Fiber-to-the-home deployment in the United States is beginning to outpace legacy copper broadband, a trend that is impacting service providers and their vendor suppliers.
Fiber-based broadband services, according to an RVA study commissioned by the Fiber Broadband Association, surpassed DSL in 2018 as the second-most common type of home internet connection in North America, following cable. According to the research firm, fiber now passes 39 million homes in the United States (1.6 million of them have multiple fiber passings) and connects 18.6 million homes, up 17 percent over 2017. A large portion – 71 percent – of fiber-to-the-home builds are by large incumbents. The remaining 29 percent are from Tier 2 and 3 providers, including a mix of independent telcos, municipalities, competitive providers and electric cooperatives.
Vendors are also seeing a transition in the equipment they sell. For example, Broadband Trends reported that global DSL port shipments declined 22 percent year-over-year to reach 35.7 million in 2018 as service providers shift their focus to FTTH.
Gigabit service – and beyond – continues to drive the deployment of fiber. Large and small providers alike are not only offering 1 Gbps services but also eyeing a path to 10 Gbps via either XGS-PON or NG-PON2.
It’s no wonder the industry is expanding and the number of companies competing for the Top 100 slots continues to grow. That’s great for the country, even if it makes life difficult for the editors who assemble this list.
The 2019 FTTH Top 100 list represents the whole fiber-to-the-home ecosystem. Optical fiber and fiber cables; passive equipment for connecting, protecting and managing fiber; and active equipment for sending and receiving signals over fiber are the most basic components of an FTTH network, along with software for planning, setting up and managing networks and for provisioning and billing fiber services. The list contains many companies that design, manufacture and distribute these essential products.
To put these pieces together requires firms that finance, plan, design, engineer, construct and install fiber optic networks, as well as those that make equipment for digging, pushing, pulling and attaching fiber. These, too, are represented on the list. Also included are a variety of organizations that advocate for better broadband or create conditions that make FTTH more profitable.
Finally, there wouldn’t be any fiber to the home if not for the deployers – large and small, private and public, incumbent and competitive – that invest in FTTH networks.
Companies newly added or reinstated to the list represent a variety of ecosystem niches. These niches are quite diverse. Three of the new entrants – Consolidated, GVTC and Lumos Networks – are incumbent telcos that are aggressively expanding 1 Gbps FTTH services in diverse rural towns and cities. Consolidated is rapidly expanding 1 Gbps FTTH service throughout the former FairPoint territory, and GVTC and Lumos are encouraging economic development with new fiber builds. Another notable trend is the growing presence of electric cooperatives and competitive providers. Co-Mo Connect is an electric cooperative that was funded without grants and now offers 1 Gbps services to its electric customers, GoNetspeed lures customers with fixed broadband pricing, and Synergy offers managed services to MDUs.
Joining the network operators is a host of companies that provide construction, financing, network planning and powering. Last Mile Communications provides telcos and cable companies with a variety of consulting and capital funding services, and Neighborly connects underserved communities with capital for fiber broadband networks. ESPi offers a series of uninterrupted power supply batteries that provide protection against input power interruptions for FTTH providers. Foresite Group provides broadband engineering and related services. Render is gaining ground with rural providers with its suite of geospatial network deployment solutions to help providers build large-scale projects faster and cheaper, Geograph provides tools for network planning and design, and Tesmec USA provides open-trench solutions for fiber deployments.
In selecting the FTTH Top 100, the editors looked for organizations that advance the cause of fiber-based broadband by
To be listed among the FTTH Top 100, an organization may be based anywhere in the world but must do business in North America. Except for broadband service providers, which are inherently local, we give preference to organizations that serve national rather than local markets. Overall size is unimportant, as is corporate form – in addition to for-profit companies, the list includes municipalities, a telephone cooperative, an electric cooperative and a nonprofit research organization.
Although some organizations on the list focus entirely on fiber to the premises or other fiber-based broadband technologies, most deliver or support a mix of broadband technologies. For some, broadband represents only a small part of their business. In making these selections, the editors considered how important the organizations are to advancing fiber broadband rather than how important broadband is to them.
The FTTH Top 100 list was researched by Marianne Cotter, Rachel Ellner and Kassandra Kania and overseen by associate editor Sean Buckley, with recommendations and advice from editor-in-chief Masha Zager. To nominate a company for next year’s FTTH Top 100, email email@example.com.
“We have moved well beyond the traditional fiber uses of entertainment and convenience. In the modern environment, we now enable remote health care, distance learning and precision farming to previously unreachable consumers. This technology advancement alone can enable economic freedom and growth to rural communities, the backbone of our country.”– Tom Kane, Vice President of Commercial Sales, Walker and Associates
Summary: Since 2006, 3-GIS has been helping the telecom industry achieve better results faster. The company provides geospatial asset management software for fiber network planning, design, construction and operational management. Its solutions produce information essential for efficient service activation and assurance by providing a comprehensive view of the use and availability of the physical infrastructure. The data is available in near real time and shared across the entire organization to enable prescriptive planning and design automation and facilitate collaboration with browser and mobile access in one seamless system. In February, 3-GIS introduced Draco Service Pack 2, which includes updates to 3-GIS/Web and 3-GIS/Mobile. The company says users will benefit from new tools and features that will give them the ability to document multiple connected networks within the same environment, track construction status with 3-GIS/Web and 3-GIS/Mobile and quickly get a fiber mileage count within a selected area. The company offices are in Decatur, Alabama, and Tampa, Florida, with development, design services, product support and project management in Bern, Switzerland.
Summary: Established in 1987, ACRS provides turnkey engineering and consulting to rural telcos, cable TV operators, wireless ISPs, competitive providers, electric co-ops, municipalities, Native American tribes and large carriers across the United States. Services include feasibility studies, financing acquisition, regulatory consulting (FCC licensing, CLEC and ETC filings, and state corporation commission filings and testimony), detailed engineering, construction management and acceptance testing. The company has extensive experience in acquiring RUS broadband loans and grants and competitive Connect America Fund awards for its clients. ACRS engineered the first full-motion distance learning network in the United States and the first FTTH system in Oklahoma. Recent projects include several FTTH networks for electric co-ops, including Northeast Rural Services (Bolt Fiber Optic) and Valley Electric Association, a winner of a Broadband Communities Cornerstone Award. ACRS is headquartered in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and has about 50 employees.
Key Products: Consulting services for FTTH deployers, including opportunity assessment software, ongoing support and systems automation
Summary: Adams Telephone Co-Operative, a member-owned telco in Illinois, has deployed fiber for more than a decade. More than two-thirds of the premises in its traditional service area have access to fiber broadband, and its Adams Fiber subsidiary continues to build out fiber as a competitive provider in nearby towns. With more than 1,500 miles of fiber deployed and a set of well-developed processes and in-house software tools for deployment, Adams now serves 25 communities with fiber to the home, focusing on places where there was previously little or no coverage. Adams now applies its experience and customer service spirit to help other rural providers plan and build their own FTTH networks. The company formed a new subsidiary, CheckPoint Solutions, in 2016, to share its expertise with other small companies that wanted to build FTTH in underserved communities and guide them through a software-developed automation process from beginning to end. CheckPoint already counts 23 other independent companies as clients, such as Illinois Fiber Connect, a joint venture of Wabash Communications and EJ Water, which is building FTTH throughout south-central Illinois. Wabash Communications and Illinois Fiber Connect are scheduling fiber installations based on the interest level of residents and businesses in designated fiberhoods and towns. Checkpoint Solutions offers strategic advice and support that includes software-defined needs analysis, identification of growth opportunities, ROI analysis, risk management, demand measurement, customized reporting and more. Adams Telephone, founded in 1952 and based in Golden, Illinois, has 85 employees.
“To deliver faster broadband in more rural locations takes creative approaches to funding and deployment. The key to success is to have all interested parties – the service providers, the states, the local governments and individual town residents – working together toward a common goal.” – Rob Koester, Vice President of Consumer Product Management, Consolidated Communications
Key Products: Solutions for FTTH, FTTN and FTTdp architectures; mobile backhaul; software-defined access; subscriber experience; network modernization and management; system integration
Summary: ADTRAN is a global supplier of next-generation broadband access solutions for residential, enterprise and mobile services markets served by cable MSOs, telecom service providers, municipalities, utilities and electric co-ops. The ADTRAN Total Access 5000 multiservice platform is a widely deployed solution, supporting hundreds of gigabit communities in North America. Additionally, ADTRAN’s next-generation 10 Gbps FTTH technologies allow operators to double the lives of their fiber optic distribution networks while lowering operational expenses by supporting both enterprise and residential customers. These solutions are complemented by a full suite of subscriber experience, network modernization and system integration services and a pool of next-generation alliance partners. ADTRAN has bolstered its FTTH and 10G presence with ILEC and electric cooperative customers. Lumos Networks is leveraging ADTRAN’s 10G fiber access portfolio to deploy 10G fiber services for small-business customers. Holston Electric Cooperative is using ADTRAN’s Total Access 5000 Gigabit services platform to provide gigabit broadband services in the Tennessee Valley. ADTRAN has also been active on the acquisition front. In December 2018, it purchased SmartRG, a provider of open-source connected home platforms and cloud services. ADTRAN is based in Huntsville, Alabama, and had 2018 sales of approximately $529 million.
Key Products: Fiber optic transmission equipment, cable modem termination systems, headends, IP and QAM set-top boxes
Summary: Advanced Media Technologies (AMT), a value-added reseller of high-performance broadband products, offers a complete line of DOCSIS, FTTH, IPTV and CATV products. AMT specializes in data solutions for private cable operators. It offers products from such leading manufacturers as Nokia, Amino, ARRIS, ATX Networks, Actiontec, Blonder Tongue, Casa Networks, Harmonic, Imagine Communications, Olson Technology and ZeeVee. In addition to providing expert in-house technical support to cable companies, AMT’s systems integration arm provides turnkey solutions for digital TV headends, CMTS and VoIP deployment, as well as design and on-site technical support. Customers include major cable companies in the United States and Latin America, telcos, private cable operators, and entertainment and multimedia content delivery companies around the world. Located in Deerfield Beach, Florida, AMT was founded as DX Communications in 2003. The company keeps an extensive inventory in its 32,000-square-foot warehouse and employs more than 70 people. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of ITOCHU International, the North American subsidiary of ITOCHU Corporation, one of Japan’s largest companies, with operations covering a broad range of industries in more than 80 countries.
Key Products: Fiber optic cable and connectivity, outside-plant fiber and electrical conductor hardware, fusion splicers, test and inspection equipment, training, design, engineering, integration
Summary: AFL products, services and engineering expertise help broadband providers create or improve their infrastructures and enable delivery of voice, video and high-speed data communications. AFL’s product portfolio includes fiber optic cable and connectivity, outside-plant closures and terminals, demarcation devices, WDM/splitter modules, fusion splicers, test and inspection equipment, electrical conductor accessories and Light Brigade training and education. AFL plans, designs, builds and maintains communications networks, offering FTTx and MDU solutions for master-planned community networks serviced by telephone, cable TV and wireless providers; utilities/electric cooperatives; and industrial companies and enterprises. The company continues to release and promote new technologies for applications in metro and access networks, such as Ruggedized MicroCore with SpiderWeb Ribbon technology, the OptiNID Duo and the ASCEND platform. AFL recently launched the FlexScan FS300-325 Quad OTDR, designed for contract installers and network operators deploying and maintaining single-mode and multimode networks. It also introduced a new configuration for the Flex-Span ADSS fiber cable family. Founded in 1984, AFL is headquartered in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and is a division of Fujikura Ltd. The company has more than 5,500 associates around the world and has operations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Asia and Australia.
Summary: Though early fiber-to-the-home deployers were mainly telephone companies, many of today’s new entrants to the FTTH field have no history of providing voice services. For a broadband operator without telephone equipment or expertise, using a cloud-based system is the simplest, most economical way to add a voice offering – typically a high-margin service. Alianza’s Cloud Voice Platform, a web-scale VoIP solution built for broadband providers, provides the functions required to deliver and support residential and business VoIP services. The platform does not require capital expenditure or equipment installation, and Alianza alleviates most operational and regulatory burdens associated with phone services. Since announcing a solution specifically for FTTH providers in February 2017, Alianza has made inroads with electric cooperatives, utilities and municipalities that deliver FTTH broadband to their communities. In the last year, Alianza signed on more than 10 new FTTH ISPs to help launch VoIP or replace outdated solutions and improve phone services. The company has more than 60 ISP customers on the platform. Recent customer acquisitions include Consolidated Cooperative in Mount Gilead, Ohio; Packerland Broadband, serving parts of Michigan and Wisconsin; and NextLight, a municipal ISP in Longmont, Colorado. Founded in 2009 and headquartered in Lindon, Utah, Alianza has more than 75 employees.
“We recognize that building fiber networks is capital-intensive, and the cost of deploying advanced broadband and smart-city infrastructure can seem daunting. Therefore, we continue to develop strategies of collaboration, co-investment and policy adoption with our clients.” – Diane Kruse, CEO, NEO Connect
Summary: Founded in 2003 and headquartered in Imperial, Nebraska, Allo Communications has built fiber broadband networks throughout Nebraska as a competitive service provider. In addition to offering residential and business triple-play services, the company has a broad vision of fiber as a transformational technology and builds out its fiber networks citywide rather than in selected neighborhoods. It works with communities to help them use their networks to expand business opportunities, create jobs and improve quality of life. Allo provides services in nine Nebraska communities and two communities in Colorado, serving a total population of 380,000. Several current projects involve partnerships with city governments. Most recently, the town of Breckenridge, Colorado, selected ALLO Communications to be the service provider for its new fiber9600 fiber infrastructure project. In Lincoln, Nebraska, Allo leases city conduits and is extending the conduit system into residential neighborhoods and building fiber to the home. Likewise, in Fort Morgan, Colorado, Allo leases the city-owned fiber network to deliver broadband services. Allo was acquired by Nelnet, a company based in Lincoln, Nebraska, in 2015. In 2018, Allo reported revenue of $44.7 million, up from $25.7 million in 2017.
