Northern California home is turned on and tuned in
July 30, 2001--Competisys Corporation, an integrated utilities company based in Irvine, Calif., announced the "lighting" of its HomeStream system.
Competisys Corporation, an integrated utilities company based in Irvine, Calif., announced the "lighting" of its HomeStream system at Poppy Meadows, a Schuler Homes development located in the Northern California city of American Canyon.
The HomeStream system provides a broadband system that integrates telephone, video (digital television and other video products) and high-speed Internet services over a Gigabit Ethernet, direct fiber-optic connection into the home -- a connection that is up to 1,000 times the performance of most current broadband alternatives.
The speed of broadband alternatives -- cable modems and DSL connections -- is limited and causes a severe bottleneck in the "first mile." These limitations are based on either one or a combination of the following: the delivery system itself (copper or coaxial cable); the amount of users on the system; or, the distance of the user from the provider's central office (CO). In contrast, due to the direct fiber connection, HomeStream's speed and capacity is virtually unlimited and only restricted by the current technologies available to power the fiber system.
On the surface, the HomeStream system isn't radically different. Turn on the TV and there are channels to watch, pick up the phone and there's a dial tone, turn on the computer and there's an Internet connection. But, look closer and the differences that a direct fiber connection creates, become apparent. The differences are imbedded in the system itself -- the performance that is available and how it is managed.
HomeStream's performance is capable of delivering up to 1 Gigabit of capacity (more than 600 T1 lines), is full-duplex (up and downstream bandwidth is equal), and is dedicated to each user (no sharing with neighbors or distance limitations).
The fiber connection also enables HomeStream to deliver true video-on-demand, allowing customers to bypass the trip to the video store, sold out movies or late fees. The selections are from a variety of popular and new release movies, broadcast in DVD, surround sound quality. Additional features include personal video recording (PVR), parental control mechanisms, bill pay/preview, and web and email access. In addition, all television functions are controlled through the television's onscreen user guide.
HomeStream also allows users to reap the benefits of an IP phone system (business class features, low long distance calling rates and clear connections) while using their standard phone. Until now, this type of system could only be used with an expensive, business-type phone. Customers can also instantly change their phone service -- as well as all HomeStream services -- through a secure site on the community portal without a call to a customer service representative. For instance, if a customer wishes to add a phone line, they would go to the portal, enter their ID and password, check the add a phone line box, indicate where in the house the new phone line should ring and press enter. In a matter of seconds the system verifies the addition and the new phone line is automatically added in the home.
The delivery of broadband technology is often compared to a "fat pipe." The giant pipe is segmented into smaller pipes, or service channels. These sections create multiple Virtual Local Area Networks (VLANs) out of the 1000 Megabits of bandwidth, with each VLAN dedicated to a specific HomeStream service. Data is then transferred across the VLAN using Internet Protocol language and delivered into the home via fiber-optic cables.
The Competisys team has been working on the HomeStream system for nearly two years and has incorporated top network hardware and software products into their system, including Extreme Networks, Inc., Minerva Networks, Inc., Syndeo Corporation, Nuera Communications, Inc. and World Wide Packets.
To deliver "next-generation entertainment," Competisys has partnered with Minerva Networks, Inc. Minerva has a turn-key system that creates a complete solution for delivery of IP multicasting and video-on-demand content over a broadband network.
For the IP-based telephone system, Competisys chose Syndeo Corporation and Nuera Communications. Syndeo provides a Class 5/Local Exchange softswitch and service platform for VoIP.
World Wide Packets' solution brings the HomeStream system together by enabling up to a Gigabit Ethernet connection to every subscriber. Unlike any other IP-based system, World Wide Packets' solution allows the use of standard telephones.
Basic telephone service starts at $10.69 per month, per line with long distance calling rates as low as five cents per minute. Television services range from the basic service which includes 76 channels for $29.95 per month, to $76.95 per month for the premium service (110 channels, and 37 digital music channels) and all 41 movie channels (HBO, ShowTime, CineMax, Encore, Starz, The Movie Channel). The monthly rate for high-speed Internet connection starts at $79.95 per month for a 1 Megabit connection, but when combined with phone service including unlimited local toll calling, call waiting, caller ID, and call waiting ID, and the premium television services, the total monthly fee for the packaged service is $114.95.
Competisys Corporation integrates energy and direct-fiber optic broadband solutions for new residential and commercial properties, as well as cities, by providing telephone, television, Internet, gas, and electric services. For more information, visit www.competisys.com.
About Extreme Networks:
Extreme Networks, Inc. delivers switching solutions. For more information, visit www.extremenetworks.com.
Minerva Networks, Inc.:
Minerva Networks, Inc. is a provider of carrier-class video networking solutions that enable the delivery of broadcast-quality interactive television and video services over broadband IP networks. For more information, visit www.minervanetworks.com.
Nuera Communications, Inc.:
Nuera Communications, Inc. is a provider of Voice-over-Internet-Protocol (VoIP) infrastructure solutions that work over any medium (cable, wireless, copper and fiber). For more information, visit www.nuera.com.
About Schuler Homes:
Schuler Homes Inc. designs, builds and markets single-family residences.
About Syndeo Corporation:
Syndeo Corporation helps broadband local-loop carriers better manage, differentiate and profit from service offerings. For more information, visit www.syndeocorp.com.
About World Wide Packets:
World Wide Packets is a solutions provider for optical broadband connectivity. The company designs, develops and manufactures optical access network solutions. For more information, visit www.worldwidepackets.com.