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Charlevoix city leaders on Monday unanimously agreed to apply for a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant for up to $100,000 to fund a new fiber optic loop through the Ance Industrial Park. Several years ago a $33 million federal grant came to Michigan to pay for a more than 1,000 mile fiber optic line run throughout the state, providing a high speed Internet backbone so that later, last-link bandwidth providers would have the infrastructure already available. City officials at that time fought for a loop through the industrial park, and now they want to expand that loop to cater to potential new users. The existing loop through the industrial park runs from U.S. 31 North on Mercer to Taylor Road, then east to Ance Road and south back to U.S. 31. Now Charlevoix City Council members agreed to seek more federal funds to install additional fiber optic lines along Gibbons Drive, portions of Ance and Martin roads, and a section along U.S. 31 — stretches left out the first time. City planner Mike Spencer said there are existing companies already interested in a connection to the fiber optic line and officials feel this infrastructure work will be an important tool to attract new business. "We think this could give us a real advantage," he said. This type of grant requires a 50-percent local match, but Spencer said about $100,000 is left over in the industrial park fund from lot sales in the 1980s, so the required matching dollars from the city — should the federal grant be awarded — would not be expected to have an impact on regular city general funds. Northern Lakes Economic Alliance officials are working with the city to write the grant application. The idea is that high speed Internet capability could attract higher paying jobs that require plenty of broadband, with owners or operators looking to locate in beautiful recreation areas — precisely what Charlevoix could provide. Additionally, Spencer said city officials want to work with Charlevoix Township officials to create a master plan for the industrial park, since there are some irregular lots that are land-locked, and not all the lots are zoned alike. "We're trying to create a solid industrial park," he said. Council member Shirley Gibson asked if there are any industrial park lots that remain for sale. Spencer replied that all are sold, but not all are developed.
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Time Warner buys fiber optic network for $600M CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Time Warner Cable Inc. says it has paid $600 million to acquire a company and add 8,700 miles to its fiber optic network in the Southeast. Time Warner said its purchase of DukeNet Communications, LLC was completed Monday. The cable company says the new fiber optic lines will help it provide faster data services to more areas of North and South Carolina as well as other parts of the Southeast. DukeNet was jointly owned by Duke Energy Corporation and investment funds managed by Alinda Capital Partners.
Operators embrace packet-optical in 2014 says Infonetics Market research firm Infonetics Research says in its new “2013 Routing, IP Edge, and Packet-Optical Strategies: Global Service Provider Survey” that 2014 should be a good year for vendors of packet-optical transport systems (P-OTS). Developers of 100 Gigabit Ethernet (100GbE) technology should be smiling as well according to the report, which focuses on 100GE adoption and pricing expectations, use of P-OTS, and the architectural changes occurring to metro networks. “Service providers and vendors have been talking about how to use more optical transport with essential packet functionality to serve as the transport vehicle for packet traffic as an alternative to routers,” said Michael Howard, Infonetics Research’s co-founder and principal analyst for carrier networks in explaining the report’s findings. “Our latest routing strategies study confirms that major changes are underway in carrier networks, with 75% of the operators we talked to using P-OTS now or planning to by 2016.” Due to the pressures of video, mobility, and cloud services, providers are re-architecting their metro networks by distributing a number of functions from a single central “super PoP” to a number of large next-generation central offices (NG-COs) made up of 5 to 10 super COs in a metro area, says Infonetics. These distributed functions include broadband remote access servers (BRAS), content delivery networks (CDNs) and caching, deploying servers and storage in “mini data centers” for colocation and cloud services, and the ability to offer services (such as security) to residential and business customers using network functions virtualization (NFV) with software-defined network (SDN) service chaining. Meanwhile, operators expect to deploy many more 100GbE ports over the next few years, growing from 5% of all their 10/40/100GbE router port purchases in 2013 to 30% in 2015. “We asked at what price they would buy 100GbE for different applications — data center connections, aggregation, core, etc. — and when,” Howard said. “Some operators are already paying 15 times the price of 10GbE for 100GbE because they need it now, and we found that some operators are willing to pay more for 100GbE for specific parts of their networks; for example, over a third are willing to pay a premium for routes with low fiber availability.” However, most carriers will wait until 100GbE pricing comes down to 10 times 10GbE or lower, so it behooves manufacturers to continue developments that lower the price of 100GbE, the analyst concluded. Published in December 2013, Infonetics' 25-page routing strategies survey is based on interviews with router and switch purchase-decision makers at incumbent, independent wireless, competitive, and cable operators from around the world. Respondents control 36% of 2012 worldwide service provider capex and 32% of revenue.