Key Products: Standby, non-standby and uninterruptible power supplies; surge suppressors; enclosures and batteries; installation and construction services
Summary: Founded in 1976, Alpha Technologies is a major player in power systems for the broadband communications industry worldwide. Alpha products provide power conditioning and emergency backup for video, data and voice networks. Alpha’s installation and construction services include structural engineering, rights-of-way and easement procurement, site preparation, equipment installation, system turnup and system testing. Customers in 50 countries include major cable television system operators, telecommunications service providers and full-service communications providers. Alpha Technologies’ portfolio of FTTH powering options includes the FlexPoint line of 12Vdc single-family solutions and the FlexNet line of 48Vdc multiple-dwelling-unit and small office–home office power supplies. Alpha, with more than 1,000 employees, has sales and service centers in the United States, Canada, Europe, the Middle East, China and Australia. It is a member of the Alpha Group, which was acquired by EnerSys last year.
Summary: Altice USA is one of the largest broadband communications and video services providers in the United States, delivering broadband, pay TV, voice services, Wi-Fi hotspot access, proprietary content and advertising services through its Optimum and Suddenlink brands. Symmetrical 1 Gbps internet service over Altice’s new FTTH network continues to roll out to residential customers in select areas of Long Island, New Jersey and Connecticut. Accelerating the rollout of its fiber network, Altice said during its first quarter earnings call, will enable it to expand gigabit symmetrical broadband services and smart Wi-Fi. This will position Altice to offer 10 Gbps speeds for residential and small and midsize business customers next year. In addition to its fiber deployment, Altice USA continues to enhance broadband services on its existing hybrid fiber-coaxial network in the Optimum service area, with plans to launch 1 Gbps service with an upgrade to DOCSIS 3.1. In addition, the company is adding gigabit capacity in the Suddenlink service area and continuing to expand the Altice footprint through new home builds at an accelerated pace. Altice USA, with approximately 400,000 customers across the country, continues to expand its Altice One entertainment and connectivity platform across the United States. A major update to Altice One was introduced in April 2019 with the launch of the 3.0 operating system, which offers users a new sports hub, an enhanced home screen and voice guidance. Headquartered in Long Island City, New York, and serving approximately 4.9 million customers across 21 states, Altice USA posted revenues of $9.56 billion in 2018.
Summary: With headquarters in Wallingford, Connecticut, Amphenol offers a wide range of coaxial cable, interconnect and passive products to serve the broadband market, from customer premises cables and interconnect devices to distribution cable and fiber optic components. The company’s diverse interconnect products are deployed in a range of broadband equipment, from sophisticated headend equipment to digital set-top boxes, high-speed cable modems and satellite interface devices. The primary end markets for the company’s products are communications and information processing markets, including cable television, cellular telephone, and data communication and information processing systems; aerospace and military electronics; and automotive, rail and other transportation and industrial applications. In 2017, Amphenol bought Telect, a company that designs and manufactures high-density fiber distribution solutions. This year, Amphenol acquired Charles Industries, a manufacturer of integrated environmental housings and enclosures for wireless, telecom and broadband service providers. Sales for 2018 were $8 billion.
Summary: AT&T is invested in being a global telecommunications, media and technology provider. In the last three years, it undertook a massive FTTH deployment and now markets FTTH services to 14.5 million locations in 85 metropolitan areas. As part of a plan to virtualize access functions in the last-mile network, AT&T tested a 10 Gbps XGS-PON virtualized network in Atlanta and Dallas. As the largest U.S. provider of pay TV, AT&T offers video entertainment through DIRECTV (satellite), U-verse (IPTV) and DIRECTV NOW (streaming) services. AT&T Fiber gained about 1.1 million subscribers over the past year, bringing the total AT&T Fiber subscriber base to about 3.1 million. Besides FTTH, AT&T launched trials of its Project AirGig technology, which seeks to deliver speeds greater than 1 Gbps via a millimeter-wave signal guided by power lines. For MDUs, it also offers a G.fast option. AT&T Connected Communities works with multifamily and single-family builders, developers, management groups and homeowner associations to provide next-generation communications and entertainment services. AT&T revenue for 2018 was $170 billion, up from $160.5 billion in 2017, and the company employs more than 200,000 people in the United States alone.
Summary: Atlantic Engineering Group (AEG), a pioneer in broadband network deployments, now focuses on the design and construction of fiber networks for long-haul, middle-mile, last-mile and in-building applications and helps lead the drive to combine FTTH and smart-grid technologies into a single business plan for municipalities, rural electric cooperatives and new entrants into the FTTH arena. The company, founded in 1996, has long been recognized as an outside-plant specialist but also handles data center work, wireless networks, cellular backhaul and more. It is headquartered in Buford, Georgia, but deploys in-house personnel and on-site project managers globally. AEG performs project management, service planning, engineering, underground and aerial construction, splicing, premises installation, headend activation, testing and many other professional and technical services. It has completed or is currently working on design or build commissions for more than 130 networks (63 citywide), including FTTH projects that pass more than 2.5 million homes. AEG is currently building FTTH networks for clients that include the cities of Newport, Tennessee; Muscatine, Iowa and Fort Collins, Colorado; and the Clarity Connect project in New York.
Summary: This telecom law firm has a long, consistent record of supporting the use of advanced broadband infrastructure to drive the development of economically strong local communities. The firm represents public and private entities on a broad range of wired and wireless communications matters, both nationally and in more than 40 states. During the last two decades, the firm has worked on many of the leading public and public-private communications projects in the United States and has participated in most of the battles at the federal and state levels involving restrictions on local internet choice. As founder and president of the US Broadband Coalition, the firm’s president, Jim Baller, played a leading role in forging a national consensus on the need for a national broadband strategy and on the framework for such a strategy. He is co-founder and president of the more than 500-member Coalition for Local Internet Choice, which works to preserve and protect the right of local governments to make the critical broadband infrastructure decisions that will affect their communities for decades to come. Founded in 1983, Baller Stokes & Lide is based in Washington, D.C. It has four full-time attorneys and a network of local and regional counsel across the United States.
Summary: BHC Rhodes provides civil engineering services to telecom firms that build and maintain fiber networks across the United States. It has designed and managed thousands of miles of telecom network infrastructure for clients that range from small communities and telcos to large international service providers. BHC Rhodes’ FTTx services include feasibility studies, cost estimating and budgeting; planning, layout and network architecture; GIS and AutoCAD mapping; hut site development and construction; outside-plant design; site surveys; right-of-way permitting and asset management. Based in Overland Park, Kansas, with over $20 million in 2018 revenue, BHC Rhodes was founded in 1992 and has more than 135 employees.
“Today’s fiber optic networks are just the beginning of a large and varied display of the use of IoT. If we add IoT to fiber, what we are seeing is the beginning of the FibeRIOT – fiber in every aspect of our day-to-day lives.” – Danny Huffman, President/Owner, ONUG Communications
Key Products: Software and services for FTTx design automation, network planning, outside-plant engineering, mapping
Summary: Biarri Networks helps organizations design and deliver better fiber, fixed wireless and cellular (including 5G) networks sooner by providing fiber optic network design (FOND), a web-based optimization and collaboration platform for digital engineering, planning and design that can automatically generate much of the deployment. The company continues to build out new updates for FOND. To help customers navigate the complex utility pole attachment process for FTTH networks, Biarri introduced pole and aerial span editing tools in FOND. These tools were created to help users draw in the locations of poles and aerial spans to use as candidate network elements in their FOND FTTH designs. By using FOND, Biarri’s customer Finley Engineering was able to save 50 percent of the time typically required to complete the initial design work for a fiber network that will serve 2,900 homes. Biarri’s team of experts also connects technology, analytics, geospatial data and industry best practices to deliver tangible final outcomes across the end-to-end delivery of fiber networks. Beyond the use of FOND, this can include custom-built design engines for enterprise clients, design services and consultancy services. Biarri’s American headquarters is in Denver.
Summary: Founded in 1915 and based in Overland Park, Kansas, Black & Veatch is a global engineering, consulting and construction company that specializes in telecommunications, energy, water and government services. Employee owned, Black & Veatch has approximately 10,000 professionals in more than 110 offices worldwide and has completed projects in more than 100 countries. Services include engineering, procurement, construction, design, management consulting, asset management, environmental consulting and security. Black & Veatch has deployed more than 30,000 miles of fiber for commercial carriers, cities and utilities. Revenue in 2018 was $3.5 billion. In 2019, Black & Veatch’s telecommunications business was ranked No. 1 by Engineering News-Record.
Key Products: Gigabit-speed internet access, live streaming video, digital home phone and smart-home services delivered over a fiber-based network
Summary: C Spire, a diversified telecommunications and technology services company, is building a fiber-based broadband network in Mississippi to attract investment and economic growth and pave the way for improvements in health care, education, civic life, business development and expansion, and municipal services. Using a demand-based model, C Spire Home Services, the company’s residential broadband unit, began fiber-to-the-home services in multiple cities in 2014 and is on schedule to expand to 20 markets by the end of 2019. The company continues to deploy a fiber backbone, which now totals nearly 9,000 route miles, across the state. In 2017, the company launched the first live streaming TV service via an app in the United States. The service was selected by the cable industry as the best new technology product among independent providers. Home Services launched its first market on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, Diamondhead, earlier this year and recently began construction in parts of DeSoto County and three of its major cities in northwestern Mississippi. Residential fiber-based broadband is part of the C Spire Tech Movement, which is committed to moving communities forward through technology by focusing on broadband access, workforce development and innovation.
“Fiber is the technology of the future, and we want our communities connected to advance their opportunities for online education, business expansion, telemedicine and telecommuting.” – Jim Butman, President and CEO, TDS Telecom
Key Products: Fiber access solutions for residential and business services, network and services management software, value-added software as a service
Summary: Calix, with more than 1,500 customers worldwide, serves more North American FTTx providers than all other equipment vendors combined. It also serves several international markets with fiber and copper access solutions. In 2017, it completed a multiyear transformation from being mainly a wireline-access systems provider to being mainly a software platform, cloud analytics, services and solutions provider. Calix’s intelligent access solutions leverage its software solutions. Calix Cloud, launched in early 2017, now delivers Calix Marketing Cloud and Calix Support Cloud to more than 300 customers. EXOS, a carrier-class premises software platform that supports residential and business subscribers, powers the Calix GigaFamily premises systems as well as third-party devices. The AXOS platform allows software functions in the access network to run independently of the underlying hardware. About 1,000 independent application modules run on the AXOS platform. By 2018, Calix AXOS systems were powering Verizon’s strategic One Fiber initiative to converge all its residential, business and mobile transport services to a common converged network over NG-PON2. In 2018, to help service providers transition to SDN-enabled automation, Calix introduced AXOS SMx, which allows providers to deploy SDN networks with automated workflows that use existing back-office business systems. Calix has shipped 25 million ports of fiber and copper access lines to providers that have more than 100 million subscriber lines. Headquartered in San Jose, California, Calix had 2018 revenue of $441 million and spent almost $90 million on research and development. It had more than 800 employees at the end of 2018.
Key Products: Regulatory, engineering, marketing, strategy and planning services; raising money for broadband projects
Summary: In business since 1997, CCG is a full-service consultant for small communications carriers. The company specializes in launching new broadband ventures and making existing businesses more profitable. CCG offers a wide range of regulatory, engineering, strategy and planning, operations, budgeting and billing services. CCG helps clients design, upgrade and maximize fiber, coaxial, copper and wireless networks. CCG also offers direct operational assistance in areas such as number portability, new product development, cable programming, carrier disputes and billing audits. It is active in helping companies create workable public-private partnerships and secure funds for broadband projects – a specialty for which demand is growing. CCG continues to work on numerous feasibility studies for communities of all sizes and is helping several communities build and launch new broadband businesses.
Summary: CenturyLink is the second-largest U.S. communications provider to global enterprise customers. With customers in more than 60 countries, CenturyLink operates a global fiber network that provides secure data services to businesses. To help business customers manage increased network and IT complexity, it provides managed network and cybersecurity solutions. CenturyLink currently has more than 150,000 on-net enterprise buildings on its global fiber network, connects to more than 2,200 public and private data centers and has connectivity to approximately 60 web-scale data centers. The company continues to expand its metro fiber footprint, continually adding new on-net buildings and increasing its long-haul fiber inventory. For residential customers, CenturyLink markets fiber services in metro areas that include Seattle; Portland; Denver; Salt Lake City; Omaha, Nebraska; and Minneapolis. This year it is expanding its fiber network in several cities, including Boulder, Colorado, where it is completing a construction project bringing broadband speeds up to 1 Gbps to homes and businesses. A key focus has been ramping up its MDU FTTH service segment and the CenturyLink ON product, which creates a simplified digital home experience for consumers. CenturyLink recently deployed a field trial of ADTRAN’s virtualized Optical Line Terminal 10G-PON solution, a disaggregated, software-defined access FTTH platform. Headquartered in Monroe, Louisiana, CenturyLink is an S&P 500 company and is 132 on the Fortune 500 list of the largest U.S. corporations. With approximately 45,000 employees, CenturyLink posted operating revenue of $23 billion in 2018.
Key Products: Advanced broadband services, including internet, TV, fiber Wi-Fi and MDU Wi-Fi solutions
Summary: Charter Communications, a broadband communications company and the second-largest cable operator in the United States, markets its services under the Spectrum brand. Spectrum Business provides scalable broadband communications solutions to small and medium-sized business organizations, including internet access, business telephone and TV services. Spectrum Enterprise serves fiber-based technology solutions to large businesses. Charter’s advertising sales and production services are sold under Spectrum Reach, and its news and sports networks operate under the Spectrum Networks brand. Coming in 2019 is Spectrum TV Essentials, an app-based OTT offering for Spectrum internet-only customers. As of March 31, 2019, Charter had 24 million residential internet customers, with more than 80 percent subscribing to tiers that provided 100 Mbps or more. Charter has doubled minimum internet speeds to 200 Mbps in several markets at no additional cost to new and existing Spectrum Internet customers. Spectrum Community Solutions is designed to help property owners offer competitive technology amenities to residents, including professionally managed Wi-Fi, TV and voice. The company’s 2018 annual revenue was $43.6 billion.
