October 18, 2004 Washington, DC -- Fiber Optic Communities of the United States (FOCUS), a non-profit organization representing communities with optical access networks, has announced two new members serving fiber communities, as well as agreements with three public interest partners.
Joining the FOCUS ranks is fiber infrastructure provider Capitol Broadband of Apex, NC, currently building fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) networks in several new housing developments around the country, including North Carolina, Virginia, Alabama, and Florida. Also joining is Jackson Energy Authority of Jackson, TN, representing the largest municipally owned FTTP network in America.
"We are delighted to gain national support of industry leaders like Capitol Broadband and Jackson Energy," said FOCUS founder and president Max R. Kipfer. "These are two dynamic FTTP organizations with business models that bring developers and service providers together over state-of-the-art fiber infrastructure. Their networks and technologies are making triple-play voice, video, and data services a reality and will provide tremendous quality-of-life enhancements to consumers."
Capitol Broadband plans to include a membership in FOCUS for each of its customer and fiber communities coming on line. "We provide developers and homeowners with the fiber infrastructure and broadband services previously unavailable," said Glen Lang, CEO of Capitol Broadband. "Demand for FTTP has grown dramatically in the last two years, and we are happy to work with FOCUS to inform consumers of its availability."
Jackson Energy Authority went live with its FTTP network, E+ Broadband, in April 2004 and recently added its 3,000th customer. By fall of 2005, E+ Broadband will extend to each of the 26,000 homes and 5,000 businesses in the city. "It's a very exciting time in Jackson," said Kim Kersey, Jackson Energy Authority senior vice president of telecommunications. "E+ Broadband is already creating economic development and consumer benefit, and our affiliation with FOCUS gives us another avenue for telling that story."
FOCUS also announced partnerships with three nationally recognized public advocacy groups: the Telework Consortium and Telework Coalition, complementary organizations dedicated to increasing the ability of American workers to operate from home and other non-office locations, and One Economy Corp., which works to ensure the availability of broadband connectivity in affordable housing areas.
"An important part of the FOCUS mission is to ensure that Americans receive the greatest possible benefit from the deployment of FTTP," said Kipfer. "By partnering with public interest groups such as the Telework Consortium, Telework Coalition, and One Economy Corp., we can accelerate consumer awareness of FTTP and its positive, life-changing amenities."
FOCUS will hold an official launch event at 9:30 a.m. EST, October 25th at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. Speakers will include Link Hoewing of Verizon Communications, Paul Morris of the Utah Telecommunications Open Infrastructure Agency (UTOPIA), Amanda Jensen of Brambleton Group LLC, Michael Render of Render, Vanderslice and Associates, Leonard Ray of the Fiber-to-the-Home Council, and FOCUS General Counsel Lawrence Freedman of Fleischman and Walsh LLP. Attendance may be reserved online at www.CommunitiesInFocus.com or by calling (202) 223-6287. Event video will be available after October 25 at www.CommunitiesInFocus.com.