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Fiber Access Network A Cable Operator’s Perspective. Mr. John A. Brouse, Jr. Director of Network Implementation Charter Communications, Inc. Fiber Access Network A Cable Operator’s Perspective. Historical Perspective Current Decision Drivers HFC Model FTTH Model

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Fiber Access Network A Cable Operator’s Perspective


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fiber access network a cable operator s perspective

Fiber Access NetworkA Cable Operator’s Perspective

Mr. John A. Brouse, Jr.

Director of Network Implementation

Charter Communications, Inc.

fiber access network a cable operator s perspective2
Fiber Access NetworkA Cable Operator’s Perspective
  • Historical Perspective
  • Current Decision Drivers
  • HFC Model
  • FTTH Model
  • Comparative Cost Assessment
  • Conclusions
fiber access network a cable operator s perspective3
Fiber Access NetworkA Cable Operator’s Perspective
  • Historical Perspective
  • Current Decision Drivers
  • HFC Model
  • FTTH Model
  • Comparative Cost Assessment
  • Conclusions
historical perspective
Historical Perspective
  • RF was the Technology of Choice
    • Frequency Division Multiplexing easily allows simultaneous transmissions
    • Ubiquitous service achieved through a Tree and Branch system of cascading RF amplifiers, coaxial cables, and directional couplers
    • Cost to build and operate the network is independent of service penetration levels
  • Network and Product Expansion
    • More Homes and More Programming
    • Expanding the network footprint increased the number of actives in cascade
    • New product launches required additional RF bandwidth
    • Higher frequencies required RF electronics change outs and re-spacing
    • Result was more components, reduced signal quality and lower reliability
historical perspective5
Historical Perspective
  • 1988
    • Realization that network bandwidth expansion and footprint expansion hit a technical wall
    • Industry move quickly to adapt existing fiber optics technology to improve RF signal quality and reliability
    • First generation RF broadband optics developed and deployed within 18 months
  • First Generation Application
    • RF cascade reductions
    • Called Fiber Backbone
      • focus was RF performance
      • minimal fibers used
      • minimal nodes deployed
      • maximize number of homes served per node
    • Lead to eventual evolution to today’s HFC network
      • node serving areas of 500 homes or less
      • focus is efficient interactive bandwidth usage
fiber access network a cable operator s perspective6
Fiber Access NetworkA Cable Operator’s Perspective
  • Historical Perspective
  • Current Decision Drivers
  • HFC Model
  • FTTH Model
  • Comparative Cost Assessment
  • Conclusions
current decision drivers
Current Decision Drivers
  • CASH FLOW
    • OSP O&M costs are escalating
      • work force costs and benefits
      • network power costs
      • fleet operating costs
      • liability insurance
    • Costs to launch advanced products and services are increasing
      • node splitting (internal, external or both)
      • headend RF splitting/combining network reconfiguration
      • network power reconfiguration
      • increased time to launch delays revenues
fiber access network a cable operator s perspective8
Fiber Access NetworkA Cable Operator’s Perspective
  • Historical Perspective
  • Current Decision Drivers
  • HFC Model
  • FTTH Model
  • Comparative Cost Assessment
  • Conclusions
hfc model
HFC Model
  • Typical Operating System Characteristics
    • 54,000 households passed
    • 33,500 customers
    • 1410 miles of plant
    • 199 fiber nodes
    • 4380 RF actives
    • 584 power supplies
    • 1752 batteries
    • 2.5% monthly service call rate
    • 50% of the service calls result in a truck roll to resolve plant related problems
    • 2 plant outages per month not related to cut/damaged cable
    • 6.0 vehicle accidents per 1,000,000 VMD
    • 5.8 OSHA recordable employee injuries per 200,000 hours worked
    • 8 Maintenance Technicians
    • 23 Service Technicians
    • 3 Technical Field Supervisors
hfc model10

P/S

HFC Model

Home

Headend

Voice

Switch

RF

RF

Data

Router/

IP Switch

RF

MUX

RF

RF

RF

DFB

RF

Node

Video

RF

RF

Coax

RG6

fiber access network a cable operator s perspective11
Fiber Access NetworkA Cable Operator’s Perspective
  • Historical Perspective
  • Current Decision Drivers
  • HFC Model
  • FTTH Model
  • Comparative Cost Assessment
  • Conclusions
ftth rf pon model
FTTH (RF PON) Model
  • Modeled after same Operating System used for the HFC Model
    • 54,000 households passed
    • 33,500 customers
    • 1410 miles of plant
    • 0 fiber nodes
    • 0 RF actives
    • 0 power supplies
    • 0 batteries
    • 1.25% monthly service call rate
    • 0% of the service calls result in a truck roll to resolve plant related problems
    • 0 plant outages per month not related to cut/damaged cable
    • 0 vehicle accidents per 1,000,000 VMD
    • 0 OSHA recordable employee injuries per 200,000 hours worked
    • 0 Maintenance Technicians
    • 12 Service Technicians
    • 1 Technical Field Supervisors
ftth rf pon model13

S

p

l

i

t

t

e

r

S

p

l

i

t

t

e

r

UPS

FTTH (RF PON) Model

Home

Headend

Voice

Switch

RF

RF

Optical

Network

Terminal

Data

Router/

IP Switch

RF

MUX

RF

RF

EDFA

RF

Video

RF

RF

Coax

RG6

fiber access network a cable operator s perspective14
Fiber Access NetworkA Cable Operator’s Perspective
  • Historical Perspective
  • Current Decision Drivers
  • HFC Model
  • FTTH Model
  • Comparative Cost Assessment
  • Conclusions
fiber access network a cable operator s perspective20
Fiber Access NetworkA Cable Operator’s Perspective
  • Historical Perspective
  • Current Decision Drivers
  • HFC Model
  • FTTH Model
  • Comparative Cost Assessment
  • Conclusions
conclusions
Conclusions
  • FTTH (RF PON) best addresses the business decision drivers.
  • Current FTTH equipment costs place it at a significant disadvantage.
  • Construction costs for the OSP portion of the PON are 9% lower than HFC OSP deployment; however, the headend costs are over 16 times more favorable to an HFC approach.
  • Best areas to seek cost improvements are in the headend and CPE.
  • Under current price points, the Life Cycle break even point occurs during year 12.
conclusions22
Conclusions
  • Only part of the economic equation has been investigated.
    • Future looking cost modeling and comparative analysis need to be undertaken in order to develop the full scope of costs.
      • Transition from RF format to Ethernet for Voice and Data.
      • Transition from RF to IP Video.
    • Future looking business model comparative analysis needs to be undertaken to determine cash flow impact of FTTH vs HFC.
      • Changes in penetration levels.
      • Transition from Cable Modems to Ethernet to the Home.
      • Transition from RF video to IP Video.
      • Transition to an all IP world.
conclusions23
Conclusions
  • For the near term, cable operators will continue to refine the HFC platform with efforts to design out much of the current O&M costs by driving fiber closer to the curb – but not to the home.