“Today’s consumers want faster speeds and greater bandwidth to support the growing number of connected devices. Smart homes, digital assistants, work-at-home, mission-critical business applications and emerging 5G all contribute to higher broadband demand, and fiber-based networks are ideally suited to reliably meet those needs both now and in the future.” – Diego Anderson, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Lumos Networks
Key Products: Outside-plant engineering and field services, network planning and design, managed NOC and managed IT services, communications billing software
Summary: CHR provides a range of engineering, business and technology solutions to communications service providers. The company offers engineering, consulting and design solutions and services to ILECs, CLECs, electric co-ops, and utility and municipal service providers nationwide. By the end of 2018, CHR had designed FTTx networks to pass more than 2 million premises. Services include preparing applications for loans and grants; broadband planning; performing high-level, detailed design of outside plant for FTTx networks; permitting; converting GIS/CAD files and implementing outside plant. CHR engineering specializes in fiber design and has expertise in a variety of communications technologies, including xDSL, PON, active Ethernet, Carrier Ethernet, fixed wireless, microwave and Wi-Fi. In addition, CHR provides B/OSS solutions and outsourced managed IT/NOC services utilized by several communications service providers. The company is headquartered in Houston.
Summary: Cincinnati Bell Inc. and its consolidated subsidiaries provide integrated communications and IT solutions. Through its entertainment and communications segment, the telco provides high-speed data, video and voice solutions to consumers and businesses over an expanding fiber network and a legacy copper network. In 2018, the company acquired Hawaiian Telcom, the largest full-service provider of communication services on Hawaii’s major islands. After the acquisition, the company’s combined fiber network was nearly 16,500 fiber route miles. In 2018, Cincinnati Bell passed an additional 38,800 addresses in the Greater Cincinnati area with Fioptics, which included a reduction in fiber-to-the-node addresses of 2,200 as it upgraded these addresses to fiber to the premises. This momentum continued into the first quarter of 2019 as the company passed an additional 5,300 homes and businesses with FTTP, bringing the total to 477,600 addresses, or approximately 60 percent of Cincinnati’s total addressable market. Cincinnati Bell is also making progress in Hawaii, where fiber-based broadband services are now available to 168,100 addresses, or approximately 35 percent of Hawaii’s total addressable market. Cincinnati Bell’s revenue in 2018 was $1.4 billion.
Key Products: Fiber distribution and protection systems for inside plant, outside plant and access networks
Summary: Headquartered in Minneapolis, Clearfield designs and manufactures fiber distribution and protection systems. Product lines include FieldSmart high-density fiber distribution systems for the inside plant; FieldSmart fiber scalability centers for the outside plant; a fiber delivery point series for access networks; FieldShield, an optical fiber delivery and protection platform made of microduct and preconnectorized pushable fiber; and the YOURx platform, which offers configuration flexibility to accept multiple types of drop cable media in a single port in the access environment. All product lines integrate with the Clearview Cassette 12-fiber management system to deliver scalable deployment and craft-friendly operation. In the last year, Clearfield launched several new products aimed at easing FTTH network installation. The FieldSmart Fiber Active Cabinet product line for outdoor enclosures provides a single point of contact for cabinet solutions, both passive and powered. Besides enhancing its product line, Clearfield added Fiber Optic Association–approved Certified Fiber Optic Technician training at its Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, Clearfield College campus and at locations around the country. In 2019, Clearfield expanded its headquarters facility in Minneapolis and its manufacturing facility in Tijuana, Mexico. Clearfield, which has more than 225 employees, posted $80.9 million in revenue for the year ending September 2018.
Summary: Comcast delivers internet, phone and media services to residential customers under the Xfinity brand and to businesses under the Comcast Business brand. Xfinity Communities works with building and property owners, developers, leasing agents and homeowners associations to provide services to residents. As of October 2018, Comcast offered 1 Gbps service to nearly all the 58 million homes and businesses in its U.S. territory. Most of this service is delivered over its HFC network, using DOCSIS 3.1 technology, but Comcast also delivers FTTH-based gigabit residential service in greenfield MDUs. In addition, Comcast offers a premium 2 Gbps symmetrical residential FTTH service that is available to about 18 million homes. In June 2018, Comcast’s internet of things subsidiary, machineQ, collaborated with Neptune Technology Group on an IoT solution to accelerate smart-city projects for advanced water metering and infrastructure. In January 2019, Comcast launched an in-home Wi-Fi digital security service. Headquartered in Philadelphia, Comcast Cable is a division of Comcast Corporation, which also owns NBCUniversal. Comcast Cable reported 2018 revenue of $55.1 billion, up from $52.5 billion in 2017.
Summary: CommScope provides connectivity and cabling platforms, data center and intelligent building infrastructure, and broadband access solutions. With a suite of headend/central office, outside-plant and end-user solutions, CommScope provides carriers, electric co-ops and other operators with the technology and architecture to meet the needs of residential, MDU, commercial and cellular backhaul applications. Founded in Hickory, North Carolina, CommScope has been involved in the broadband and cable TV industry since 1976 and has played a role in nearly all the world’s most advanced telecommunications networks. It is the largest supplier of subscriber-premises connectivity products and rugged conduit products. The acquisition of the Broadband Network Solutions business from TE Connectivity in 2015, following earlier acquisitions of Andrew Corporation and Avaya’s Connectivity Solutions business (the SYSTIMAX brand), made CommScope a top communications infrastructure provider that offers end-to-end passive network equipment. In April 2019, CommScope made another major acquisition: ARRIS and its subsidiary Ruckus Networks, a move that solidifies its position as a provider of wired and wireless communications infrastructure solutions. SaskTel recently selected the ARRIS HomeAssure solution to bring Wi-Fi services to subscribers across Saskatchewan, Canada. CommScope’s Connectivity Solutions segment, which includes the company’s fiber and copper cable connectivity offerings, reported $2.81 billion of the company’s overall $4.57 billion in revenue for 2018.
Summary: A decade ago, Co-Mo Electric Cooperative, headquartered in Tipton, Missouri, served an area only 15 percent covered by broadband. In response to customer demand, it launched a successful FTTH pilot project in 2010 that eventually led to the construction of a privately funded, $70 million, 4,000-mile fiber network covering the co-op’s entire 2,300-square-mile territory. Operating under the name Co-Mo Connect, the network set an example for other electrical co-ops to follow. Co-Mo Connect offers internet speeds that range from 100 Mbps to 1 Gbps. In 2018, Co-Mo was awarded more than $21 million over 10 years from the FCC Connect America Fund II auction. The money will support the current network and help expand it into adjacent areas. Co-Mo Connect currently serves thousands of subscribers with internet speeds that can support cutting-edge smart-home technologies as well as farm technologies that are proven to increase revenue. The company has about 80 employees.
“Many communities are realizing that fiber to the home and high-performance wireless networks are critical to a community’s long-term economic and community prosperity. Community leaders are realizing they have to take the lead to solve the broadband gap.” – Andrew Cohill, President, Design Nine
Summary: Comsof Fiber provides value to operators and engineering firms by automating and optimizing their fiber network design process, saving them significant time and money. In February, Comsof changed the name of its flagship FiberPlanIT product to Comsof Fiber. The GIS-based software can determine the cost of a network (bill of materials), select optimal equipment, determine splice locations and create to-build construction drawings. All the functionality is user-friendly, integrates with existing software platforms and includes related support and service. With the release of Comsof Fiber 2019.1, Comsof Fiber offers three new key features: support for brownfield N+0 or fiber-deep designs, locking cable routes, and support for QGIS 3.4, the new long-term release of QGIS. With the N+0 or fiber-deep designs, a cable operator can see where it can remove amplifiers or place new optical nodes. Locking in cable routes enables the software to calculate the equipment, such as cables and ducts, for these routes, giving providers feasible network designs. Comsof has locations in Ghent, Belgium, and Toronto, Canada.
Key Products: Consulting services, fiber design, construction management, fundraising and operations for rural electric cooperatives deploying fiber to the home
Summary: As the urban-rural digital divide continues to widen, rural residents throughout the United States have begun to look to electric cooperatives as potential internet service providers. Conexon was founded in 2015 to help electric cooperatives leverage their fiber infrastructures to provide broadband services to their members. Conexon performs feasibility studies, secures financing, manages construction, optimizes business performance, advocates for rural broadband and manages ISP operations for co-ops that prefer to outsource operations. Conexon has worked with nearly 100 electric co-ops and other utilities in more than 20 states on projects that have the potential to deliver fiber broadband services to millions of homes and businesses. More than two dozen of those co-ops now actively deploy fiber to the home. The company’s relationships with co-ops deploying FTTH is timely: A 2018 National Rural Electric Cooperative Association study estimated that the dearth of broadband access for 6.3 million electric cooperative households resulted in more than $68 billion in lost economic value. Conexon has more than 50 employees and is headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri.
Key Products: High-speed internet, data, phone, security, managed services, cloud services, wholesale carrier solutions
Summary: Consolidated Communications is a broadband and business communications provider serving consumers, businesses, and wireless and wireline carriers across rural and metro communities in a 23-state service area. A key part of Consolidated’s FTTH growth strategy has been to leverage its fiber network, which spans 37,000 fiber route miles, and the assets it purchased from FairPoint Communications, SureWest and earlier acquisitions. Recently, Consolidated overbuilt copper with gigabit-capable fiber to more than 20,000 locations in its New York service area. In former FairPoint territories, such as New Hampshire, Consolidated is expanding availability of gigabit internet speeds across wide stretches of its service territory, including recent announcements of availability in Derry and Nashua. In addition, Consolidated upgraded more than 750,000 locations with faster speeds across its VDSL network and recently announced several public/private partnerships to extend fiber and high-speed internet to unserved and underserved locations. This includes a full copper-to-fiber conversion in Chesterfield, New Hampshire, where state legislation coupled with local funding will provide 1 Gbps fiber to the home to more than 2,000 locations in the Monadnock region. Consolidated is no less active in former SureWest regions such as Roseville, California, announcing FTTH deployments in two area developments.
Key Products: Optical fiber, optical fiber cable, FTTx product suite (cabinets, splitters, terminals, housings, drops), closures, connectors, cable assemblies, wireless access networks, engineering services, training
Summary: Nearly 50 years ago, the predecessor to British Telecom challenged Corning to develop a fiber that could transmit light with loss less than 20 dB per kilometer. Corning responded in 1970 with the invention of the first commercial low-loss optical fiber. Corning also developed the first loose-tube cable design, the first plug-and-play solution for fiber to the home, and the first high-density, modular data center solution. The company’s preconnectorized solutions introduced a new way to deploy FTTH networks, and its ultra-bendable ClearCurve product suite opened the way for cost-effective installation of fiber in MDUs and other challenging environments. Its SMF-28 Ultra Optical Fiber, designed for high performance across long-haul, metro, and fiber-to-the-home network applications, combines low attenuation with improved macro bend performance. Corning’s multi-use platform, a combination of multiple-fiber and single-fiber connection points, makes it easier for operators to quickly deploy fiber-deep access networks, even in stadiums. The company recently introduced RocketRibbon extreme-density fiber cable, which doubles the density of fiber in the same outer diameter, and Clear Track fiber pathways, which create less-invasive adhesive paths for optical fiber within multiple-dwelling and multi-tenant units (MDUs/MTUs). Corning has a top position in key passive optical segments and is the world’s largest fiber producer. Its optical communications business increased $647 million in 2018 to $4.2 billion and has grown much faster than the industry average over the last five years.
Summary: COS Systems’ cloud-hosted software helps network owners plan, deploy and manage modern broadband networks that deliver services from one or more providers. COS Service Zones is a demand aggregation tool that enables network builders to identify grassroots interest in better broadband, spread awareness of their projects and presell internet connections using a “fiberhood” approach. COS Business Engine is a BSS/OSS suite for managing and operating fiber networks. It enables network operators to market and sell services from multiple providers in an online marketplace. COS clients include private ISPs and operators, public-private partnerships, municipalities, and utilities and cooperatives in North and South America, Europe, Africa and Asia. In the last year, COS Systems launched COS Business Engine Cloud 2.0 – a major upgrade to the slimmed-down, cloud-hosted version of the BSS/OSS – and several new features for the COS Service Zones platform. It partnered with the Northwest Open Access Network (NoaNet) to deliver demand aggregation projects in Washington state and celebrated 10 years since the first launch of COS Business Engine, the fully automated, open-access Bostnet in Sweden. Privately held COS Systems is headquartered in Umeå, Sweden, and has U.S. headquarters in New York City. With 18 employees, it posted revenue of $3 million for 2018.
Summary: Cox Communications is the largest privately held telecom company in the United States. It serves 6 million residential and business customers with a variety of digital video, high-speed internet, voice and smart-home services over its broadband network. Cox was one of the first providers to launch residential gigabit internet speeds, now available to 95 percent of its customers nationwide and continuing to expand. A large portion of Cox’s greenfield gigabit deployments – both single family and multifamily – use FTTH; upgrades of existing plant typically use “deeper fiber” HFC networks. Cox Communications joined with US Ignite to help make Las Vegas, Phoenix and San Diego among the first “smart gigabit communities” and teamed with the White House and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to bridge the digital divide for low-income families with school-age children through its Connect2Compete program. Since 2012, Cox has connected more than 300,000 people through Connect2Compete, most for the first time. Cox also launched Cox2M, which provides custom, end-to-end IoT solutions to power smart businesses and smart cities. Cox Communications is a subsidiary of Cox Enterprises and is headquartered in Atlanta.
