Verizon can't get enough glass.
"Fiber is sexy again," Kyle Malady, senior vice president and chief network officer at Verizon Wireline, told Fiber Connect 2017 attendees in Orlando on Tuesday. "Now all the cards are lining up for us to double-down on fiber again. Fiber is going to be the backbone, basically the nervous system, of the network of the future."
Verizon grew re-enamored with fiber because it's vital to the viability of tomorrow's networks -- the single network Verizon is building and the many networks and applications its residential, commercial and mobile customers will use in current and new ways, he said. Without fiber, these networks will not attain the low latency, high speeds and reliability next-generation applications demand, said Malady.
That's why Verizon keeps increasing its fiber investment. In April, for example, it disclosed plans to spend $1.05 billion on fiber from Corning, one of many fiber purchases the CSP intends to make as part of its One Fiber initiative.
Ode to Fiber
Verizon rediscovers its love affair with fiber, said Kyle Malady, senior vice president and chief network officer at Verizon Wireline during Fiber Connect 2017 in Orlando on June 13.
Fiber enables speed. Verizon recently launched a 1 Gbit/s service and competitors are doing the same. "We're going to start to see more and more operators start to deploy gigabit technologies over the next few years," he said. "Some people make the case, 'Who needs 1-gig for the house?' Over time, the applications will be there."
With these speeds, enterprise technologies and uses are shifting dramatically, said Malady. At work, employees want to use the same app-driven, video-rich tools they prefer in their personal lives, and many businesses today use social media-like tools to encourage productivity, he said.
"A lot of enterprises are getting away from having standalone IT shops in the back of their house and they're moving a lot of their applications into the cloud," added Malady. "That also means there needs to be high-speed, robust, latency-sensitive connectivity between your office and that cloud. And people want it to be secure."
Delivering on those demands, which Verizon tackles with its SecureCloud Interconnect offering, does not happen without deep fiber, he said. It's impossible to go from 100 Mbit/s to 1 Gbit/s almost instantaneously without having a good deep fiber network that goes all way from the premise into the cloud, noted Malady.
Hot applications such as virtual reality and augmented reality, video and mobile also spark Verizon's love of fiber. Higher bandwidths unleash creativity -- from developers, end users and businesses, Malady said. And many individuals reward visually oriented creativity by spending more time online with video, he noted.
The only way service providers can keep up with this voracious demand is via fiber. Add in wireless demand that's growing at 48% annually over the past couple of years plus the impending arrival of 5G, and fiber becomes mandatory, said Malady.
"A good fiber backbone and good fiber network is the only way to keep up with that kind of demand," he said. "We think the marriage between 5G services and fiber is going to give us what we need to meet the requirements of our innovators and customers going into the future."
— Alison Diana, Editor, UBB2020. Follow us on Twitter @UBB2020 or @alisoncdiana.