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Ed Mallette, US cable operator Bright House Networks
In the lead up to Fixed Access Networks summit 2015, we’ve spoken with Ed Mallette, Distinguished Engineer at the US cable operator Bright House Networks. Ed will be sharing a case study on FTTH in the morning of Day 1, April 22nd. Here are a few questions he answered for us before the event:
1. Ed, please tell us a little bit about Bright House Networks and your latest fixed access network projects.
Bright House Networks a North American Cable Operator, providing residential services (voice, video, high speed data, WiFi) and commercial services that include both commercial versions of the residential services as well as advanced managed services (including managed security, managed VPN, MEF services.) The latest fixed access network projects are the following:
- Symmetric Gigabit Ethernet service to the home (1Gb/s up, 1Gb/s down)
- Small Cell Backhaul Service delivery
2. What have been some of the key lessons learnt by Bright House Networks as a cable operator, during your FTTH rollout?
Constructing the network and trenching the fiber are the easy parts. Once we committed to the capital expense network expansions are relatively’ easy – we have made a business out of being successful at network rollouts. A few of the challenges we’ve encountered are below:
- Writing new software to extend an existing provisioning framework is hard, for us… I mean we have “Network” in our company name, we are sometimes challenged in providing a flock of software developers to write the code that further enables our business.
- Managing the in-home product (CPE) cost effectiveness for the very high speed tiers is non-trivial
- Extending the previously relatively simple integrated CPE that includes voice, WiFi, standard internet, routing capabilities requires products that haven’t shipped
- Some of this is due to the requirement that we leverage existing provisioning capabilities
- It ends up being a game of trade-offs. This means that there wasn’t much of a status quo that we could rely on. Teams that hadn’t been on the forefront of completely new access technology roll-out since 1999 are having to evolve to be a participant in the engineering process
- Not everyone is thrilled about a strong competitor to the legacy access technology (in our case HFC and DOCSIS.)
3. How has fibre deployment impacted business revenues?
We’ve been using EPON since 2006, prior to that we were using BPON. We are very happy with the revenue generated by our commercial business, much of which comes out of fiber-based products. The year-over-year growth is also very strong. More than that by using fiber-sharing technology like EPON reduces our costs meaning we can deliver more competitively-priced products.
4. What would be your advice to other operators who are just starting similar projects?
The advice would completely depend on the culture and strengths of the theoretical operator. But generally I think my advice would be – (a) clear the calendars for a bunch of existing software developers or hire some new ones; and (b) work to establish broad collaboration between both product development, product delivery, and product support.
5. What are you most looking forward to at Fixed Access Networks summit 2015 in Berlin?
I’m really looking forward to hearing from some of my colleagues in the industry to see how they’re going about addressing some of the challenges, lessons learned above, particularly how many of my industry colleagues are handling the push-pull of a cost-conscious CPE deployment versus deployment simplicity versus high performance.
To download the programme for the event, click here: http://bit.ly/1vTeG3E
To register or apply for a free operator pass, click here: http://bit.ly/1q0PYyS
We look forward to seeing you in Berlin in April 2015!