“Many communities are still clamoring for broadband as it is imperative to their survival and growth. And the need is for true broadband with ultra-fast options, including gigabit speeds. Electric co-ops, municipalities and new independent providers are deploying future-proof fiber to empower economic development and enrich people’s lives.” – Kevin Mitchell, Vice President, Marketing, Alianza
Key Products: Fiber and wireless broadband network design, engineering, financial analysis, strategy, assessment and implementation
Summary: CTC provides independent business and engineering consulting services to public-sector and nonprofit clients. Its expertise includes fiber and wireless network feasibility analysis, strategic planning, business planning, financial analysis, market assessment, design, engineering, construction oversight, QA/QC, RFP/RFI preparation, grant applications, grant compliance and negotiations with private-sector partners on behalf of clients. CTC recently provided broadband engineering and network financial planning services to the cities of Baltimore; Boston; Boulder, Colorado; Madison, Wisconsin; Palo Alto, California; Portland, Oregon; San Francisco; Seattle; and Washington, D.C. CTC played a key role in helping negotiate broadband public-private partnerships on behalf of the city of Westminster, Maryland; the coalition of the cities of Urbana and Champaign and the University of Illinois; and rural Garrett County, Maryland. CTC has also provided strategic broadband guidance to Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts and New Mexico. Founded in 1983, CTC is headquartered in the Washington, D.C., area and has satellite offices in many other states.
Summary: Founded in 1972 and headquartered in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania, Danella Companies has 17 divisions operating from 29 geographically diverse facilities in 12 states. Danella Construction performs approximately $225 million in work per year and is a leading installation contractor for all types of utilities, providing services for the power, gas distribution, water and communications industries. Some of Danella’s Tier-1 telco customers include AT&T, Cincinnati Bell, CenturyLink and Verizon. Danella supports AT&T’s FTTH rollout in Northeast Florida. This fiber upgrade also includes AT&T’s initiative to replace copper with fiber and install ducts and fiber for future customers. Danella is an approved contractor for Verizon and its predecessor company, Bell Telephone of Pennsylvania – one of its original customers. It conducts make-ready work on utility poles, installation of Fios FTTH services, and network maintenance for Verizon. Danella continues to expand its FTTH services for Tier-1 service providers and municipalities.
Key Products: Broadband planning and feasibility studies, network technical design, cost estimates, implementation plans, network financial planning, broadband project management, network buildout, network operations
Summary: The broadband planning and network design firm Design Nine is well known for its expertise in – and commitment to – local transport networks and open-access networks. Design Nine’s services include fiber and wireless network design, grant writing assistance, needs assessment, broadband network build-out assistance, financial modeling, business planning, legal and organizational design of community-owned broadband systems and project management. Open-access networks it has planned and designed include Bozeman Fiber in Montana; Palm Coast FiberNET in Florida; nDanville, Rockbridge and Wired Road in Virginia; FastRoads in New Hampshire; AccessEagan in Minnesota; and Charles City County in Virginia. Design Nine’s subsidiary, WideOpen Networks, manages community-owned and private-sector networks, providing network monitoring, service provisioning, service provider attraction, asset management, billing and outside-plant management. In the past 12 months, Design Nine has completed 17 broadband feasibility studies in six states and managed four fiber and broadband wireless network buildouts. Headquartered in Blacksburg, Virginia, Design Nine works on projects throughout North America. Current projects include network design, equipment specifications, pricing and financial modeling, network engineering and construction management, and network operations.
Summary: The feasibility of FTTH often depends on digging efficiently through challenging terrain, congested roadways and manicured lawns. Many deployers turn to the Ditch Witch organization to help in these situations. The company specializes in the design and manufacture of high-quality underground construction equipment for broadband installations globally. Equipment includes trenchers, microtrenchers, vibratory plows, horizontal directional drills, mud recycling and fluid systems, drill pipe, HDD tooling, vacuum excavation systems and mini skid steers. Ditch Witch microtrenchers are designed to improve productivity and reduce the cost per foot on fiber job sites. The company’s newest fiber installation offering is the JT20XP horizontal directional drill package. Introduced last year, the solution features the JT20XP drill and XP44 mixing system for midsize utility installation jobs. In February, the Toro Company announced a $700 million deal to acquire Ditch Witch’s parent company, Charles Machine Works. This allows Ditch Witch and other associated Charles Machine Works brands to access Toro’s reach and presence as a large international brand. In addition to Ditch Witch, Charles Machine Works is the parent of several other major brands, including Subsite Electronics, DW/TXS, HammerHead, Radius HDD, American Augers, Trencor and MTI Equipment, which serve the underground construction market. The Ditch Witch factory is in Perry, Oklahoma, and the company has more than 1,400 employees. Ditch Witch equipment is distributed through a worldwide dealer organization that operates in more than 100 countries through more than 170 locations.
Summary: Dura-Line develops and manufactures high-density polyethylene conduits for protecting fiber optic, electrical and coaxial cables. It supplies fiber optic conduit and related products to telecom, data, cable TV, power and other markets. Customers include leading U.S. and international telephone and cable providers. Dura-Line developed the first ducts for installing and protecting fiber optic cables in 1981, introduced a complete line of fiber optic microduct products in 2001, and followed up in 2003 with FuturePath, a bundled package of microducts that can be installed the same way as traditional conduit. FuturePath allows up to 24 pathways in a single conduit, and the new FuturePath Figure-8, introduced in 2018, allows seven microducts to be bundled into one conduit for aerial fiber. In 2018, the company also released new conduit and microducts made from a low-smoke, zero-halogen material designed for use where smoke, toxic fumes and acidic gases pose risks. Dura-Line, which is owned by Mexichem, is based in Knoxville, Tennessee, and has 1,500-plus employees worldwide.
Key Products: Program and project management, engineering, construction, maintenance, installation services
Summary: Dycom provides specialty contracting services, including engineering, construction, program and project management, materials provisioning, installation, and maintenance services, to telecommunications, CATV and broadband providers throughout the United States. Dycom Industries subsidiaries provide services to construct, install, optimize and maintain communications facilities. The company offers a full complement of turnkey services for wireline and wireless networks, including planning, site identification and acquisition, architectural and engineering services, design, project management, materials purchasing and distribution, infrastructure construction, tower construction, equipment and antenna installation, cable placement and splicing, central office EF&I, commission, integration, residential and commercial installations, customer acquisition, locating services and maintenance. Dycom noted during its fiscal 2020 first-quarter earnings call that its telco clients continue to deploy FTTH to enable 1 Gbps service and its cable clients are deploying fiber to small and midsize businesses and enterprises. AT&T, Comcast and Charter all recently awarded Dycom construction and fulfillment service contracts and extensions, and Dycom recently signed a rural fiber services contract covering two states. Founded in 1969 and headquartered in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, Dycom has more than 14,000 employees. It posted $1.4 billion in revenue for fiscal year 2018.
Summary: EPB’s fiber-to-the-premises network is frequently cited as a municipal broadband success story. It delivers internet, voice and video services and serves as the backbone for Chattanooga’s smart grid. This self-healing electric distribution system automatically reroutes power around storm damage and other disruptions to increase power reliability and reduce outage durations by more than 50 percent, which helps business and residential customers avoid $55 to $60 million in annual losses associated with spoiled goods, lost productivity and other outage-related damages. The smart grid also improves operational efficiency and provides detailed usage information for electricity customers in tandem with the myEPB app. Launched in 2009, EPB Fiber Optics serves more than 100,000 homes and businesses. In 2010, EPB brought 1 Gbps speed to Chattanooga, becoming the first to offer a communitywide gigabit service. In 2015, EPB launched a 10 Gbps internet service, which is available as a standard offer to all residential and commercial customers anywhere in the EPB service area. This year, EPB tripled its 100 Mbps starting internet speed to 300 Mbps at no additional cost. In collaboration with such organizations as the Company Lab and the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, the community launched a business accelerator, called GIGTANK, aimed at spurring innovation. The program brings students and entrepreneurs from all over the world to Chattanooga to develop next-generation apps and disruptive business ideas using EPB’s gigabit network.
Summary: Kansas-based ESPi manufactures several lines of UPS (uninterrupted power supply) batteries for FTTH installations. UPS batteries provide immediate protection against input power interruptions with batteries that take over for a short period of time until a standby power source kicks in or the equipment shuts down properly. The company offers indoor and outdoor solutions as well as solar and hybrid batteries. ESPi introduced the first onboard ONT reset button with remote reset capabilities. ESPi’s UPS product line includes NEO Indoor, TITAN Outdoor, TITAN Solar and TITAN Duplex. VOLTAR, an off-grid solution, supplies power to remote locations. Customers include Valley Telecom Cooperative in Clifton, Arizona, which recently installed the Titan battery system for its fiber customers. Founded in 2009 and based in Clay Center, Kansas, ESPi is privately owned.
Key Products: Software for managing broadband service and subscriber activation and configuration, device management and analytics
Summary: ETI Software Solutions specializes in operational software for service and subscriber provisioning, network configuration, inventory control and performance management for broadband service providers. Its Vision360 software is designed for fiber network operators, including municipalities, utilities and electric co-ops. Vision360 features order entry and work order management, automated service provisioning, device inventory and device management, network management tools and advanced visual analytics to help maximize revenue. With more than 25 years of delivering solutions with a broad partner ecosystem, software from ETI manages more than 15 million devices globally and completes 7 billion transactions per day. From solving specific OSS challenges to providing analysis and integration of complex systems, ETI continues to help fiber network operators with digital transformation and network optimization to increase efficiencies, reduce cost, improve subscriber experience and generate new revenue though next-gen services. ETI Software announced that its Vision360 platform will soon provide 10G provisioning on XGS-PON networks. This is an important step toward enabling service providers to deliver new ultra-broadband services, such as streaming 4K, 8K and 12K video, and crucial business applications, such as remote medical services. Partnerships with other software and consultants are also key to ETI’s mission. ETI announced a northbound integration between its flagship product, Vision360 OSS, and Amdocs’s Smart Pack. The Smart Pack – Vision360 OSS integration is now operational at Hotwire Communications, a customer of both ETI and Amdocs.
Summary: EXFO, headquartered in Quebec, Canada, has pioneered network test, monitoring and analytics solutions for almost 35 years. EXFO solutions help communications service providers deploy, maintain and manage physical, hybrid, virtual, fixed and mobile networks. The company has deep expertise in lab and field testing and provides solutions that automate complex FTTH testing and workflows to boost efficiency and subscriber quality of experience. EXFO equipment, software and services help operators accelerate digital transformations related to fiber, 4G/LTE and 5G deployments and deliver superior network performance, service reliability and subscriber insights. In 2018, EXFO announced the purchase of Astellia, headquartered in Rennes, France, strengthening its offerings in the performance analysis of mobile networks and subscriber experience. EXFO’s FTTH test portfolio includes fiber inspection solutions; OLTS, OTDR and iOLM, including CWDM and DWDM models; PON power meters; Ethernet protocol testers; and end-to-end monitoring solutions for the physical and service layers. In mid-2019, it introduced the Optical Xplorer, an optical fiber multimeter that verifies optical links in seconds and automatically finds and identifies faults. The company has more than 2,000 employees in more than 25 countries and counts 95 percent of the world’s top communications service providers as customers. In fiscal 2018 (ended August 31, 2018), EXFO reported revenue of $270 million.
Key Products: Optical passive devices, multiplexers, fiber optic cable assemblies, termination boxes, FTTH drop cables, fiber testing and installation services
Summary: Fiberdyne Labs Inc., established in 1992, is a manufacturer of stock and custom fiber optic products, including termination boxes, passive modules (WDM and fiber splitters), fiber jumpers, pigtails and MPO cables and cassettes. Recent product introductions include FTTH drop cables and a new 1RU termination box. The company also offers fiber characterization testing and installation services nationwide. Headquartered in Frankfort, New York, Fiberdyne has 92 full-time employees. With its fiber characterization service, Fiberdyne can determine whether the fiber plant will support a network provider’s network equipment and transmission speed. Its installation services include managing, terminating, troubleshooting and testing copper and fiber optic cabling. It also offers fiber optic splicing services to repair broken fiber optic cables or to splice on factory-terminated pigtails.
Summary: Finley Engineering has 66 years of communications and electric power engineering experience and 30-plus years of experience with fiber communication and data projects. It works with organizations that provide fiber connections to improve quality of life and economic opportunities. Founded in 1953, Finley has more than 250 employees nationwide and is one of the largest communications network design companies in the United States. Specializing in end-to-end engineering consulting, Finley works with telecom providers, electric cooperatives, municipalities and counties to find the best broadband strategies to fit specific needs. Every project starts with a strategic discussion regarding broadband and includes all stakeholders to gather critical information and perspectives. Once a project is underway, Finley’s approach is from start to finish, providing construction observation and project management solutions for the entire project. This year, Finley helped hundreds of clients secure funding that promotes network expansion to underserved and unserved communities.
Summary: Foresite Group is a multidisciplinary engineering, planning and consulting firm providing collaborative services to public- and private-sector clients nationwide. Its broadband engineering practice area integrates expertise in fiber optic engineering services, management and consultation to provide comprehensive broadband connectivity programs to clients and communities. Clients include Huntsville Utilities; the city of Broomfield, Colorado; Verizon and AT&T. Foresite Group was instrumental in the Huntsville Utilities fiber infrastructure network buildout, in which HU designated fibers for its own use and smart grid applications while leasing a portion to Google Fiber. The firm also completed a FTTH feasibility study for a Tier 1 service provider in Charleston, South Carolina, in coordination with CHC Consulting. Headquartered in the Atlanta area, Foresite Group has 180 associates in 14 offices nationwide.
