Lake Region Electric Cooperative (LREC) has hired Pulse Broadband to design and manage the construction of a fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) broadband trial, using a distributed tap design and CommScope’s EPON architecture.

Distributed tap architecture aims to use less fiber in the build. Ultimately, the approach is expected to minimize operating expense (opex) by minimizing labor costs in terms of both construction and fewer maintenance requirements than most traditional fiber designs, Pulse explained.

Pulse said it expects the architecture will be particularly appealing to rural electric cooperatives (RECs), whose service areas tend to be notable for lower home densities per mile, making the installation of fiber networks fiscally challenging.

The vendor also said the infrastructure offers scalable bandwidth sufficient to meet the near term and long term needs, and can deliver services including broadband, digital television, digital phone, home monitoring/home security, distance learning, telemedicine and smart grid energy solutions.

“Our fiber-to-the-home broadband project is all about the commitment we have as an electric cooperative to improving the lives of the members we serve,” said Hamid Vahdatipour, chief executive officer, Lake Region Electric Cooperative. “Members in our trial area don’t have sufficient high-speed internet options, so they’ve shown overwhelming support for this initiative. We evaluated several broadband technologies with Pulse Broadband and chose fiber-to-the-home using distributed tap and CommScope’s EPON solutions because the combination provided the bandwidth, scalability, interoperability and affordability we needed to make this project successful over the long run.”

“We are thrilled that Lake Region will be one of the first electric cooperatives in the United States to take advantage of a combined distributed tap and EPON architecture for their broadband network,” said Ric Johnsen, senior vice president, Broadband, CommScope.

Lake Region Electric Cooperative serves customers in and around Hulbert, Okla.