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Oklahoma FTTH issues represent much of the country

By Donna Donnawitz
September 25, 2012
Have you ever looked at a city or town from above - a hilltop or airplane perhaps - during a power outage? The view is intriguing at night. In most cases, the power outage doesn't reach every part of the grid. And some buildings keep power through emergency generators and similar tools. What ends up happening, in some instances, is that you have pockets of the city that are lit up like normal, then parts where it is completely dark. The view is a fascinating contrast.

If you were to look at a map of fiber to the home deployment in the United States, you would see the same contrasts. Locations like the metropolitan stretch along the Mid-Atlantic through New England, which is generally considered Washington, D.C. to just north of Boston, would be bright, as FTTH deployment is fairly common in the region and lots of fiber is available for telecom customers. But parts of the Midwest, for example, would have minimal, if any, fiber available.

This is especially clear in a recent Fiber to the Home Council North America research, which detailed the spread of FTTH networks through the region. According to a recent Tulsa World report discussing the study, approximately 1 percent of Oaklahoma has been reached with FTTH. This gives the state the 35th most dense FTTH infrastructure in the country. There are 15 states with less than 1 percent FTTH coverage.

Texas, on the other hand, has a 6.5 percent FTTH density, while Kansas boasts a 7 percent reach, ranking it at 11 in the national study. The report noted that a Google project experimenting with extremely high-performance FTTH infrastructure is based in Kansas City, Missouri. This represents much of the 1 percent coverage within the state. Similarly, a major FTTH program is underway in Chattanooga, Tennessee. These projects emphasize the disparity in fiber density, as they provide service areas in densely populated parts of the state but do not reach out to rural regions.

This is a problem throughout the country, as metropolitan regions have, understandably, been the central hotbed for FTTH innovation. Efforts from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act have the potential to expand FTTH to more homes in rural areas, but such projects focus on the middle mile. Many experts agree, however, that reaching more regions with FTTH will lead to major economic gains. In a sense, these efforts are bringing power to the rural parts of the country.

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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