This fall, a once unserved region of Georgia will have an open access, terabit-ready all-fiber network available to service providers interested in selling residential, enterprise or mobile offerings.
This network, currently in development, is the work of A2D, a wholesale carrier that builds and operates open-access networks that deliver optical connectivity in distressed -- typically rural -- regions of the United States. Today it's focused on Warner Robins, Ga., where this month it began deploying its eCommunity fiber network. Once itís completed in September, various commercial broadband providers, utilities and municipalities are expected to start selling residential and business services over the fully fiber-based network, according to A2D.
While many operators deploy multi-gigabit networks, A2D designed a terabit, open access network to serve multiple operators today and tomorrow, Jerrald Rector, A2D vice president, told Broadband World News. As a wholesale carrier, A2D needed an open solution powerful enough to support bandwidth-hungry applications like telehealth, distance and workforce learning and smart utilities long into the future. Future-proof technology was, therefore, a key factor; so too was an open network that would allow A2D to meet customers' needs across their diverse services platforms, he said.
"A2D is providing IP wave; gigabit transport and IPTV services. The A2D team is deploying an IP network that accommodates the needs of our carrier partners," said Rector. "It is very important for A2D to future-proof every network we deploy to ensure we can meet our service provider partners' needs to deliver 21st century IP services."
It also was vital for A2D to meet new service requirements for the anticipated increase in customers without costly integration, customization or hands-on work.
When it began researching the new, all-fiber high capacity network, A2D sought an IP transport equipment vendor to partner with on everything from design to post-installation support. Ultimately, the CLEC selected ECI Telecom Ltd. and its elastic hardware solutions because of its flexibility, he said.
The two companies teamed up on design, eventually incorporating ECI's Neptune advanced packet optical transport platform and Apollo optical transport network (OTN) switching platform for dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM), OTN aggregation and advanced ROADM (reconfigurable optical add-drop multiplexer) networks, said Jeff Parrow, vice president of Sales North America at ECI, in an email to BBWN. The Neptune 1021 packet optical platform at the edge feeds a Neptune 1200 mid-aggregation layer and terminates on the Neptune 1800 at the core, he noted. A2D then uses the Apollo 9603 platforms to extend the reach of these systems over the fiber pairs, Parrow said.
"No third-party integration was needed in this network. Due to the open system design, each layer is transparent to the one above it," he said. "A Layer 2 switched network that [rides] over Layer 1 OTN transport on top of a DWDM optical network."
Because it controls the infrastructure and network architecture, A2D offers multiple network connectivity solutions to expand its company and meet customers' varied broadband needs, Rector said. Its focus on rural regions is another differentiator, he said.
"At present, the in-demand services are 10Gbit/s and above transport services to end users," said Rector. "Once we activate the [Warner Robins] network we should initially have three to five internal staff members to support it."
— Alison Diana, Editor, Broadband World News. Follow us on Twitter @BroadbandWN or @alisoncdiana.