Key Products: Consulting; broadband solution design, deployment, operation and maintenance; managed network services; hardware and software integration services; multivendor equipment selection; project management; network operations center
Summary: Fujitsu Network Communications Inc., based in Richardson, Texas, builds middle-mile and last-mile fiber and wireless networks, partnering with states, municipalities and utilities. It works with customers or their consultants to plan, design, build, operate and maintain broadband networks, delivering custom, end-to-end network integration. Fujitsu offers a vendor-agnostic approach to provide turnkey solutions for FTTx implementations with the best of multivendor wireline, wireless and software technology. Fujitsu has served as a prime integrator for high-profile telecommunications and enterprise projects that include a FTTH deployment by Kit Carson Electric Cooperative in Taos, New Mexico, and middle-mile network connectivity for Horizon Telcom in southern and eastern Ohio. The company also was the prime network integrator for FairlawnGig, a municipal broadband network implementation in Fairlawn, Ohio. In this capacity, Fujitsu oversaw the FairlawnGig project, executed the city’s vision from beginning to end and currently maintains the network. In the last year, Fujitsu helped Midwest Fiber Network increase its bandwidth capacity to 200 Gbps by overlaying the existing Carrier Ethernet fiber transport network with next-generation technology. In June, Fujitsu was tapped by Traverse City (Michigan) Light & Power to install fiber in the first phase of a $3.3 million project. The project will be installed during the summer, and Light & Power will start signing up customers by fall 2019. Fujitsu Network Communications is a subsidiary of Fujitsu Limited, a global information and communications technology company based in Japan that offers a full range of technology products, solutions and services in more than 100 countries. Fujitsu Limited, which has approximately 132,000 employees, reported consolidated revenues of about $36 billion for the fiscal year that ended March 31, 2019.
Summary: GeoGraph Technologies provides a variety of organizations with the tools necessary for daily network operation and management. The company works with clients who own and/or operate fiber networks, as well as those with legacy copper or coax assets, to help them with mapping and managing this infrastructure. GeoGraph also serves as a resource for companies looking to plan and build out network assets, companies seeking to audit and inventory existing assets and companies migrating their data to a GIS platform. Customers include ILEC/CLEC providers, electric utilities, ISPs, local county and state governments, colleges and universities, campus environments and transportation departments. CrescentLink Network Manager, GeoGraph’s fiber management extension on ESRI’s ArcGIS platform, has tooling and reporting functionalities used to manage telecom assets. CrescentLink’s Project Planner, the design and engineering portion of the offering, can be installed alongside Network Manager or used as a stand-alone product. Project Planner organizes work into projects and is used for design, construction, cost estimation, staking, reporting and project management, all within a GIS.
Key Products: Development, construction, operation, support and delivery of community-based gigabit internet networks
Summary: GigabitNow offers customized fiber internet solutions for cities, communities, multitenant buildings and businesses. Established in 1991 and the builder and operator of one of the oldest FTTH networks in the United States (Highlands Fiber Network in Issaquah, Washington, 2004), GigabitNow has had recent success building and operating networks for the fabled Sea Ranch on the California coast and for the FiberCity in Fullerton, California – a citywide deployment. GigabitNow also delivers fiber broadband for planned-unit developments and multifamily communities and businesses in Washington state, Oregon and California. Focused on delivering networks that are community-owned, GigabitNow consults with each community to determine its best options, then guides the project from design through implementation, service delivery and long-term operation. Once a network is constructed, GigabitNow provides internet services, network management, daily operations, end-user support and billing. The company, headquartered in Seattle, has about 50 employees. It is a division of IsoFusion Inc., one of the largest privately held ISPs in western Washington.
Key Products: Software for broadband customer management, billing, provisioning and workforce management
Summary: Since 1980, GLDS has helped small operators look big by providing billing and management software at affordable prices – including cloud-based options that require a much smaller investment. Partnering with major equipment suppliers, GLDS supports FTTH, IPTV, DOCSIS, OTT, LTE, wireless and legacy delivery systems. Recently, the company established a collaborative agreement with Calix and completed its first AXOS integration with the Calix AXOS G.fast system in only four months. After the first AXOS integration was complete, GLDS completed its next integration with a new system, the Calix AXOS E9-2 Intelligent Edge System, in only four weeks. GLDS has installed solutions for more than 800 small and midsize broadband operators, including FTTH, cable, satellite and wireless operators, that range in size from startups to providers with more than 550,000 customers. GLDS has offices in California, Wisconsin, Alabama and Lithuania and supports operators in 49 U.S. states and 47 countries worldwide. Key products include BroadHub for customer management and billing and SuperController for automated provisioning. MyBroadbandMarket allows operators to win new subscribers 24/365 by providing a virtual salesperson that can take customers through an online shopping and self-subscribe “mall.” WinForce tech, a mobile workforce management platform, empowers field techs with tools previously available only to office staff. The GLDS best-of-suite approach ensures that critical features come pre-integrated, eliminating the need for expensive, lengthy development timelines.
Summary: An ambitious startup headquartered in Rochester, New York, GoNetspeed serves residential and small-business customers on its high-speed fiber optic network. The company was founded by Frank Chiaino, who formed Fibertech Networks, a company that built more than 14,000 miles of fiber networks across the Northeast. It launched services late in 2017, and during the first six months of 2018, it built 100 miles of network across 13 towns in two states, making service available to more than 30,000 homes. Last year, GoNetspeed began building its network in West Hartford, New Haven, and Bridgeport, Connecticut, providing residential customers and small businesses access to internet speeds up to 1 Gbps. In Pennsylvania, the company constructed an initial footprint in select areas of Pittsburgh and plans to quickly expand to nearby communities as part of its multiyear, multimillion-dollar private investment. In tandem with its aggressive network buildout strategy, GoNetspeed is taking an unusual approach to customer care and pricing. It offers 24/7 customer support and a “Lifetime Price Pledge” guaranteeing that for the entire time a resident is a customer and within its service territory, GoNetspeed will not raise its monthly internet fee.
Key Products: PON electronics, fiber cabinets and enclosures, fiber optic cable, fiber splice closures and pedestals, DC power, fiber terminals
Summary: Graybar specializes in supply-chain management services – getting the right parts to the right places at the right time so construction moves ahead and inventory doesn’t pile up in warehouses. The company is a North American distributor of components, equipment and materials for telecommunications and other industries. FTTH and related solutions represent a significant portion of Graybar’s broadband business. Independent telephone companies, competitive phone companies, municipalities, RUS plow contractors, wireless backhaul providers, central-office contractors and cable companies all depend on Graybar. Founded in 1869 as Gray and Barton, today Graybar sells thousands of items from major manufacturers; its value-added services include kitting and integrated solutions. A Fortune 500 company with gross sales of $7.2 billion in 2018, Graybar employs 8,700 people at 289 locations throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. It is one of North America’s largest and oldest employee-owned companies.
Summary: GVTC is an independent fiber provider delivering high-speed internet, digital cable TV, phone and smart-home security monitoring to residential and business customers in far north San Antonio, the Texas Hill Country, and south-central Texas. Today, 80 percent of GVTC’s service area has FTTH capability, with more expansion projects in the pipeline for 2019. In early 2019, GVTC simplified its fiber-to-the-home offerings with a new tier structure. The new plans feature standard download speeds of up to 250 Mbps, with options to upgrade to 500 Mbps and 1 Gbps. New features for 2019 include a voice-activated smart-home hub device and a Wi-Fi mesh product that is expected to resolve most customer problems with connectivity, reliability and coverage. A key element of GVTC’s fiber buildout strategy is ongoing collaboration with the local economic development agencies and municipalities that use its fiber network to recruit and retain businesses. For example, GVTC built out fiber across Boerne, Texas, in partnership with the city to make it an attractive destination for residents and businesses, and it is working with other nearby communities on similar fiber expansion partnerships. Located in New Braunfels, Texas, GVTC has 224 employees.
Key Products: Planning, design, engineering, project management, construction, operations management, installation
Summary: Founded in 1923, Henkels & McCoy Group Inc. (HMG) is a utility construction firm that provides critical infrastructure for the power, oil and gas pipeline, gas distribution and communications markets in North America. It is the parent holding company of Henkels & McCoy Inc., HMI and H&M Shared Services. HMG has been an FTTH pioneer, performing feasibility studies, project management, construction management, implementation of outside plant and inside plant, and underground and aerial construction. It has regional, area and project offices across the United States, approximately 5,300 employees, and more than 8,300 pieces of modern equipment, allowing the provision of end-to-end solutions.
Key Products: Residential and commercial high-speed data, network management, Wi-Fi solutions, security, home automation, digital voice and HD IPTV video services delivered over FTTP networks
Summary: Hotwire Communications, founded in 2000, is one of the largest and oldest independent providers of fiber-to-the-premises communications solutions in the United States. It provides services to private residential communities, condominiums, apartments, hotels, multitenant commercial buildings, government buildings, student housing, and senior and assisted living facilities. Hotwire Communications operates in more than a dozen states and owns its fully redundant fiber network. The company designs, builds and operates its telecommunications and in-home entertainment services as a competitive local exchange carrier and franchised cable operator. Residential services include ultra-high-speed data, HD IPTV, VoIP and advanced home automation solutions. Hotwire Communications’ headquarters are in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, at the Hotwire Technology Center. It began delivering fiber to the home and IPTV in 2006. In 2014, it became the first residential gigabit internet provider in Florida. Recently, it provided a 10 Gbps symmetrical connection to the Fontainebleau Miami Beach – one of the fastest hotel connections in the world. It recently completed a 10 Gbps network (scalable to 100 Gbps) for the Miami Beach Convention Center and was selected to operate the municipal fiber optic network in Salisbury, North Carolina. In November, Hotwire completed a back-office project with Amdocs to consolidate and modernize its billing, product catalog, customer relationships and workforce management operations. Hotwire can introduce attractive new offerings and cross-product bundles and promotions with a much shorter time to market as well as optimize technician workflows and schedules.
Summary: Huntsville Utilities, owned by the city of Huntsville, Alabama, supplies electricity, gas and water to about 185,000 customers. In 2015, as the utility prepared to expand its legacy fiber facilities to meet growing needs for monitoring and automating its systems, it decided to install enough extra capacity to support a citywide FTTH network and lease this extra dark fiber to service providers. The open-access wholesale network will pass 105,000 premises by the end of 2019, making it one of the largest municipal FTTH networks in the United States. The Huntsville model has several unusual features; the most important is that the final drops to the premises are constructed and owned by service providers, not by the city. In February 2016, Google Fiber became the anchor tenant on the network, pledging to offer triple-play services to all Huntsville residents and small businesses. Google Fiber began connecting customers in 2017. The construction of the network was followed by a series of economic development wins for the city, which Huntsville’s mayor calls a validation of the Gig City strategy. Facebook is investing $750 million for a new data center, Toyota and Mazda have announced a $1.6 billion production facility and Aerojet Rocketdyne announced it was headquartering its defense business unit in Huntsville and bringing about 800 jobs to the city.
“We have never been so optimistic about rural broadband, largely due to the way cooperatives have massively increased investment. Government programs can help speed the process, but the single most important ingredient remains local leadership.” – Christopher Mitchell, Director of Community Broadband Networks, Institute for Local Self-Reliance
Key Products: Telecommunications and broadband network design for multiple-dwelling-unit buildings, amenity selection, low-voltage and wireless system engineering, contract negotiation, project management and acquisition assessment
Summary: To differentiate their communities, MDU owners call on InfiniSys, a company that focuses on building multifamily electronic architectures. As an independent technology adviser and developer, InfiniSys creates comprehensive, standards-based amenity solutions that include IoT, entertainment, access control, video surveillance, digital signage and messaging, energy management, and leisure-space control systems for new and existing apartments, condominiums, student housing, senior housing, hotels, mixed-use developments and master-planned communities. The thousands of projects InfiniSys has undertaken since its inception in 1990 have garnered many awards for forward-thinking solutions and exceptional customer support. InfiniSys works with electronics and infrastructure manufacturers, software developers, and public and private service providers to create new products and service offerings, including IoT solutions. It developed and successfully trademarked both the NetworkedApartment and SmartApartment brands. Based in Daytona Beach, Florida, the firm represents developers and property owners in negotiations with service providers and low-voltage contractors nationwide and oversees projects for financial stakeholders.
Summary: Since 1974, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) has championed local self-reliance based on human-scaled institutions and widely distributed ownership. The nonprofit organization, which has offices in Maine, Minnesota and Washington, D.C., conducts research, advocacy and education that support local control of energy, recycling, financing, broadband and other initiatives. ILSR promotes the intelligent use of advanced technology to achieve locally determined goals. Its Community Broadband Networks Initiative is an important source of information and analysis about locally based fiber-to-the-home projects (those owned by municipalities, cooperatives and public-private partnerships). ILSR’s publications, including its MuniNetworks.org blog, toolkit and weekly podcast, have been instrumental in showing communities that controlling their broadband destinies is feasible and has the potential to improve local economies and quality of life.
Key Products: Service provider negotiations, financial feasibility plans, fiber infrastructure design, consultation, situation analysis
Summary: Founded in 1998, Inteleconnect develops telecommunications strategies for municipalities, college and university campuses, mixed-use developments, and small, medium and large businesses. The company designs and manages service provider–neutral networks (it designed, implemented and currently manages the St. Joe Valley Metronet in South Bend, Indiana); negotiates for in-building distributed antenna systems for such institutions as Clemson University, Nemours Children’s Hospital and Lake Nona Medical City; and negotiates telecommunications service contracts to enable advanced internet, cable TV and telephone networks. Projects include the design and implementation of the statewide research and medical fiber network that connects the three research universities and seven major medical facilities in South Carolina. Other projects include Avalon for North American Properties in Alpharetta, Georgia, and a Distributed Antenna System with Outdoor Distributed Antenna System (ODAS) for Nemours Children’s Hospital and Du Pont Mansion in Wilmington, Delaware.
Key Products: Equipment for wireline and wireless networks, cloud networks, SDN/NFV/IoT, data centers, and distributed antenna systems; inventory management, logistics, site development, sourcing, supply chain management
Summary: Founded in 1973, the distributor KGPCo provides network transformation and supply chain solutions for the communications industry in U.S. and Canadian markets. The company enables customers to build, optimize and transform their networks by providing a single brand to deliver a complement of network solutions. The largest communications product distribution and service solution provider in the United States, KGPCo combines a comprehensive suite of technical strategy and implementation services with a global logistics network and portfolio of technology partnerships. The company’s Solution Innovation Center evaluates, designs and engineers cloud, virtualization and disaggregated solutions developed and operationalized in the live network environment. KGPCo is headquartered in Faribault, Minnesota.