Telstra Global says it will soon be able to offer 100-Gbps services across the Pacific via upgrades to the UNITY submarine cable system. The 9600-km UNITY undersea fiber-optic network connects the Chikura cable landing station in Japan and the One Wilshire carrier building in Los Angeles. The undersea cable system was unveiled in 2008 (see “Global consortium to construct link between U.S. and Japan”); work was completed on the system in 2010 (see "Unity Cable System completed across Pacific"). NEC and TE SubCom partnered on the system components and installation. The company supplying the 100G technology has not been revealed. Telstra Global sees UNITY as a key trans-Pacific route that will form one of the core routes for its transmission and IP backbone worldwide. The data rate upgrade will offer the scalability and diversity to meet the increasing business demands of trans-Pacific and Asia Pacific customers, Telstra Global asserts. "This is just one of the many projects we are working on to ensure our network is always growing, improving and providing world class services. Our customers can be certain that by using the Telstra Global network they have the best telecommunications technology at their fingertips," said Telstra Global President and Managing Director Martijn Blanken. "Our job, as a trusted network supplier, is to ensure we are adapting and creating capacity where it is required. Demand for network services in the Asia Pacific region is growing exponentially. We are always working to deliver new technologies to ensure we have a strong connected Asia,” Blanken added.
AT&T says it has "lit up" 32 multi-tenant office buildings across the state of Nevada, making fiber-optic broadband services available to more than 600 business customer locations. The effort is part of AT&T’s Project Velocity IP (VIP), a three-year investment plan to expand and enhance the company’s wireless and wireline IP broadband networks, including deploying its fiber-optic network to an additional 1 million business customer locations in its wireline service area by year-end 2015. Under the fiber to the building (FTTB) program, Nevada businesses in these AT&T "Fiber Ready Buildings" have access to an expanded array of security, network, and cloud-based services, all of which ride on the fiber network. The services are especially beneficial to businesses that regularly handle huge files such as medical images, illustrations, videos, engineering designs, and large presentation decks.
SCS is pleased to announce that it will be forming SCS Telecom Manageable Services (DBA) a new division within the confines of the LLC in December 2014. Opening soon!
Cox Communications says it will launch 1-Gbps broadband services to residents of Phoenix, AZ, this month. The company promised to extend the new service, branded "G1GABLAST," to additional cities this year and "market-wide" by 2016.
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Fiber optics continues to see growth in many applications. Data centers, enterprise networks, and the professional audio/video industries keep requiring the delivery of greater amounts of bandwidth using optical fibers. Newer and more advanced methods of signal handling are addressing data rates at speeds of 100 Gb/s and more over longer distances.
AT&T cancels plans for in-flight Wi-Fi network. AT&T (T, Tech30) has abandoned plans for an air-to-ground 4G network that it announced in April. At the time, AT&T promised the network would "transform airborne connectivity," and said it would launch in late 2015. Do we really need wifi on an aircraft?
Deck stacks against Comcast/Time Warner approval It begins to appear that the adage "all good things come to those who wait" will fail to apply to Comcast and Time Warner Cable, who have been waiting since early last year to receive federal regulatory approval of their proposed merger (see "Time Warner Cable agrees to merge with Comcast"). The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that staff at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) have recommended the proposed merger be designated for a judicial hearing, the review equivalent of limbo. On the heels of a Bloomberg report last week that Department of Justice (DoJ) staffers were drafting a memo suggesting a suit to block the deal, prospects for successful completion of the merger have never been more uncertain.