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Municipal data center could lead to more FTTH investments

By Max Burkhalter
March 9, 2012
Westerville, Ohio, recently opened the country's first municipal data center, a facility that could spur significant technology investments in the region, especially new spending on fiber to the home network connectivity options, ThisWeekNews reported.

According to the news source, the facility boasts 16,000 square feet of space that will be rented out to companies in the community, allowing them to access data center resources in the same way that they would plug into the power grid or water system. In the case of the municipal data center, organizations can either rent space, move their servers in and run it all themselves or contract with managed service staff provided by the city.

This innovative facility, called WeConnect, is designed to become a fourth utility service run by the city. Fees paid by businesses leasing space in the center will cover operating expenses and, over time, help the city recoup the money it spent to build the facility in the first place.

The new facility will also pay dividends for telecom providers and customers, as it should make it much easier for individuals to connect to the fiber-optic network. Currently, the city has a fiber backbone network installed throughout the community, and it plugs directly into the data center. This will allow telecom service providers to either more easily build FTTH systems out from the town network or simply plug into it to deliver broadband access without having to build the backbone themselves. Westerville chief information officer Todd Jackson told ThisWeekNews the facility was designed to meet critical needs for better data center and network services within the community.

"A lot of businesses may just have, literally, a closet in their facility that may be their data center," Jackson told the news source. "Typically, the larger companies can have that in their facilities or can contract with a data center. We’ve created [the data center] so that smaller companies that wouldn’t be able to afford [those services] can."

Creative solutions for FTTH deployment are becoming more important around the world, as the market for advanced telecom services in both consumer and enterprise sectors is rising fast. This is leading to the rapid evolution of the FTTH landscape, as more providers work to build new networks, connect to municipal fiber backbones and gain access to dark fiber infrastructure.

Perle has an extensive range of Managed and Unmanaged Fiber Media Converters to extended copper-based Ethernet equipment over a fiber optic link, multimode to multimode and multimode to single mode fiber up to 160km.


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