Summary: Last Mile Communications (LMC), an international telecommunications management partnering and consulting firm, offers telecom and cable customers experience across technology, sales and marketing, customer relations, finance and accounting, government and investor relations, business administration, programmer and vendor relations, and executive-level management. Among its top telecom and cable clients are CenturyLink, Comporium, C Spire and TDS Telecom. It also works directly with several high-profile investment and banking firms, including AIG, Argus Capital, Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley and UBS. LMC offers three service lines: management partnering, consulting and capital funding. LMC personnel manage the delivery of broadband services, data management and mobile communications. The company’s consulting arm specializes in providing hands-on industry expertise to private equity investors, investment banks, institutional investors, broadband operators and telcos. It can also raise capital to start, continue and enhance the growth of broadband and telecommunications opportunities. In April 2018, LMC completed a three-and-a-half-year management partnering project for MaxxSouth Broadband, an asset acquired by Block Communications, Inc. (BCI). LMC assisted BCI during the acquisition process and took on the management partnering responsibilities of the new entity, MaxxSouth Broadband, upon the completion of acquisition in late 2014. With operational headquarters in Newtown, Connecticut, Last Mile Connections has satellite headquarters in London, England, and Bucharest, Romania.
Key Products: Design, engineering, construction and maintenance of wireless and wireline networks, outside and inside plant, and FTTx
Summary: Ledcor, in business since 1947, is a diversified construction company that has built communications networks since 1979. It has built more than 50,000 miles of fiber across North America, including the United States’ first full-standard GPON networks and Canada’s first transcontinental fiber network. The company employs nearly 6,000 people in 30 offices across North America; the communications division has approximately 1,400 employees. Ledcor and its subcontract partners currently perform field engineering, design, permitting, construction, and splicing and testing in the greater Chicago area for a Tier 1 U.S. telecommunications provider. This citywide metro overbuild encompasses approximately 3,000 square miles and includes fiber-to-the-tower and fiber-to-the-business networks.
Key Products: High-speed residential and business-class broadband internet, managed Wi-Fi, digital television, digital voice services
Summary: Lumos Networks is a fiber-based incumbent local exchange carrier and part of Segra, one of the largest independent fiber bandwidth companies in the United States. The company has provided integrated telecommunications services to rural Virginia markets since 1897, and the portfolio includes high-speed residential and business-class broadband internet, digital television, digital telephone and managed Wi-Fi services. Local, professional customer care supports the full suite of services. An early FTTH and IPTV pioneer, Lumos Networks was the first in its markets to provide high-definition IPTV services and the first to reach 20 Mbps broadband speed, which it followed with its 1 Gbps service. More than half of Lumos’ ILEC network is now fiber-based. Besides offering 1 Gbps services, Lumos recently doubled the speeds in its Essential and Premium broadband internet service packages. Customers that choose the Essentials package get 150 Mbps download speed, and the Premium package now supports 300 Mbps. Following the debut of its symmetrical gigabit broadband services, Lumos adopted ADTRAN’s 10G fiber-access portfolio to deploy network-wide 10 Gbps fiber service for its business customers. Initially, Lumos will offer tiered symmetrical speed profiles of 2, 4 and 8 Gbps and plans to increase speed profiles on the same ADTRAN platform. Lumos provides FTTH service both within the ILEC territory and strategically in areas outside the ILEC, where it has captured many MDUs, commercial businesses and mixed-use developments. One of its first 10G customers is a small business outside the ILEC territory.
Key Products: Broadband and telecom planning, grant writing, security consulting, deployment, management services
Summary: Headquartered in Denver, Magellan Advisors is a full-service consulting firm that offers services from project inception through implementation and into continuing operations. Magellan helps communities identify opportunities, value assets and negotiate and forge public-private and public-public partnerships. Services offered include smart-city consulting, comprehensive community broadband planning, fiber optic master planning, financial planning, funds sourcing, business modeling, design engineering, telecommunications master planning, deployment, and project management services for governments, municipal utilities, electric cooperatives and private organizations. Magellan’s projects have led to more than $1 billion of investments in broadband networks that connect more than 1,000 schools, hospitals, libraries and government facilities and pass nearly 1 million homes and businesses with fiber and wireless broadband services.
Magellan’s portfolio includes more than 400 engagements for city, county, state, federal and private broadband projects. Clients range from national, regional and tribal governments to new master-planned communities, large cities and small rural communities. Recent projects include a broadband needs assessment and fiber optic mapping plan for Alameda County, California; fiber and smart-city master plan for San Leandro, California; and turnkey broadband plan and turnkey implementation services for Mont Belvieu, Texas.
Summary: Mapcom Systems offers a visualization-based approach to FTTH operations and management. Its M4 Solutions Suite encompasses the FTTH life cycle from PON or active network design and feasibility analysis to day-to-day plant/facility assignment and network maintenance and management. It maps both outside and inside plant at physical and logical levels. Providers use the M4 Solutions Suite to model their networks and service areas, integrating and correlating data from billing, accounting, GPS tracking, element management, network monitoring and vehicle-tracking applications in a visual interface. Using the suite in conjunction with M4 Workforce and M4 Process Manager technology, staff can communicate via mobile devices to handle trouble tickets, service orders, field locates and permitting. In 2018, Mapcom Systems launched M4 SLA Vision, the newest addition to the M4 Solutions platform, which automates many of the reports and dashboards critical to meeting service-level agreements. This year, South Central Indiana Rural Electric Membership Corporation began implementation of the M4 Solutions Suite to bring fiber to homes in its rural communities. Headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, with a staff of more than 100, Mapcom has worked since 1971 with independents, cooperatives, fiber communities and campus telecommunications providers across the United States, Canada, Central America, the Caribbean and Africa.
Key Products: FTTx deployment, outside-plant cabling, engineering, inside-plant construction and installation, joint trench systems, splicing, testing, systems integration, fulfillment, ongoing maintenance
Summary: MasTec provides engineering, design, construction and maintenance services for wireline and wireless communications, including cell tower construction, broadband fiber optic cable installation, wireline construction and emergency maintenance services across the country. The company combines technology, skilled professionals and a commitment to safety to ensure that it can meet customers’ communication needs with a focus on reliability and quality. MasTec has enhanced its workforce to meet ongoing last-mile FTTH and upcoming 5G wireless demands. It added nearly 1,500 team members since last year’s first quarter; almost 1,100 were added in the last six months. The company’s fiber business focuses on two initiatives: deploying higher speed services to homes mainly through fiber and building fiber backbones to support wireless backhaul and fronthaul services in anticipation of upcoming 5G network builds. Having seen what it says is “considerable backlog related to this initiative,” MasTec expects significant growth in these areas as it goes from early-stage engineering into construction that carries a higher-dollar value. MasTec expects this transition to accelerate in the second half of 2019. Headquartered in Coral Gables, Florida, MasTec can supply crews and equipment to its customers 24/7.
Key Products: Fiber optic network construction, including outside-plant construction; structured cabling; fiber splicing and testing
Summary: In 1983, family-owned Michels, based in Brownsville, Wisconsin, was one of the first companies to construct fiber lines. Today, it builds thousands of miles of fiber optic and broadband networks each year. Its communications personnel serve all sectors of the communications industry – local telephone companies, broadband and cable TV providers, schools, and enterprises. The company’s construction design and management services include all phases of inside- and outside-plant engineering. Plowing, trenching, splicing, terminating, testing, constructing aerial lines, directional boring, rail plowing, installing cable, conducting site work and providing FTTx solutions are some of the services Michels offers. In addition, it assists clients with forecasting growth, verifying existing facilities, investigating potential migration strategies and estimating costs of numerous deployment options. For 2019, Michels ranked 27th on Engineering News-Record’s annual Top 400 Contractors list, up from 38th in 2018. Last year, the company billed $3 billion in all lines of business. It has 8,000 employees and 40 regional offices throughout the United States.
Summary: Mid-State Consultants offers a full range of communications engineering services for telephony, data and video networks as well as computerized mapping and conversion and construction supervision. The company has experience working for a broad clientele, including local exchange carriers, RBOCs, interexchange carriers, competitive access providers, ISPs, cellular operators and CATV operators, and it has participated in many FTTH projects. Mid-State assists clients with growth forecasting, verification of existing facilities, investigation of potential migration strategies and cost estimates of numerous deployment options. The company’s construction design and management services include all phases of inside- and outside-plant engineering. Mid-State Consultants is headquartered in Nephi, Utah, and has eight regional offices throughout the United States.
Key Products: Fiber distribution and cable management solutions, connectors, splice enclosures and cabinets; MDU enclosures; raceway and pathway solutions
Summary: A manufacturer of telecommunications network components, Multilink, founded in 1983, focuses on fiber management solutions. Multilink’s customers include independent telcos, RBOCs, utilities, local area network providers and CATV MSOs. Its products are designed to meet the needs of both legacy plant and new technology applications. The company’s engineering staff works closely with customers to develop innovative designs and application-oriented products to provide cost-effective solutions. Recent product introductions include the Surelight H-IP, a fiber drop cable solution with a field-installable application that has an OptiTap-compatible connector. Based in Elyria, Ohio, Multilink is privately owned and has 200 employees.
“Today, 30 to 40 percent of our clients’ customers subscribe to gigabit service, and the rest subscribe to 100 Mbps service. It’s not easy to see something that has never been before. But we believe the country can and should build fiber to every rural home.” – Jonathan Chambers, Partner, Conexon
Summary: VETRO FiberMap is a cloud-based fiber management GIS platform purpose-built for network design and operations. The platform is specifically developed to meet the needs of broadband providers, municipalities and telco engineers that design and build next-generation internet infrastructure. Launched in 2016, VETRO FiberMap now serves clients across the United States and in 17 countries. The platform is an SaaS network mapping solution built for small and midsize fiber ISPs and community fiber networks. Delivered through a web browser, it is engineered for rapid integration, driven by open APIs and managed in the cloud. VETRO FiberMap enables users to access accurate network data from anywhere and design, deploy and document networks – all from a single platform. Portland (Maine) – based Pioneer Broadband completed several rural FTTH network build projects using the VETRO FiberMap platform as a core technology. Pioneer completed FTTH projects in Houlton and Sherman as well as network design for Downeast Broadband Utility covering Calais and Baileyville. Other provider customers, such as OTELCO, use the platform to give potential business customers a way to determine whether fiber-based internet service is available in their areas. VETRO FiberMap was launched by NBT Solutions, a privately owned software development firm based in Portland, Maine.
Key Products: Design, community outreach, financing and construction of open-access broadband networks
Summary: Neighborly is a San Francisco–based startup that connects communities with capital for fiber optic broadband networks. Neighborly provides a full-service solution for deploying open-access networks, from design through community outreach, financing and construction. This unique approach is designed to accelerate the deployment of broadband infrastructure to communities across the country, reduce the burden on local governments and give service providers the opportunity to enter new markets without infrastructure expenditure. Neighborly is currently planning open-access networks in South Portland, Maine; the Katahdin region of Maine; and Stockton, California. Jase Wilson, a civic technologist trained in urban planning, founded the company in 2012 in Kansas City, Missouri. It operates from two locations – San Francisco and Boston – and has 37 employees.
Summary: NEO Connect works with local and state governments throughout the United States providing municipal advisory, funding, consulting, feasibility, and design and engineering services for broadband networks. NEO has become a leader in municipal broadband planning in Colorado, a hotbed for municipal broadband initiatives. In addition to crafting the state’s first comprehensive broadband plan, NEO provided planning, evaluation, management and/or implementation services for 45 of the state’s 64 counties and for 52 cities and towns statewide. Notable Colorado projects include the Region 10 Middle Mile Project; Delta Montrose Electric Association’s Gigabit Last Mile Project; and feasibility studies for the cities of Greeley, Windsor, Arvada and Westminster and the Jefferson County School District. NEO’s team also assisted communities in Minnesota, Montana, Utah, Arizona and California during the last year. Recently, NEO helped several service providers obtain financing or acquisition partners, fulfilling their strategic vision for building out fiber in their communities.
Key Products: Wireline and wireless network equipment, software for network management, IoT technology, cloud solutions
Summary: Nokia, headquartered in Espoo, Finland, is a market leader in wireless and wireline networks. It has a global presence with operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, North America, Asia-Pacific and Latin America. A third of fixed-broadband subscribers worldwide are served by access networks that use Nokia technology, including EPON, GPON, xDSL, cable, FWA and G.fast. Many providers, including EPB Fiber Optics, China Mobile, Hotwire, SKB and Frontier Communications, use Nokia technology to deliver 10 Gbps services. Frontier is deploying Nokia’s XGS-PON technology, focusing on the Dallas-Fort Worth area before expanding to the rest of Texas, Florida and California. Nokia continues to gain traction on the international FTTH front, signing deals with Italy’s Open Fiber and Cambodia’s SINET. Open Fiber will use equipment from Nokia in a rural-focused FTTH deployment, and SINET will roll out a nationwide GPON-based access network that will start in major residential and gated communities. Nokia closed 2018 with net revenue of approximately $25 billion on sales generated in about 130 countries. It had about 103,000 employees at the end of 2018, with an annual R&D budget of almost $6 billion ($2.5 billion on ultra-broadband networking alone) and R&D facilities in Europe, North America and Asia.
