CenturyLink, Inc. has announced that they have installed North America’s’ largest deployment in multiple dwelling units (MDUs) in Platteville, WI. The technology will assist the service provider in delivering high-speed broadband to apartment dwellers using their building’s copper and/or coaxial cable.

The Calix solution in Platteville uses a wide range of Calix software, systems, and services. The Calix 801F GigaPoint acts as the access demarcation point at the subscriber premises, terminating delivered over twisted copper pair or coaxial cable, and managed via the cloud through Calix Consumer Connect Plus software. Each GigaPoint is fed via a variety of Calix access nodes optimized for their location and role in the network – either sealed access nodes (E3-16F DPUs) that sit outside each building or E5-16F access nodes inside each building. E7-2 modular access systems in the central office leverage GPON technology to deliver services over fiber to each access node.

“We saw a great opportunity to use existing copper assets in our Platteville network to bring ultra-fast internet speeds to customers who live in areas that typically don’t have access to these new broadband technologies delivering higher speeds,” said Aamir Hussain, CenturyLink executive vice president and chief technology officer. “We take a fiber-first approach when deploying faster broadband speeds, but enabling over copper infrastructure helps us reduce costs, speed time to market, and effectively connect our customers to the power of the digital world in areas where fiber deployment is less feasible.”

“CenturyLink’s commercial deployment in Platteville, WI, is the largest single implementation in the U.S. to date, highlighting the company’s commitment to delivering ultra-broadband services – including gigabit access – to its customer base,” said Erik M. Keith, principal analyst of broadband networks and multiplay services at Current Analysis. “With the ongoing evolution towards unicast, OTT streaming video services, including 4KTV, demand for ultra-broadband connectivity continues to escalate. To this end, CenturyLink is leveraging extensive fiber network build-outs in conjunction with key endpoint technologies, with providing de facto FTTH services over existing copper access lines.”

CenturyLink is evaluating other locations, beyond MDUs, where technology can be used to give customers access to faster speeds, such as fiber-fed multi-tenant units (MTUs) and neighborhoods where fiber-to-the-curb (FTTC) allows for to push higher speeds over the short amount of copper into the home.  This may be the a tipping point in deployments in North America.

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