Calix & CenturyLink Announce US’ Largest G.fast Deployment

-Calix’s 2nd Major G.fast Win Following a Trial at Windstream
– Both Deployments Are in MDUs
– G.fast Works & Is Being Deployed
Four current trends in the broadband market are:

  • MDU market heats up: The battle for the broadband market in MDUs has heated up. Telcos and cablecos around the world have ramped up their efforts in going after MDUs. Cablecos may for the first time realize they have competition in MDUs from copperwire-based telcos that are beginning to deploy G.fast over both copper phone and, for the first time, over the cablecos’ coax wire that are being used for DOCSIS.
  • Four dominant G.fast equipment makers: Calix has emerged as a major player in the market for G.fast gear, at least in the North American market, with a second win. Calix joins Adtran, Nokia (the old Alcatel Lucent operation) and Huawei as major makers of G.fast gear, especially for the central office.
  • Two dominant G.fast chipmakers: Broadcom and Sckipio are the two major makers of G.fast chips.
  • The global broadband market is about to undergo a major change: The world’s broadband market will be far different in a year or so as the world’s copperwire-based telcos deploy G.fast broadband. No longer will the choice of broadband services for most people be only one – the cableco. (In my middle class sub-division in a middle class city of 500,000, there are two choices: the cableco Cox’s 300 Mbps or AT&T’s 18 Mbps.)

Service provider        Fastest download speed at selected location
Cox                                  300 Mbps
AT&T                              18 Mbps

CenturyLink Uses Sckipio-based Calix Gear in 44 MDUs with 800 Residences

Using Sckipio-powered G.fast gear from equipment maker Calix, CenturyLink this week said it has completed the largest deployment of G.fast technology in North America. In July, Calix said Windstream used Calix gear to test G.fast in MDUs in Lincoln, Nebraska.

The CenturyLink G.fast installation is in 44 MDUs with almost 800 residences in Platteville, Wisconsin. It used both the MDUs’existing copper phone wires or coax.

Speeds? Up to 500 Mbps!

It’s a significant event for telcos who in the US alone lost more than 360,000 broadband subscribers to cablecos in Q2 alone.

7 largest US telcos by number of broadband subscribers:
Telcos                        Broadband subscribers at end of Q2
AT&T                             15,641,000
Verizon                          7,014,000
CenturyLink                5,990,000
Frontier                        4,552,000
Windstream                1,075,800
FairPoint                         311,440
Cincinnati Bell              296,700

All but Verizon are said to have G.fast trials or being deployed. AT&T has said it’s testing G.fast in MDUs.

CenturyLink already had deployed fiber-to-the-home broadband to many residential and business subscribers in Platteville, which allowed most of them to access broadband speeds up to 1 Gbps. However, replacing existing coax and copperwires in MDUs is a costly and messy task so being able to use an MDU’s existing wires, either copper or coax, made the upgrade in speed less expensive and messy for CenturyLink and its subscribers. Plus, CenturyLink did not have to send a technician to each home to install a new modem/router/gateway. It could simply ship the new devices and subscribers could unplug the installed wire from the existing device and plug it into the G.fast model. Voila! Speeds shot up from under 20 Mbps to 500 Mbps. And its smiling broadband subscriber could now subscribe for the first time to CenturyLink’s Prism TV service…

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