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Marconi to Build Trial Fiber-To-The-Home Network

Network to Provide Palo Alto Residents with Voice, Video, and Office-grade Networking in Their Homes Via a High-speed Fiber Connection (September 24, 2001)
Marconi today announced that it has been selected by the City of Palo Alto Utilities to build a trial Fiber-To-The-Home (FTTH) network utilizing Marconi's FTH-1000 system. The Marconi broadband system offers users voice, video, and Internet access at rates more than 60 times faster than traditional dial-up connections -- all on a single platform.

"This project partnership with Marconi will provide fiber-to-the-home trial residents access to nearly limitless bandwidth resulting in improved access, faster processing speeds, reduced download times and increased capabilities," said John Ulrich, City of Palo Alto Utilities Director. "The quality of life for these trial participants will be substantially enhanced through high-speed Internet access and advanced communications technologies that will soon become an integral and essential part of our daily lives."


The FTTH trial project, expected to start service shortly and to last approximately for one year, will provide up to 75 residences of the Community Center Neighborhood (CCN) in Palo Alto with voice and data services. These services will be delivered through a passive optical network (PON) between the customer's home and the Marconi FTH-1000 host digital terminal located at the City of Palo Alto's Municipal Service Center. The City has nearly completed the construction of the fiber infrastructure for the project, including fitting the participants' homes with Marconi equipment. Palo Alto initially entered the dark fiber business in 1997 with its installation of a 31-mile dark fiber loop within Palo Alto.

"The utilization of Marconi's Deep Fiber FTH-1000 equipment in a real-world deployment helps us to evaluate FTTH and assess the true potential of this emerging technology," said Matthew Davis, Program Manager of E-Networks & Broadband Access for The Yankee Group. "This trial will unveil important information on subscriber penetration and the support for a variety of applications that are the keys to driving consumer adoption of FTTH."

FTTH Advantages
Participants of the trial will enjoy previously unavailable high-speed voice and data services that can be accessed at seven megabits per second; a document that would have taken sixty minutes to download with a standard dial-up connection will now take sixty seconds. In addition, participants will have the ability to use three separate phone lines from a single home networking unit.

The city is also exploring implementation of the Marconi broadcast quality video. With the Marconi system, these services will be consolidated on a single bill and be managed by one service provider, City of Palo Alto Utilities.

A key element of the FTTH trial will be is to determine which services customers would like to receive over their fiber optic connection and what price they view as being reasonable for these services.

The Home Network Unit (HNU) will also be on display at a library and a public school in the trial area so residents who are not participating in the trial can experience the value of subscribing to the service.

Provides High Quality Voice and Video Services
The FTH-1000 provides value by supporting all the standard voice switch interfaces and is therefore able to deliver high quality voice services immediately, regardless of which switch vendor is being used. In addition, the video distribution system is compatible with standard CATV distribution schemes for both analog and digital formats providing increased flexibility for delivery of broadcast video services.

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Related Keywords:DTV Professional, Marconi, Fiber-To-The-Home, FTTH network, FTH-1000, broadband system, voice, video, Internet access, traditional dial-up connections

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