LAS VEGAS — The American arm of a British firm known for deploying local loop fiber through sewers has high expectations for its chances in the US market, based on the Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)-inspired boom in municipal fiber projects. (See Google Jumps Into Gigabit FTTH.)
The company is i3 America , and it has stepped up as a platinum sponsor of the FTTH Council Conference here only weeks after announcing the first US pilot — in Quincy, Ill. — of its Fibrecity open access network.
Because the system is deployed in sewer systems, partnerships with municipalities and municipally owned utilities are natural for i3, which will build and operate the local loop fiber network for its partners on an open access basis, says Alasdair Rettie, technical director of i3 Group Ltd., the parent company to i3 America. The parties then either work out a revenue-sharing deal or enable the municipality to use the network for its own purposes, including providing fiber connections to schools, video security monitoring, traffic management, public safety, and/or subsidized connections into homes of low-income residents.
By using waste-water ducts to deploy fiber, i3 claims to trim 30 percent to 50 percent off the cost of deploying FTTH — but no, the service doesn’t come up through the toilet into the home, in case your mind was wandering there.
The Fibrecity network is an open-access system, based on FTTH optoelectronics from Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) and Enablence Technologies Inc. (Toronto: ENA), that uses i3’s patented approach to running fiber through sewers or other existing duct work to a place very near the home, where the fiber is then micro-trenched to an Optical Network Terminal (ONT) that has four Gigabit Ethernet ports.
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