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  1. Gigabit Internet: Common Goal, Multiple Routes

    As the quest for gigabit and faster Internet speeds ramps up, it's becoming increasingly clear that there's no "one true path." Rather, it's akin to all roads leading to Rome: One destination, multiple ways to get there. Some of the more common options include fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) , DOCSIS 3.0 and 3.1 over cable's HFC plant, G.Fast over telco DSL networks, 5G cellular, and fiber-to-the-building coupled with point-to-point wireless. A report commissioned by Liberty Global (NASDAQ:LBTYA) indicates that achieving ubiquitous gigabit speeds will require the deployment of all of these, matching technologies to local conditions. While the Liberty report focuses on the European market, the findings are equally applicable here in the States. Until recently, FTTH has been the dominant technology for gigabit, with numerous deployments by Google Fiber (NASDAQ:GOOG), telcos, municipalities and their local power companies, and some cable operators. Unfortunately, the technology is expensive and physically disruptive to deploy, particularly in heavily built-up areas such as city centers. Though there are some notable exceptions, most FTTH deployments to date have been in greenfield areas such as new residential subdivisions. Telco FTTH deployments have been numerous, but not ubiquitous; they tend to be relatively small cherry-picked areas rather than network-wide upgrades. Google Fiber has backed off from its FTTH strategy and is examining other options, including wireless. Cable's DOCSIS 3.0 and 3.1 are cheaper and less disruptive than FTTH in that they do not require a rip-and-replace of the existing outside plant. Gigabit and near-gigabit services based on DOCSIS 3.0 have been rolling out for a few years now, most notably in Suddenlink - now Altice (Euronext:ATC) - markets. Some other ops deploying D3 gigabit include Mediacom and Cable ONE (NYSE:CABO). DOCSIS 3.1 finally started ramping up earlier this year, with deployments from Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA), RCN, Atlantic Broadband and WOW!. Other ops are trialing D3.1, including Midco and Videotron in Canada. 2017 is expected to see DOCSIS 3.1 deployments at a large scale. Like DOCSIS 3.1, G.Fast is just beginning to come online with a few deployments of ADTRAN (NASDAQ:ADTN) technology by telcos. The technology is somewhat limited by its relatively short range (typically 500 meters or less) and low (in the gigabit sense) throughput. Most deployments thus far have been to apartments and similar multiple dwelling units (MDUs). 5G cellular technology is still in development, and standards for it do not yet exist, though several companies and organizations are working on specifications for it. Early lab trials suggest 5G could support multi-gigabit speeds. Some trials are expected next year and in 2018, but the general consensus among experts, including Ofcom in the UK, seems to be that it won't be ready to deploy at scale until 2020 at the earliest. But once it does deploy, it can be expected to be popular among consumers, who increasingly value a wire-free existence. Another promising wireless technology for delivering gigabit speeds is point-to-point millimeter wave, which uses spectrum between 30 GHz and 300 GHz. Google Fiber is looking into this and recently bought Webpass, a fiber-based ISP that has been experimenting with the technology. The technology uses fiber to a building and a millimeter wave wireless transceiver to reach nearby subscribers, typically within a radius of a half-mile to a mile. Built-up areas such as city centers, where deploying FTTH would be prohibitively expensive, are a logical use case for the technology. For the moment, DOCSIS seems to offer the shortest road to wide-scale gigabit deployment, with the fewest toll booths, but that can be expected to change as promising wireless technologies - particularly 5G - mature.

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    Mon, 28 Nov 2016

  2. It's Official: Google Fiber Easing off the Gas

    Confirming recent rumors, Google Fiber (NASDAQ:GOOG) has announced a slowdown in its expansion plans, to include employee layoffs. In a ...

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    Wed, 26 Oct 2016

  3. WOW! Gigabit: Where Technology and Strategy Meet

    By Monta Monaco Hernon - When WOW! launched gigabit Internet speeds in Auburn and Huntsville, AL; Evansville, IN; and Knoxville, TN, last ...

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    Tue, 18 Oct 2016

  4. Google Fiber Closes on Webpass, Adds 5 Markets

    Google Fiber (NASDAQ:GOOG) says it has closed on its deal to acquire Webpass, a fiber-based Internet service provider (ISP) with a presence ...

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    Tue, 4 Oct 2016

  1. Google Revamps Fiber TV

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    Thu, 15 Sep 2016

  2. Comcast Starts DOCSIS 3.1 Trial in Chicago

    Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) has launched the Chicago area trial of gigabit Internet service based on DOCSIS 3.1. The price of the new service ...

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    Wed, 17 Aug 2016

  3. The DOCSIS Effect: Can the Internet Handle it?

    By Mattias Fridström, Telia Carrier - Internet traffic is increasing steadily, driving significant changes in network operations - both for service ...

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    Thu, 28 Jul 2016

  4. 5 Years of Google Fiber : A Higher Bar for Everyone

    By Monta Monaco Hernon - This May marked the fifth anniversary of Google Fiber's (NASDAQ:GOOG) launch in Kansas City. To date, the ...

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    Tue, 19 Jul 2016

  5. Google Fiber Starts Charlotte Signups, Grows Biz Services

    Google Fiber (NASDAQ:GOOG) has begun the signup process for its gigabit-capable Internet service in Charlotte, NC. The initial push is in the ...

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    Tue, 12 Jul 2016

  6. Who Will Be the Leader in the Connected Smart Home?

    Communications services providers (CSPs, e.g., Comcast, AT&T), device manufacturers (e.g., Honeywell, GE, Lutron), big box retailers (e.g., Home Depot, Lowe's, Best Buy, Sears, Staples), tech giants (e.g., Amazon, Google, Apple, Microsoft), electronics manufacturers (e.g., Samsung, LG), a slew of ...

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    Tue, 5 Jul 2016

  7. Google Fiber Buying Wireless ISP

    Google Fiber (NASDAQ:GOOG) has entered into an agreement to acquire Webpass, a San Francisco-based Internet service provider (ISP) ...

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    Thu, 23 Jun 2016

  8. Google Fiber Eyes Dallas

    Google Fiber (NASDAQ:GOOG) says it's looking into bringing its gigabit-capable Internet service to Dallas. The company is preparing for talks ...

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    Wed, 15 Jun 2016

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Webcasts

2016 SCTE Cable-Tec Expo Wrap Up

Whether you couldn't make it to Cable-Tec this year or want to see if you missed anything while you were there, you'll want to join BTR editors Stephen Hardy...

October 12, 2016
Sponsored by

Counting the cost: Efficiently transitioning from HFC to FTTH

HFC networks are uniquely positioned to provide compelling and competitive services, and are also uniquely positioned to transition to symmetrical FTTH as co...

Date:September 22, 2016
Sponsored by

Maintaining High Quality of Experience in an Adaptive Bitrate System

This webinar will look at the many points in an ABR system where the video is touched.  From ingest (satellite, file, and IP), to egress, each point sho...

Date:August 25, 2016
Sponsored by

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4K 4 U: How to Prepare for UltraHD Video

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