Key Products: FTTH and fixed wireless network planning, design and engineering; feasibility studies; project and construction management; network operations and management support; back-office integration
Summary: Pulse Broadband, an NRTC company, was formed in 2008 to bring fiber broadband technology (including FTTH) to unserved and underserved areas. In 2016, it was acquired by NRTC, a cooperative that serves more than 1,500 utilities in 48 states. Pulse is an integral part of NRTC Broadband Solutions, which provides broadband planning, development, engineering, project and construction management, and a wide range of ISP and managed network services. Pulse Broadband specializes in rural broadband, helping electric and telephone utilities and other organizations build and operate gigabit fiber backbone networks to enable next-generation, smart-grid information delivery along with high-speed broadband internet and telecommunications services. Pulse helps clients determine which broadband network architecture is most financially viable and then works to design networks, procure materials, manage construction and launch services. NRTC Broadband Solutions also offers professional services consulting for back-office and video programming, customer sales and support, funding, marketing, and funding support. Over the past three years, Pulse has added more end-to-end broadband solutions and expertise to its FTTH and fixed wireless core competence. For example, Ken Johnson, a former RUS administrator and former CEO of Co-Mo Electric Cooperative, recently joined NRTC as senior vice president of broadband programs. Pulse’s experience includes more than 30 projects, 37,000 miles of fiber/FTTH plant, 378,000 homes passed and more than $1.30 billion in fiber and fixed wireless infrastructure investment. Pulse has 140 employees and is headquartered in Mishawaka, Indiana, with additional offices in Herndon, Virginia, and St. Louis.
Key Products: Optical fiber, optical fiber cable, fusion splicers, fiber management and connectivity products, network design services
Summary: OFS’s heritage, which goes back to the original Bell Labs, includes pioneering research and development in fiber optics. Wholly owned by Furukawa Electric of Japan, OFS designs, manufactures and supplies optical fiber, fiber optic cable, specialty photonics and optical connectivity solutions, providing fiber optic solutions for outside- and inside-plant networks. It is doubling its fiber manufacturing capacity by 2020 to meet strong customer demand for optical fiber and optical fiber cable. The Furukawa Electric board approved $150 million in capital spending for further expansion in production, primarily in the United States and Europe through OFS. Products include EZ-Bend ultra-bend-insensitive optical cables and InvisiLight solutions for nearly invisible in-MDU and in-home fiber deployments; AllWave+ ZWP full-spectrum, zero-water-peak, bend-optimized fiber; gel-free Fortex loose tube, AccuRibbon ribbon and PowerGuide ADSS fiber cables; end-to-end fiber connectivity, optical splitter and fiber management solutions; fusion splicers and several MDU deployment solutions.
The professional services group designs and builds FTTx networks for MDU and SFU applications. Recent product launches include Rollable Ribbon cables, assemblies and new connectivity solutions for MDU and SFU applications. Headquartered near Atlanta, OFS has facilities in North America, Europe and Africa and sales offices around the world. Furukawa Electric reported 52,000 employees worldwide and revenue of about $9 billion for its telecommunications group for the fiscal year ending March 2018.
Key Products: FTTH splicing and installation, mainline fiber splicing, MDU network design and installation, structured cabling, consulting, project management, warehousing, back-office structure
Summary: Based in Eastern Tennessee, On Trac provides telecommunications services to and manages special projects for network operators nationwide. Its core services are FTTH splicing and installation. Additional services include consulting; project management; training, service and repair; materials management and warehousing; scheduling processes; and back-office structure. Clients include municipal network operators, cooperatives and privately owned operators, including Bristol Tennessee Essential Services, Dalton Utilities, GVTC, LUS Fiber, Google Fiber, C Spire and Longmont Power & Communications. On Trac recently announced that BrightRidge Broadband selected the company to be its fiber installation partner for an eight-year broadband deployment project. To date, On Trac has connected more than 250,000 FTTH installations and performed outside-plant work that includes aerial drops, underground drops, mainline fiber splicing and bidirectional testing.
Key Products: Outside-plant engineering, planning and design; project management, feasibility studies, consulting services, quality assurance, construction
Summary: Approaching its 20th year as a national engineering and design firm based in Raleigh, North Carolina, ONUG Communications provides services for AT&T and has expanded its role with other large clients such as Google Fiber, CenturyLink and Verizon. In addition to working with national providers, ONUG contributes to various smaller projects for campuses, such as retirement communities; municipalities, such as Sherwood, Oregon; and state and local utilities. Its work for these clients includes providing feasibility studies, overall plans, designs and costing to submit for federal grants. To date, ONUG has planned, engineered, managed and/or constructed networks that pass nearly 2 million homes. ONUG’s ongoing partnership with Biarri Networks allows ONUG to more fully utilize automation, optimization and efficiency in the design of FTTx, which reduces costs and increases speed of delivery. ONUG also works with two other automation and optimization companies, providing industry trends and feedback to enable them to enhance and improve their product lines. Daniel Huffman, ONUG’s owner and president, continues to provide fiber optic training courses through Light Brigade.
Key Products: Internet, video and voice services; managed services, including support for leasing offices
Summary: Pavlov Media, a network provider that targets the MDU space, is the largest private provider of broadband services to off-campus student housing communities. It builds and runs networks in 44 states and Canada. With more than 265,000 residents using its network, Pavlov Media provides high-speed internet and cable television to hundreds of apartment, condo and student housing sites. Pavlov Media’s national fiber network backbone enables the delivery of internet speeds up to 1 Gbps. Pavlov Media launched its first fiber-to-the-unit (FTTU) service several years ago and now supplies FTTU to thousands of apartments. The service provider has been active on the acquisition front; this year, it snapped up two companies that will bolster its MDU presence, Velocity Online and Simplified Technologies. The purchase of Velocity Online, based in Tallahassee, Florida, deepens Pavlov’s reach with multifamily real estate owners in multiple states as well as Tallahassee-area businesses. Simplified Technologies brings Pavlov a greater arsenal of IT support services to target Midwestern commercial businesses. Founded in 1994, Pavlov Media is headquartered in Champaign, Illinois.
Key Products: Fiber optic and cable products, optical networking electronics, test gear, IPTV, home networking solutions
Summary: The distributor Power & Tel specializes in the procurement, sales and logistics of communications products. By cost-effectively and efficiently managing the supply chain, Power & Tel lets its customers – service providers, contractors and other entities large enough to maintain communications networks – focus on building and maintaining fiber networks. The company also provides materials-management services that use state-of-the-art distribution technology to accommodate the industry’s rapidly changing supply needs. Recently, Power & Tel and Geneva-based ADB, a provider of end-to-end TV solutions, signed a master distribution agreement for the Americas. Founded in 1963 and privately owned, Power & Tel is headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, and has locations in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Brazil.
Key Products: Fiber cable, microduct, enclosures, optical passives, optical splitters, fiber test equipment
Summary: PPC offers fiber optic products for the headend and outside plant. The company’s broadband and fiber solutions are used globally in cable systems, satellite networks and wireless businesses. PPC continues to expand its fiber product road map while holding more patents in connector technology than any other company in the world. In recent years, PPC has expanded its product portfolio through strategic acquisitions. In 2016, the company purchased UK-based M2fx, adding a fiber-to-the-premises product line to its offering. Two years later, in 2018, PPC’s fiber unit grew to include optical passive products acquired through the purchase of Net-Tech Technology. And in 2019, PPC acquired the FutureLink line of fiber products from Suttle Inc. and subsequently purchased OPTERNA, a global manufacturer of end-to-end fiber solutions. PPC Broadband is a wholly owned subsidiary of Belden Inc. and is headquartered in East Syracuse, New York, with locations in the United States, United Kingdom, Mexico, Denmark, St. Kitts, China, Germany, India, Ireland, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates.
Key Products: Fiber optic and copper splice closures, high-speed cross-connect devices, cable anchoring, control hardware systems
Summary: Founded in 1947, Preformed Line Products (PLP) is an international designer and manufacturer of products and systems used to construct and maintain overhead and underground networks. Its communications segment serves telecommunications network operators, cable television and broadband service providers, corporations and enterprise networks, government departments and agencies, and educational institutions. The company has updated its flagship product line of COYOTE fiber optic closures to make the devices more durable, more versatile and easier to install. PLP serves telecommunications network operators, cable television and broadband service providers, power utilities, enterprise networks, government agencies and educational institutions. This year, PLP announced its acquisition of MICOS TELCOM s.r.o., a manufacturer based in the Czech Republic that makes passive components for high-speed telecommunications networks. Headquartered in Cleveland, PLP has two domestic manufacturing facilities, 18 foreign subsidiaries and a global network of more than 3,000 employees. Net sales for 2018 were $420 million.
Summary: Prysmian Group is a world leader in the energy and telecom cable systems industry. With almost 140 years of experience, sales of more than $13 billion, nearly 29,000 employees in more than 50 countries and 112 plants, Prysmian is strongly positioned in high-tech markets and offers a wide range of products, services, technologies and know-how. For the telecommunications industry, Prysmian Group manufactures cables and accessories for voice, video and data transmission, offering a comprehensive range of optical fibers, optical and copper cables and connectivity systems. In addition, it provides underground and submarine cables and systems for power transmission and distribution, special cables for applications in many different industries, and medium- and low-voltage cables for the construction and infrastructure sectors. In 2017, the vendor announced a three-year, $300-million agreement with Verizon to facilitate the deployment of its 5G and broadband networks and improve 4G LTE and other broadband capacity. Last year, Prysmian completed its acquisition of General Cable, a Kentucky-based manufacturer of aluminum, copper and fiber optic wire and cable products. The company also introduced ezMicroduct, which allows placement of up to 528 fibers in a single 14mm microduct. Earlier this year, Prysmian debuted its 6,912-fiber MassLink Cable with FlexRibbon technology. Ribbons are rolled up and packed together in small diameter sub-units but still provide the advantages of mass fusion splicing. Prysmian is headquartered in Milan, Italy.
“The broadband market continues to see massive investment in network infrastructure and an evolution toward automation in design, construction, provisioning and operations. Real bandwidth demand has made the conversation around the definition of minimum broadband speeds obsolete as markets come online at 100/100, gigabit and faster.” – Will Mitchell, CEO and Co-Founder, VETRO FiberMap
Summary: Founded in 2013 with a mission to build networks better, Render has a successful history of streamlining large-scale network construction in Australia and, more recently, enabling network operators, engineers and builders in the United States to deliver fiber networks more efficiently. Utilizing GIS, mobile and automation technologies, Render’s Digital Network Construction platform solves the complexities associated with network deployment by digitizing design and construction workflows and eliminating manual construction approaches. Render converts a complex network design directly into simple tasks, defined on a familiar map-based interface and sequenced to optimal delivery, resulting in cost and time efficiencies of up to 50 percent. Real-time, geospatial data provides a single, integrated view of progress to all stakeholders, improving project data visibility and control across network rollouts. Render has 15 employees and is headquartered in Glen Iris, Australia.
Summary: Rocket Fiber is a gigabit internet service provider founded in Detroit in 2014. It began rolling out services to residents and businesses in the city’s central business district in late 2015. Rocket Fiber currently provides service to the Detroit metro area; its standard residential service includes symmetrical speeds of 1 Gbps, and residents can purchase speeds up to 10 Gbps. Rocket Fiber is unusual among private, for-profit ISPs in that it was formed with the explicit goal of contributing to local economic development. Its mission is to develop and implement critical technology infrastructure that businesses and communities can leverage. Rocket Fiber is active in Detroit 5G deployment and continues to play a major role in Detroit’s smart-city movement. It is a part of Detroit businessman Dan Gilbert’s portfolio of companies, which includes the financial giant Quicken Loans. Recently, Rocket Fiber partnered with the new Shinola Hotel in Detroit to deliver gigabit speeds to its guests. Rocket Fiber managed the initial design and installation of the internet solutions and maintains support of the hotel network.
Key Products: High-speed internet, streaming TV, voice, cellular, home automation and security services, internet of things/big data support
Summary: Privately owned Smithville Communications, with 204 employees, is Indiana’s largest independent telecom company and has aggressively built out fiber to homes and businesses for more than a decade. Recently it expanded its fiber network, building a 100 Gbps core network node in rural Dubois County, Indiana, for enterprise-level capacity, and partnering with Purdue Research Foundation to bring high-capacity, commercial-grade 100 Gbps node fiber to a southern Indiana rural area that is home to the $100 million WestGate@Crane Technology Park, adjacent to a large defense support facility. Smithville’s GigaCity project continues to advance in the city of Jasper, and the company expanded its gigabit fiber operations in the rural town of Ellettsville. These expansions are either self-funded or funded through public-private partnerships. Smithville continues to enjoy residential growth from standardizing residential service options to the best speed available in any location with no data caps, and it actively promotes streaming TV as its main television service offering. Citing growing content costs and changing TV user behaviors, the provider replaced its prior multichannel TV packages with its new streaming TV service in October. The company has also been able to attract new telecom management talent, naming Frontier executive Paul Quick as its new president. Quick last served as vice president of commercial sales in nine states. Smithville continues to upgrade its legacy copper areas with fiber to the cabinet to enhance speeds and capacity in rural areas.
Key Products: Gigabit fiber to the premises, fiber to the node and DSL internet access; voice service; co-location; business networking
Summary: Superior Essex designs, manufactures and supplies a large selection of premises and outside-plant fiber optic and copper wire and cable products. The company supplies products to many of the largest service providers, and its cable products are installed in thousands of enterprises around the world. It recently introduced a line of cables for distributed antenna systems; FTTH enclosures, including fiber distribution hubs; and redesigned families of fiber dome closures. Superior Essex has a co-development and marketing alliance with Legrand to create a suite of structured cabling systems, nCompass. The company recently launched PowerWise Category 5e cable, a 22-gauge communications data cable designed for internet-connected devices that utilize the power over Ethernet standard. Also new is EnduraLite indoor/outdoor loose-tube optical fiber cable. In the last year, the company launched Telco OSP hybrid cable to support class 2 line electric code powering of remote devices and released an improved version of its 10Gain XP CAT 6A plenum-rated cable with a decreased diameter of 0.25 inches OD. Superior Essex is headquartered in Atlanta and has more than 3,000 employees. Its product development center is in Kennesaw, Georgia, and it has manufacturing facilities in Brownwood, Texas; Tarboro, North Carolina; and Hoisington, Kansas.
