit/second symmetrically this achieving a service that is effectively future-proof for these areas. This also caters for the increasing trend towards video-conferencing and cloud-based computing in both the home and business computing applications.

What I would like to see for Gigaclear to achieve is to provide FTTH not just to new areas but as a competing service for areas that have an FTTC setup provided by BT Openreach so that they can be able to benefit from the higher throughput.

Keep up the good work in providing city-business-grade broadband to rural communities, Gigaclear and FasterShire!

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Google Fiber brings competitive Internet to two more cities

Articles US Flag By Dbenbenn, Zscout370, Jacobolus, Indolences, Technion. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Google Fiber Construction Begins in Salt Lake City | Broadband News And DSL Reports

Google Fiber Construction Begins in Nashville | Broadband News And DSL Reports

My Comments

AT&T, Verizon, Comcast and co are on notice in Nashville and Salt Lake City as Google gets work underway to bring fibre-driven next-generation Internet to the households’ doors in those cities. This is showing that they are coming good on their network expansion plans for their Google Fiber service.

With both these cities, Google reckons that the price for Internet service from their Google Fiber network will be similar to what has been called for Provo and Kansas City. This will typically be in the ballpark of US$70 / month for symmetrical Gigabit Internet service and US$130 / month for symmetrical Gigabit Internet plus pay-TV. They even offer a 6Mbps baseline Internet service for US$300 installation costs. Small businesses may end up with a business-grade symmetrical Gigabit service for US$100 / month.

As well, once Google has their Fiber footprint in a city, they also instigate community initiatives like computer literacy classes such as what they have done in Austin for that city’s public-housing communities. As well, situations do turn in the favour of customers when Google Fiber touches a city because there is real competition for residential and small-business Internet service.

I would reckon that Nashville and Salt Lake City are likely to see strong benefits from these rollouts with them becoming attractive to live or do business there along with properties that have this fibre-optic Internet service gaining value.

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Hyperoptic brings wired broadband to one of London’s marinas

Articles

Pleasure-boats at a marina in Melbourne

Fibre-to-the-basement broadband could be seen as a way to add next-generation broadband to a marina

Hyperfast broadband for boats in London’s South Dock marina | ThinkBroadband

Fibre to the barges: Hyperoptic connects houseboats to gigabit broadband | Recombu

UK ISP Hyperoptic Touts Hyperfast 1Gbps Fibre-to-the-Boat Broadband | ISPReview.co.uk

London marina boats get faster broadband than most UK homes | Cable.co.uk

From the horse’s mouth

Hyperoptic

Press Release

My Comments

There are some of us who use boats for more than just sailing around. For some of us, they are our residences but whether you are at a marina or tying up at a quiet shore, the issue of broadband can be a limitation.

Typically, if a marina provides broadband Internet service to its tenants, this would be in the form of Wi-Fi provisioned in the same vein as a hotel’s or caravan park’s public-access Wi-Fi service. This typically involves a few Wi-Fi access points over the marina’s area and a Web-based login experience. On the other hand, if there isn’t any Wi-FI Internet, the sailor would have to use a USB wireless-broadband dongle or a Mi-Fi router to get broadband on the boat and most of these services aren’t very good value for money especially for those who live on a boat.

Draytek Vigor 2860N VDSL2 business VPN-endpoint router press image courtesy of Draytek UK

A dual-WAN router like thsi one coudl earn its keep on a houseboat or yacht

Now Hyperoptic have worked with the Southwark Council in London to provide a more exciting broadband service to sailors who live at the South Dock Marina. They have implemented the same technique used to provide “fibre-to-the-building” or “fibre-to-the-basement” next-generation broadband to multi-tenancy buildings, work they are familiar with, to setting this marina up for wired broadband.

Here, they have a communications hub installed at both the South Dock marina and the Greenland Dock marina along with Cat5e Ethernet cabling toe each of the residential berths. The resident sailors would need to drop an Ethernet cable between the facilities box on the berth and their boat and use a wireless broadband router with Ethernet WAN connection to distribute the broadband across their craft while they are moored at the dock. Of course, the “Mi-Fi” would still be needed when you are out sailing, but this need could be served better through the use of a dual-WAN router that uses a USB connection for mobile-broadband modems as a WAN option.

They subscribe to a private Internet service similar to what we would subscribe to at home or in our businesses and can benefit from broadband and landline packages with 20Mb/s, 100Mb/s and 1Gb/s bandwidth depending on the package. At the time of the press release, there has been at least 50% takeup of these services which I see as being of promise for this kind of service.

Here, this dodges the bullets associated with the metal construction associated with most craft or mobile-broadband plans that are either capped or charged at exorbitant rates.

