10G And FTTP: Drivers, Considerations And Strategies (2021)

By Michael T Scardina, Armstrong; Jess Beihoffer, ADTRAN

Armstrong is well recognized as America’s 11th largest multiple system operator (MSO), serving thousands of homes and businesses across Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky and Maryland.

Their first broadband Internet customer was connected in 1997 and over the years they’ve earned a reputation as a fast-to-market and efficient disruptor.

As other MSOs debate fiber-to-the-premise (FTTP), Armstrong actually made the decision to build FTTP– 15 years ago … using radio frequency over glass (RFoG) technology to reach down to ten homes per mile in rural areas. With over 27,000 RFoG FTTP customers, four years ago Armstrong made the switch to light up the same 1x32 distributed split passive optical network (PON) infrastructure with gigabit passive optical networking (GPON). In fact, in dense areas, Armstrong activates GPON on the same glass as RFoG allowing one customer at a time to be moved from RFoG to GPON.

Why did Armstrong pursue FTTP in the first place and what drove the later transformation with XGSPON? In this paper, we will explore the business, network, operations and financial reasons as to why Armstrong pursued this path to 10 gigabits per second (10G) and bypassed other options. We also outline how these network advancements and market factors have caused consumers to enhance their home wireless fidelity (Wi-Fi).

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