Randy DeYoung is not your typical cable operator; in fact, he’d be offended if someone even suggested he was typical. DeYoung is CEO of Falcon Broadband, a competitive telecommunications provider in Colorado Springs that has just put all its eggs in the GPON basket, selecting Hitachi Telecom‘s emerging fiber technology to deliver multiple gigs over a fiber-to-the-home network.
"We’re competing with Comcast; we’re competing with Qwest; so we have two 800-pound gorillas we have to contend with. What can Falcon, as a small company, local hometown company, do? What can we do to beat our competition? The answer was to go to the GPON and partner with people like Hitachi," DeYoung said.
The answer did not arrive on a bolt of lightning delivered from Pike’s Peak; it came after serious consideration and after already starting to deploy 100 megabit transport via HFC with another vendor. It also came after considering DOCSIS 3.0 which, seemingly, would have played well with Falcon’s IP-centric voice, video and data services.
"DOCSIS 3.0 doesn’t get us where we want to go because that only gets you up to 100 megs," DeYoung said. "With GPON, we have 2.4 gigabytes in the downstream and 1.2 gigabytes on the upstream. That puts us way out of the ballgame. We wanted a solution for a long time to come."
If nothing else, GPON is a long-time solution. It’s hardly here now, said Rick Schiavinato, vice president of marketing at Hitachi Telecom, which has deployed the technology at four sites in the last year.
"We’re kind out alone right now, anxiously waiting for other vendors to finish their development so we can start interoperability between vendors," said Schiavinato. "We’re in a very delicate situation as far as the PON market is concerned because it certainly is a completely different PON technology than what is being deployed by the other vendors today."
So it makes sense that Falcon, which wants to be a completely different kind of telecommunications vendor, would use GPON.
"Our whole scope forward is to have the best," said DeYoung. "This fits our needs, what we’re looking at for the future."
And for those who think that subscribers won’t devour more bandwidth than a kitten chowing down breakfast, DeYoung offers up some statistics.
"A lot of HD channels take between 19 and 22 megs. Some homes have two or three HDTVs, and all of a sudden now you’re drawing 60 megs," he said. "Throw some Internet in there … and then you still have your phone. Then you want to do some surveillance or some security monitoring or these other things. With our platform, we can give anything that anybody could ever ask for." – Jim Barthold