At the opening session of the NCTC’s Winter Educational Conference yesterday in Long Beach, CA, two executives from Mediacom Communications shared lessons on using fiber for wholesale and business-class services.

Dominick DePaola, senior director of enterprise solutions with Mediacom, said large wholesalers such as Level3, Global Crossing and Sprint have been approaching the MSO to build fiber to small towns and cities.

“These are the biggest opportunities we’ve seen in years,” said DePaola.

He also identified data centers as a lucrative new business, and said “rural markets are fantastic for this.”

According to DePaola, de-commissioned military warehouses are being used to house new data centers, but someone has to build the fiber connections, hauling access 40 miles or more outside of major cities to areas that would be less susceptible to terrorist attacks.

Business services

Greg Euker, director, IP Networks with Mediacom, presented a case study to demonstrate the business services opportunity of building fiber connections to less densely populated areas.

Mediacom constructed an OC-192 ring to connect the data centers of hospitals in the Carbondale, IL, area. The completed project, known as Southern Illinois Metro Network, has been “able to create a barrier for other competition,” he said.

Since the network was built, Mediacom has sold redundant path fiber connections to the hospitals, sold business services to other verticals such as schools and banks, and sold Internet services to ISPs.

Although there were other providers in the area before Mediacom, including local exchange carriers (LECs), they apparently weren’t interested in building the local loop and connecting to the Internet backbone.

“Local loop and carrier backhaul are the same things,” said DePaola.
“The local loop is a very lucrative market for us. The idea is I can haul the local loop – even if it’s 150 miles—cheaper than these other providers can.”

Euker said operators could replicate the Illinois case study for small towns by building a network around an anchor tenant.

“It really gives you a good base,” he said. “It’s something we’ve really proved out in Southern Illinois.”

–Linda Hardesty

The Daily

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