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Gfast map July 2017

Dark blue: Firm commitments from incumbent: BT (10M), Belgacom, Australian NBN, Swisscom,  Austria, Bezeq Israel, Chunghwa Taiwan, Telus Canada, Telekom South Africa, SK Korea, (U.S.) AT&T, Century, Frontier, Windstream, Belgium, Omantel

Light blue: Smaller carriers in Germany, Norway, Finland, Japan

Green: Incumbent likely:  France, Germany, & Poland  

Hurricane Katrina NOAAMany carriers prefer in buildings where full fiber is expensive to run. AT&T has been very unclear which of their 12M+ planned homes would get fiber to the basement/ and which would get fiber all the way. They've brought fiber to a million commercial locations and I believe more than 10,000 cell sites. It's relatively inexpensive to extend some of that to residences, well under $1,000/home. (The quotes from Bill Smith are from an excellent Alan Breznick interview. Smith, then CTO of BellSouth, led the recovery after Katrina. He's always worth listening to.)

By late 2014, competitors saw AT&T begin a massive "fiber" build in apartment buildings, complementary to their commercial fiber. AT&T engineers played a major role in defining The standard was written to the needs of AT&T and British Telecom.

Everyone in the business was developing products, confident AT&T would be interested. I wrote that many of the "fiber to the premises" lines would be fiber to the basement and from there. I also wrote that anyone who was sure what AT&T would do was uninformed. I inferred that from hearing different things from various parts of AT&T. They hadn't made up their mind.

The March LR interview confirmed the decision still is open. Smith is hopeful that, "Turns out to be part of our arsenal." Bill added, "The big opportunity for is in the MDU space,"  AT&T is deeply involved with the community, watching England and all the others starting to deploy. The vendors are constantly visiting with the latest good news.

As CEO Stephenson said a while back, running fiber has become much less expensive. Smith tells LR, "We're way, way beyond meeting that target," referring to a $1,000 install cost. But retrofitting fiber most places will always cost more. "We just can't figure out a better way to dig a trench." Lower fiber costs are important around the world. Free in France reports, "It's quicker, less expensive. We've learnt a lot."

AT&T told Wall Street they would begin cutting capital spending after 2014. They had LTE to a claimed 98% of the country, almost catching up to Verizon. Project VIP, which brought fiber to almost every business, was mostly done. They had virtually stopped U-Verse, deciding to go wireless-only to more than ten million homes. 

Keeping capex down implies they will not fiber most of their customers this decade. 12M+ homes is one of the largest fiber builds in the West but is well under half their U-Verse footprint and little more than a quarter of their footprint. They may or may not do more next decade, depending on their decisions on 5G wireless.

Fiber home or fiber basement? Yes. 





it's quicker, less expensive. We've learnt a lot

The Site for gfast 230 News
A remarkable 400 people attended the very strong Broadband Forum BASE events in Berlin and Las Vegas. Trevor confirmed BT would pass the million this year. Cioffi projected “Waveguide DSL” could carry 10 gigabits a kilometer as well as a terabit 100 meters. Werner sees a 4X improvement in upstream with cDTA. Much more in next issue.

Deutsche Wants a Gigabit, Finally Realizes 50 Meg Isn't Enough
Deutsche Telekom is finally realizing that 50 megabit DSL won't make it against gigabit cable. VP Franz Seiser is blunt. "We must change radically, become disruptive and, above all, throw away things," he proclaims at BBWF. After years of DT insisting 50 megabits is plenty, we now hear "it is about Gigabit products" from DT's Robert Soukup.  
    A lucky building in Frankfurt will receive 500+ megabit service as ultra-conservative Deutsche Telekom experiments with Soukup told BBWF, "We're going to have a field test in Frankfurt with and Fiber To The Building (FTTB.) We will know by the end of the year if this is the right way to go." Hint to Soukup: Yes it is. is working well at a dozen telcos I;ve talked to.
     The details are surprising. DT is going for CORD, Open Source, Calix, and Radisys.

*** The new Telebyte Guide to Testing Gfast follows the Broadband Forum IR-337 Gfast test specification, the same used by the University of New Hampshire (UNH-IOL) for Gfast certification testing. Free download (ad) It is the best technical guide to  I have seen. Grab it. Dave

1.6 Gig in Sckipio-Calix Test
A telco tells me they are getting impressive early results from the Calix 48 port DSLAM with the new Sckipio 212 MHz chips. There still is work to do but this is encouraging. 
    Carriers want DSLAMs with more than 16 ports to reduce the deployment costs from the basement or larger field cabinets. Speed matters to the marketing side of the company; AT&T's CEO believes he must offer a true gigabit to match cable. (They've been getting ~750 megabits with first generation chips.

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Beyond-the-Box visibility and control extends quality-of-experience (QoE) beyond the gateway to the end-user device for every device in the home. Based on ASSIA technology, proven across 80 million subscribers (ad)

Reverse Power 4 Port DSLAM for Australia
Australia is connecting 1M homes to, some with a Netcomm distribution point mini-DSLAM. It's a small unit designed for pole or pit mounting. It's waterproof, pressure proof, and temperature resistant. Their matching home modem is bittorrent friendly, with two USB ports for a hard drive dedicated to sharing.
     A reverse power unit at the customer, the NDD-0100-01, can save the cost of bringing power to the DSLAM. They don't expect many orders until the second half of 2018, as nbn is waiting for the second generation chips. Netcomm demonstrated RP with BT Openreach in August.

*** Sckipio's Three advances are taking to the next level. (ad)

Australia Makes it Official: to Million Plus
No news here. In September, 2015, I reported Australia's nbn Going This June. I reported the million home fiber to the curb (kerb?) was beginning. Unfortunately, they are no closer to figuring out where to find the needed $10B to $20B to cover the cost overruns. Instead, the parties are battling in Parliament about who is to blame.

2 Bonded 212 Lines = 3 Gigabits
Sckipio at BBWF is demonstrating 3 gigabits down, nearly a gigabit up, over two phone lines, bonded. Twice the bandwidth (212 MHz instead of 106 MHz) times two lines is fast. Sckipio does great demos; at CES, they showed first generation chips delivering almost 1 gig upstream.
    “Sckipio is pushing Gfast to astonishing speeds with production silicon,” CEO David Baum proclaims. Calix is using the SCK23000 chipset in their 48 port gig+ DSLAM at the show.

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