June 1, 2004 Atlanta--Wave7 Optics Inc., a developer of fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) systems for residential and business services, today announced that Comporium Communications (Rock Hill, SC), the 20th largest incumbent local-exchange carrier (CLEC) in the U.S., has selected the company's Last Mile Link system for new FTTP networks that are going live this year.
Comporium, with more than 150,000 current customers, is one of the largest telecommunications companies and cable TV system operators in the Southeast. The CLEC has decided to deploy FTTP as its broadband service for new home and office building development, also known as "green field" development.
Comporium will use FTTP to provide the triple play of voice, video, and data services to homes and businesses throughout their service area. Residential customers typically will enjoy up to four lines of VoIP telephone service, up to 150 channels of digital and high definition television (RF or IP, with plenty of available bandwidth to accommodate additional HDTV service), and 10 Mbits/sec or even faster Internet service. Business customers will have access to multiple T1 equivalent ports, video services, multiple phone lines and full Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) or 10 GbE support.
The selection of the Last Mile Link illustrates a growing trend in the industry to deploy "active Ethernet" based FTTP networks, as opposed to strictly passive optical network (PON) systems, according to the vendor.
"After reviewing all of the different FTTP technologies, we determined that an active Ethernet approach is the best long-term solution," said Dan Smith, vice president of engineering and planning for Comporium. "As IP over Gigabit Ethernet has reached maturity and all network architectures continue to migrate towards IP, we wanted to put in a platform that would take advantage of the magnitude of Ethernet technology and the resulting capital and operational savings. The Last Mile Link product from Wave7 met our criteria of having highly scaleable bandwidth, support of both RF and multicast IP video, and support of circuit- and soft-switched voice. As compared to coaxial or copper networks, the possibilities of fiber are endless. It is the only truly future-proof plant.
"In an ATM-based PON, a single unprotected trunk fiber from a conditioned central office is required to serve a small cluster of up to 32 homes," continued Smith. "However, using Wave7's Last Mile core fed by a redundant Gigabit Ethernet ring, we can serve several hundred customers at a time without having to dedicate a large number of fibers back to a central office. When customer demand grows, we can upgrade the Gigabit Ethernet ring to multiple Gigabits or to 10 Gigabit. That kind of bandwidth using ATM will always be cost prohibitive."
"The Last Mile Link positions Comporium well for the future in terms of available bandwidth to provide current and next-generation services and network reliability, security and intelligence," said Tom Tighe, chief executive officer of Wave7 Optics. "Our method of deep packet classification enables us to meet the 'lifeline' criteria for voice services and to offer different 'quality of service' levels to our customers. Furthermore, we continue to pace the industry with improved layer 3 network edge intelligence and other benefits."