Optical Solutions wins contract with BEK Communications

November 22, 2004 Minneapolis, MN -- Optical Solutions has been selected by BEK Communications of North Dakota for a multi-year plant replacement in portions of the cooperative's six-county service area.

November 22, 2004 Minneapolis, MN -- Optical Solutions has been selected by BEK Communications of North Dakota for a multi-year plant replacement in portions of the cooperative's six-county service area.

BEK serves 7,000 access lines and 18 telephone exchanges in rural south-central North Dakota. The independent carrier provides a range of local, long distance, and high-speed data services, as well as business communications services.

Like many of its rural contemporaries, BEK was faced with the challenge of cost-effectively delivering voice, high-speed data, and potentially video services to subscribers in low population areas. The carrier found that it no longer had the density to efficiently use a DLC interface with traditional wiring to the premises.

"We needed to get away from operating 18,000-ft copper loops -- they became too expensive," said Chad Olson, plant manager at BEK Communications. "We did the math on Optical Solutions' PON and found that we could run fiber all the way to the premises for the same cost, yet gain all the extra bandwidth, service capability, and future-proofing of an all-fiber network."

BEK is deploying Optical Solutions' FiberPath 500, an Ethernet gigabit PON system for the local access market. FiberPath 500 is capable of delivering IPTV, data speeds of more than 100 Mbits/sec, and multiple telephone lines. The system is fully compliant with ITU FSAN standards, and is currently operating in more than 100 communities nationwide.

"FiberPath's passive architecture allows service providers like BEK to economically provide next-generation voice, data and video services at a distance of 12-plus miles from the central office," said Mike Dagenais, president and CEO of Optical Solutions Inc. "Moreover, with no active electronics in the field, BEK will also save on ongoing maintenance and operating expenses."

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