Also today, SCTE•ISBE election results, Harmonic tunes in to fiber, UK government says it'll splash cash on broadband, Bulgarian operator on the chopping block, Aussie Broadband seeks IPO and how an Irish lottery player's delight was put on hold by a broadband outage.
Virgin Media today debuted gigabit broadband to about 100,000 homes in the UK city of Southampton, part of its pledge to bring high-speed connectivity to 15 million homes across the UK by 2021. (Current Southampton average speed is 40 Mbit/s.) The operator is leveraging its DOCSIS 3.1 network and Hub 4 customer premises equipment -- an upgrade to its current Hub 3 router -- which features enhanced WiFi hardware and use extra antennae to simultaneously manage multiple connected devices. Called Gig1, the service costs £62 per month ($76.37) for at minimum service period of two years. The new service is provisioned over existing coax connections, according to Virgin Media, which adds that another city will get the service within "a few weeks."
Hub 4: The Next Generation
With the DOCSIS 3.1 router, Virgin Media added antennae and other features designed to support multiple users and applications, such as cloud gaming, streaming video and smart-home IoT devices.
Tom Adams, EVP of Field Operations at Charter Communications and former vice chair, is the newly elected chairman of the SCTE•ISBE (International Society of Broadband Experts) board for the 2019-20 term. His vice chair is Kevin Hart, EVP and chief product and technology officer at Cox Communications. Returning board members include Meena Soleiman, VP of Finance and Business Operations at Comcast and Steve Williams, VP of DOCSIS Network Operations at Charter. Out-going chair is Bill Warga, VP of Technology at Liberty Global. The SCTE•ISBE, which is the global arm of The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE), provides training and certification services to cable network engineers. (See SCTE•ISBE Elects Charter, Cox Execs to Chair, Vice Chair Positions.)
Harmonic added support for 10G EPON and XGS-PON to CableOS, its virtualized platform for broadband access networks. These FTTP-facing options are intended to leverage CableOS' cloud-native, containerized design and advance beyond the vendor's original focus on DOCSIS and the cable modem termination system (CMTS), wrote Light Reading's Jeff Baumgartner. As cable operators like Comcast and Altice increasingly embrace FTTP networks, vendors want to stay relevant and operators want to ensure investments remain viable. Harmonic plans to demo the new remote OLT FTTP at the SCTE/ISBE Cable-Tec Expo in New Orleans this week: Follow Light Reading for further coverage from the show. (See Harmonic's 'CableOS' Adds More Fiber to Its Diet .)
As part of the ruling political party's efforts to woo British voters, UK Chancellor Sajid Javid told Conservative Party conference attendees in Manchester he's put aside £5 billion ($6.1 billion) toward high-speed broadband and mobile coverage, including 5G, for remote regions of the UK, the BBC reported today. The goal now encompasses 20% of the UK's hardest to reach areas, double the earlier target of 10%, although the Conservatives (a.k.a. the Tories) have not confirmed a deadline to meet this goal, the BBC said. Or said on which money tree these funds are going to grow...
Another week, another operator up for sale, reports Light Reading, citing the Financial Times (subscription required): This time, Bulgaria's Vivacom finds itself in the middle of a tussle between two private equity firms. United Group and Providence Equity Partners launched indicative bids for Bulgaria's largest operator, which businessman Spas Roussev is seeking to offload.
ISP Aussie Broadband, which offers services based on Australian wholesaler nbn's network, is preparing to go public on the ASX Boards following a pre-IPO capital raise of A$25 million (US$17 million).
Here's one very pleasing broadband service ROI story: An Irish woman, who requested anonymity from the Irish Times, was unable to check her lottery numbers online last Saturday evening, as was her habit, because of a broadband service outage in her area. Once service was resumed, a day later, she checked her numbers and was "gobsmacked" to find she had won €5,325,592 (about $5.8 million). It's not known whether she will spend any of her winnings on churning to another service provider...
It faces an uphill climb, but Viasat is exploring a plan to build 300 low-earth orbit satellites that could deliver low-latency broadband service and qualify for the US Rural Digital Opportunities Fund.
Over the next two years, approximately 60% of service providers (both large and small) will adopt virtualization on a wide scale across their networks, according to the latest survey report from Ovum. Why are providers making these moves? Is there an easy way to start?
Learn how and why service providers are using virtualization to transform their networks. This webinar will look at how providers are leveraging virtualization to create more flexible and agile networks while also providing a better customer experience. Expert speakers from netElastic and Heavy Reading will address the industry drivers for network virtualization, the benefits that can be realized, the challenges to face and the results of virtualization being achieved by providers today.
Key topics will include:
Current network infrastructure and the move to virtualization
Benefits and challenges of network virtualization
How providers can get started
Service provider success stories: the decision to virtualize, the solution, and results