Although cable operators have shied away from installing fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) technology in legacy areas, primarily due to the high costs, some are starting to apply it in "greenfield" situations.
Among them, Cable One Inc. has teamed with Wave7 Optics to build an FTTP network in Rio Ranch, N.M., home to "Mariposa," a residential development that will eventually include about 7,000 homes. The first 1,000 homes are in the process of being hooked into the new, fiber-fed system.
Cable One has integrated Wave7's FTTP gear into its existing architecture, including the legacy softswitch, router, and Layer 3 switch. "We foresee no problems as we expand to the homes and businesses of Mariposa," said Cable One VP of Engineering Jim Hannan.
Wave7 has "bent over backwards" to work alongside legacy HFC plant, said company CTO and founder Jim Farmer. "But we're not saying [cable operators] should wreck out good HFC, but that they should use fiber in greenfield situations."
Being able to offer FTTP technology "gives cable a card to play with new [home] developers," added Emmanuel Vella, Wave7's chief marketing officer.
He noted that FTTP costs have come down enough for cable operators to consider it in greenfield situations. FTTP consumer premises equipment costs, however, remain the "800-pound gorilla." Wave7 officials expect those costs to reach parity with HFC CPEs within 15 to 18 months, however.