Key Products: Design, integration, installation and support for MDU networks and technology solutions; internet access, video and voice services; co-located hosting
Summary: Synergy Fiber offers managed communications services that provide total technology solutions for MDU buildings. Synergy’s offerings include gigabit fiber infrastructure, Ruckus Wi-Fi and DISH satellite television. Its turnkey package incorporates structured cabling design, video security systems and buildingwide access control as a total building solution. With its global help desk, Synergy manages and supports building infrastructure and clients’ needs after turnup. Projects include new construction and retrofitting or rebranding a property’s current technology. Student housing is a natural for Synergy Fiber, which partnered with SALTO Systems to provide access control for Texas A&M’s 3,400-bed Park West Student Living. Other clients include Ann Arbor’s Landmark apartments. Synergy Broadband Collocated Hosting, located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, provides security, power, cooling, fire suppression, advanced cabling systems and fully redundant managed internet connectivity. Headquartered in Ann Arbor, Synergy has offices in Highlands Ranch, Colorado; Hayward, California; College Station, Texas; Tucson, Arizona; and Hong Kong.
Key Products: Telecommunications master planning, network design and engineering, financial modeling, construction management
Summary: The Broadband Group (TBG), a technology and telecommunications consulting firm, develops business plans, network specifications, engineering designs, financial models and deployment strategies for utilities, master-planned communities, municipalities and service providers that seek to facilitate or deliver next-generation broadband services. TBG’s wholly owned subsidiary, TBG Network Services (TBGNS), oversees construction management. In Huntsville, Alabama, TBGNS manages the Huntsville Utilities buildout of its 966-mile, citywide dark fiber network. Current TBG projects include leading the fiber business plan development and deployment strategies for Ontario, California; Long Beach, California; City Utilities/SpringNet in Springfield, Missouri; and the Brambleton community in Loudoun County, Virginia. Large-scale master-planned communities around the United States call on TBG to create technology master plans that position wired and wireless connectivity as differentiated amenities. Based in Las Vegas, with additional offices in Huntsville, Alabama, TBG was founded in 1997.
Summary: TDS Telecommunications delivers broadband internet, video and phone services to nearly 900 rural, suburban and metropolitan communities across the United States. With more than 1.2 million connections, TDS is one of the fastest-growing service providers in the country. Powered by fiber optics and new technologies, TDS delivers up to 1 Gbps internet speeds and offers IP-based TV along with traditional phone services. TDS also offers businesses VoIP advanced communications solutions, dedicated internet service, data networking and hosted managed services. TDS Telecom began building FTTH in greenfield developments more than a decade ago and now offers FTTH in 78 communities and serves 27 percent of its wireline service addresses with fiber. In 2018, it earmarked $60 million to fund new fiber expansions inside and outside its wireline footprint. A year after acquiring Merrimac Communications, TDS launched fiber service in Merrimac, Wisconsin, and expanded its Wisconsin fiber network into Madison and Oregon, Wisconsin, with active builds in Cottage Grove, McFarland and DeForest, Wisconsin. It expects to launch four additional markets in its southern Wisconsin cluster this year as well as two new clusters targeting 80,000 total service addresses in mid-central Wisconsin and in what it described to investors during its first-quarter earnings call as “other attractive areas” outside Wisconsin. In May, the company announced it is building a fiber network in Idaho’s fast-growing Coeur d’Alene area, where it will install more than 700 miles of fiber cable to serve nearly 40,000 locations. BendBroadband, a TDS cable subsidiary, also announced plans to bring FTTH services to La Pine, Oregon. Headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin, TDS Telecom employs nearly 2,700 people and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Telephone and Data Systems Inc. Its operating revenues for 2018 were $927 million.
Summary: Tesmec USA provides open-trench solutions for fiber deployments. The company manufactures, rents and sells trenching machines for laying fiber, power cables and flexible ducts. Designed to comply with a work site’s specific features, Tesmec trenchers can dig and lay more than 3,000 feet of fiber optic cable or duct a day, depending on the environment. The Tesmec Group purchased Marais in 2015 to enhance its product line. Its Cleanfast product combines a vacuum and a microtrenching machine on a truck. All excavated material is immediately loaded by suction, so no material is thrown during the work. Veracity, an engineering construction firm that provides fiber services in the six‐state New England area, uses Cleanfast as its underground fiber optic construction tool for several customers, including Crown Castle, CenturyLink, Verizon, Windstream and Zayo. Outside the United States, Cleanfast has been used for more than 15 years, reducing fiber installation time and nuisance for European operators such as Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Tele2 and BT. Marais maintains headquarters in France but, through the Tesmec acquisition, now operates a U.S. factory in Alvarado, near Fort Worth, Texas. With more than 65 years of experience and more than 750 employees, the Tesmec Group conducts business in more than 135 countries worldwide.
Summary: Ting, a subsidiary of Tucows – a domain management service company that ventured into the MVNO business in 2012 – launched its FTTH business with a bang in December 2014 when it acquired Blue Ridge InternetWorks, a competitive fiber provider in Charlottesville, Virginia. Ting expanded its network across Charlottesville and continues to expand to small markets in new areas, often by partnering with municipalities. Ting currently provides fiber services in towns in Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, Idaho and Colorado. As it rolls out service in each community, Ting educates local realtors on how fiber-based connectivity can drive up home values. It also conducts community outreach to encourage collaboration with local businesses and parent-teacher organizations. Ting announced Ting TV, an HDTV offering that comes with DVR and an app for viewing on tablets and smartphones. Recently, the company announced that it will offer fiber connections in Fullerton, California, through a partnership with SiFi Networks and will continue its North Carolina expansion in Wake Forest. Ting has created a targeting program that encourages towns and cities to nominate themselves as the next destination for its FTTH service. Tucows is headquartered in Toronto, Canada. With 400 employees, it reported $346 million in revenue in 2018.
“I can see a big shift in discussions with communities today compared to just a few years ago. Community leaders are past thinking about whether fiber is right for them. Now the focus is on how to get it – which is very positive, especially for the rural United States.” – Isak Finér, Chief Marketing Officer, COS Systems
Key Products: Broadband electronics, connectivity products, outside-plant hardware, test equipment, fabric innerduct, conduit technology
Summary: TVC Communications, a division of WESCO Distribution Inc., is a value-added distributor that stocks and same-day ships FTTH products and facilitates planning, launching and turning on fiber networks in broadband and utility markets. TVC provides supply-chain solutions for operators, utilities and municipalities launching fiber networks, including turnkey project development, material management, financial modeling for material management, marketing for increasing awareness/take rate and project launch team and support. The company’s brands include MaxCell, the flexible fabric innerduct that allows increased cable density in a conduit while preserving space for future bandwidth expansion. MaxCell’s fabric construction conforms to the cables placed within it, reducing wasted space compared with rigid innerduct. Available in sizes to fit all conduits, MaxCell adds pathways quickly and is installed easily and cost effectively. MaxSpace is a no-dig conduit space recovery solution designed to safely remove rigid innerduct from around active fiber cables with little to no load on the cable and no interruption of service.
Key Products: Broadband engineering and consulting services, including feasibility studies and network design, engineering and deployment
Summary: Vantage Point Solutions (VPS) believes that better broadband means better lives. Based in Mitchell, South Dakota, VPS provides engineering and consulting services to wireless and wireline broadband providers to help them deliver on that promise. Vantage Point’s professional engineering capabilities, financial and technical expertise and extensive regulatory knowledge enable it to design advanced, economically viable solutions customized for each client. With more than 300 employees and hundreds of clients across the country and internationally, VPS’s depth and breadth of expertise allow it to help clients at nearly every step of broadband network development and operation, from concept to cutover and beyond. Services include feasibility studies; network design, engineering, and deployment; regulatory advice; financial and business analysis; municipal code review and development; and network maintenance and security. In October 2018, Vantage Point introduced the BETTI Box, a hardware-software solution that enables CAF funding recipients to meet the new FCC requirements for periodic speed and latency testing.
Summary: Verizon delivers broadband and other communications services to consumer, business, government and wholesale customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, and the largest FTTH provider in the United States, it provides converged communications, information and entertainment services in the United States and integrated business solutions in more than 150 countries. In 2018, revenue for Fios, Verizon’s FTTH network, grew 2.1 percent to $11.7 billion; at the end of 2018, Fios had 6.1 million internet subscribers and 4.5 million video subscribers. Verizon continues to add new Fios customers in its existing footprint, including in Boston, where it launched Fios in 2016. In addition to Tier 1 cities, Verizon is extending Fios to rural communities in Schenectady and Washington counties of New York state via a partnership with New York state and the FCC through the New NY Broadband Program. The Fios Gigabit Connection, the company’s flagship broadband service, offers download speeds up to 940 Mbps and upload speeds up to 880 Mbps, and Fios Multi-Room DVR (formerly Quantum TV) offers the ability to record up to 12 shows at the same time and up to 200 hours of HD recording capacity. It includes the Fios TV app and a hands-free, voice control option with an Alexa-enabled device. The company has settled on NG-PON2 to deliver future high-speed FTTH services. In October 2018, Verizon achieved symmetrical 8 Gbps throughput on its live network in Tampa, Florida, using NG-PON2 technology on Calix’s AXOS platform. Verizon Enhanced Communities works with property owners, property managers and businesses to serve multifamily residential, multitenant commercial, and mixed-use communities with high-bandwidth internet, TV and phone services. A Dow 30 company with almost $131 billion in 2018 revenues, Verizon employs 155,000 people worldwide.
Summary: Headquartered in Pella, Iowa, and selling worldwide, Vermeer manufactures underground installation equipment. Its involvement in fiber optic installation began in 1991 with the launch of its Navigator horizontal directional drill product line. Vermeer HDD products can install communications lines underground without excavating or trenching, minimizing environmental disruption and helping reduce labor costs in fiber deployments. In 2010, Vermeer introduced a microtrenching system that allows installation of fiber lines into a roadway in one quick pass. Recent introductions include the S3 generation of directional drills, whose speed, simplicity and quietness are trademarks of the product line, and the tiny SPX25 remote-controlled vibratory plow, used for installing small pipes and cables at depths up to 12 inches and for boring underneath driveways and sidewalks using an optional attachment. The newest Vermeer D23x30DR S3 Navigator weighs about 8 tons and is compact enough to maneuver through rock in congested cities and other tight job sites. The RTX1250 ride-on tractor, widely used for microtrenching, has been updated with easier tool changing, optional remote control and a slew of eco-friendly features. Privately owned, Vermeer was founded in 1948.
Key Products: Field and lab broadband test equipment, network monitoring systems, network performance monitoring, diagnostic solutions
Summary: Formed in 2015 when JDSU split into two companies, VIAVI Solutions has nearly 100 years of experience in network testing and assurance. VIAVI provides testing, assurance and optimization solutions for broadband communications service providers, cable operators, mobile service providers, network equipment manufacturers, contractors, governments and enterprises. It offers test and measurement solutions for all gigabit internet technologies, including GPON, DOCSIS 3.1, HFC, G.fast and Wi-Fi. The company claims numerous firsts, such as the industry’s first 400 Gbps test platform, and it works with the world’s top broadband service providers. In 2018, VIAVI purchased Cobham’s AvComm and Wireless Test and Measurement businesses, expanding its test and measurement offerings for public safety as well as solidifying its position in 5G testing. It also enhanced its product portfolio for cable and broadband markets with the incorporation of proven signal-leakage detection technology acquired from Trilithic. It has continued to enhance its product line, announcing in May two new solutions to ensure successful network installation and operation: the DSP TDR Time Domain Reflectometer and the OCC-4056C DWDM Optical Channel Checker. For fiscal 2018, which ended June 30, 2018, VIAVI reported net revenue of $880 million, an 8.5 percent increase over the previous year. VIAVI is based in San Jose, California.
Key Products: Products and services for deploying communications networks; kitting and integration; product selection consultiing
Summary: Walker and Associates is a national distributor of networking products for broadband providers, including wireline, wireless, and CATV, and has supported government and enterprise network operators for nearly 50 years. The company sources products from more than 300 suppliers, facilitating carriers’ delivery of high-speed internet, video, data and voice services to residential, business and mobile users. Walker supports technology solutions such as switching, routing, Wi-Fi, microwave, NFV, Carrier Ethernet, VoIP, WDM, ROADM, packet optical networking, SDN, GPON, active Ethernet, fixed wireless, DSL and more. Walker’s certified product engineering, kitting, testing, installation, systems integration and managed services simplify network deployment. The company also helps network designers make product selection decisions for optimum network performance, scale and operating cost. Products include fiber and copper connectivity, power systems, indoor and outdoor enclosures, and outside-plant products. Walker also offers marketing, sales, logistical and technical support services for manufacturers, reaching 10 telecommunications submarkets and more than 1,200 domestic customers. In the past year, keeping pace with the markets it serves, Walker invested in additional technical resources and tripled its network functions virtualization (NFV) lab capacity. To meet customer requirements for bulk fiber, the company increased its fiber cable supply yard and its capacity for custom-cut cable requests. Based in Welcome, North Carolina, with 155 employees, Walker is ISO 9001/2015 quality certified and is a certified women-owned corporation.
Key Products: Gigabit home gateways and other customer-premises equipment; mesh Wi-Fi systems; Ethernet switches; security
MTP/MPO Patch Panel
Summary: Zyxel, a pioneer in IP technology for 30 years, provides a portfolio of multiservice LTE, fiber and DSL broadband gateways; home connectivity solutions; smart-home devices; enterprise-class Ethernet switches; and security and Wi-Fi equipment for small to midsize businesses. Recent Zyxel solutions for FTTH and FTTN include an advanced security gateway for SMBs, a high-performance gateway for ISPs, an enhanced Nebula Cloud Management Solution, and the CBRS and multiband outdoor routers for fixed wireless access. Zyxel has also been working with Affinegy, a vendor of hardware-independent, standards-based device management software recently acquired by NISC, to provide an automated, turnkey reporting service that broadband operators can use to satisfy Connect America Fund reporting requirements. Zyxel is headquartered in Hsinchu, Taiwan, with U.S. headquarters in Anaheim, California. It posted $375 million in 2018 revenue.
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