Using the fibre-to-the-building method of deploying broadband to a marina that has a significant number of people living “on-board” could make for a value-added extra especially in any of the “new shoreline suburbs” cropping up in most of the cities where each of these developments has to have a marina. Tie this with next-generation broadband service plans that are sold “by-the-month” or in a manner that appeals to occasionally-occupied premises and this could appeal to more sailor types.

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Claverton assists BT in providing real broadband to that village

Kennet and Avon Canal near Claverton, Bath, Somerset © Copyright Clive Barry and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons LicenceArticle

UPDATE Tiny Village of Claverton co-Funds BT Fibre Broadband Rollout | ISPReview.co.uk

From the horse’s mouth

Claverton Parish Council

Broadband rollout web page

My Comments

I have previously covered some community efforts that have taken place in the UK to see real broadband Internet be available in various rural villages such as some of the Gigaclear efforts.

But the 115-strong community in Claverton, a Somerset village just a stone’s throw from Bath, have been the first community of its kind to co-fund British Telecom to establish a “fibre-to-the-cabinet” broadband network to cover that village. Here, BT responded with laying 2 kilometres of underground ducting and 4 kilometres worth of overhead and underground fibre-optic cable. This was terminated with 2 new street cabinets with one delivering regular ADSL and telephony services and the other serving as the fibre off-ramp for the next-gen FTTC broadband of up to 80Mbps.

Previously, the broadband service that covered the Claverton community was a joke with bandwidth of less than 1Mbps. This village was one of those communities that would be considered too small for the UK Government’’s “Broadband Delivery UK” programme and of course too small for commercially-viable rollout.

This was about a community that can work together to get something real done about their broadband service, making the village more viable economically. As well, it was about forcing an incumbent carrier like BT to adapt to the needs of a small community. Similarly, the infrastructure that is laid as a result of servicing Claverton can be used as a thoroughfare to service communities that are further out from there.

 

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NBN to raise the bandwidth on wireless-broadband

Article

Tarcutta Halfway Motor Inn

Small rural businesses like this motel will benefit from the increase in bandwidth provided through NBN’s fixed-wireless broadband service

NBN Co to trial faster fixed wireless | IT News

From the horse’s mouth

National Broadband Network

Press Release

My Comments

The National Broadband Network is rolling out to most of rural Australia a fixed-wireless broadband service. This is based around towers scattered around the country areas which provide a radio link to a fixed-wireless modem that is installed at the customer’s premises and connected to their network’s router.

This connection has been rated at 25Mbps for the top-tier broadband offering has now had this bandwidth speed raised to 50Mbps down and 20Mbps up for this same package. It is being offered on a trial basis with the goal of having this improvement available in full production in the fourth quarter of the year. These are typically “headline” link speeds that can be achieved under ideal situations.

The goal is to expose to the rural community the kind of speeds most of us who live in urban areas and have properly-behaving ADSL2+ setups take for granted. This would lead to something that would suit most Internet activities that would benefit these communities, well more than an ADSL service provided using a DSLAM at the exchange that is connected to long-run decrepit telephone infrastructure that seems to be the order of the day for these users.

Personally, I would like to know what real improvement will there be for most country properties when the throughput is increased. But I would see this also making Internet real for people living or working in the country.

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Quality of life becomes another argument to validate rural broadband

Article

Tree on a country property

Local government could also improve the reality of proper broadband in the country

Good Broadband Helps Lift Rutland to Top Halifax’s 50 Best Rural Areas | ISPReview

My Comments

I have given increased coverage to the subject of rural broadband, including implementation of next-generation technologies in the country.

Here I have stood for proper rural broadband due to raising the bar for people who live or work in the country rather than treating them as second-class citizens, something I have experienced with radio, television and telephone. An example of this was a telephone service that was frequently riddled with crosstalk, a radio service with reduced access to music content or a TV service with unreliable reception.

In the UK, the Broadband Delivery UK programme assisted by British Telecom made sure that real broadband passed 98% of the county’s premises courtesy of fibre-to-the-cabinet technology. This was also complemented in some villages with fibre-to-the-premises technology courtesy of Gigaclear and Rutland Telecom. This has been demonstrated as a way to lift the value of the properties in these areas as the quality of broadband service can improve one’s online life.

But real broadband in rural areas has been seen as contributing to an improvement to quality of life in these neighbourhoods, which was highlighted in a Halifax survey that was just published. Halifax factored the quality of broadband service in to this list with a bandwidth of 2Mbps or greater as a positive influence. Here, the Rutland neighbourhood appeared at number 1 thanks to the Gigaclear and BDUK

These figures could be used by local government and citizen groups to substantiate why real competition is important for Internet service and why country areas need real Internet service that is reliable. It can also be used by national governments to define the standard of adequate broadband Internet service and justify having this service covered by a universal-service obligation along with protection of real competition for these services and the provision of public money to set these services up.

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