Wave7Optics and Jackson Energy plan 'largest' FTTP network deployment in US

8 October 2003 New Orleans, LA Lightwave Europe -- Mixed utility company Jackson Energy Authority (JEA) of Jackson, Tennessee and Wave7Optics are teaming up to build what they call the largest "fiber-to-the-premises" (FTTP) network in North America.

- Wave7 receives initial purchase order of USD15 million to deliver Ultra High Speed Last Mile Link optical broadband equipment through 2004

8 October 2003 New Orleans, LA -- Mixed utility company Jackson Energy Authority (JEA) of Jackson, Tennessee and Wave7Optics are teaming up to build the largest "fiber-to-the-premises" (FTTP) network in North America.

Upon its completion in 2005, the network will pass 31,000 homes and businesses in JEA's electric service area. The two companies made the announcement at the 2003 Fiber-to-the-Home Conference and Expo, the FTTP industry's largest event.

Wave7 is scheduled to begin delivering network equipment in December 2003 and JEA anticipates it will initiate deployment in 1Q 2004. JEA expects to begin connecting customers to its new service, which will include over 250 analog and digital cable television channels, ultra high-speed (up to 500Mbit/s) two-way business and residential Internet connections, and full feature POTS and IP telephony (as a carrier's carrier for local CLECs), as early as Q2 2004.

"We are excited about rolling out the most advanced network anywhere in the U.S. - and maybe the world," said Kim Kersey, Senior VP of Telecommunications. "In addition to video, data and telephone services we offer, we recognise that broadband development is critical to the continued economic growth of our region and this network will certainly help in that regard."

"We've been working with JEA for a year as part of the planning process and we're delighted to get started with the project and to build upon our leadership position in the market," said Tom Tighe, CEO of Wave7 Optics.

"Jackson Energy Authority and Wave7 Optics are engaging in the largest FTTP deployment with secured financing in North America to date. Deployments of this scale are a clear indicator that FTTP is mainstream today," said Danny Briere, CEO of TeleChoice, a telecom analyst firm that tracks the FTTP industry closely.

The LML provides up to 300 times more capacity than competing broadband systems, such as DSL or cable modem, at the same or lower installation cost. Because of the inherent high-bandwidth capabilities of fibre optics and Wave7's architectural cost advantages, Jackson Energy can provide each of their residential customers access speeds from 64 kbit/s up to 100 Mbit/s "symmetrical" service, unlike typical asymmetrical services where download speeds far exceed "upload" speeds. Commercial customer high-speed bandwidth applications can range up to much greater speeds, potentially to Wave 7 Optics� 500 Mbps capability.

Furthermore, the LML uses standard data, telephone and CATV interfaces at its customer premise devices accommodating existing home and business telephone, television and computer systems, meaning customers do not have to buy new equipment to get on the new network.

The LML is an IP and Ethernet standards-based advanced optical access system that provides all traditional "carrier-grade" telephone services (including fax), high-speed data (e.g., Internet service) and both analog and digital video (including IP streaming video).

Featuring privacy and security encryption techniques and quality of service mechanisms designed for business applications, the LML overcomes the high-fiber counts, limited distance range and high central office equipment costs that have slowed the growth of FTTx systems.

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