Adtran is finding success in enabling service provider recipients of the first and second segments of the Connect America Fund, known as CAF I and CAF II. Those two programs are aimed at bringing 10/1 Mbps broadband to rural areas, reducing deployment times in rural markets by 50 percent.
Being able to cut network build out timelines is important as traditional telcos have to abide by the deployment deadlines the FCC set for the CAF I and CAF II programs.
Since the Connect America Fund program was created, Adtran has continued to enjoy new business for its equipment and network integration business.
For Adtran, the CAF I and CAF II program has been a growing opportunity to further sharpen its professional services acumen. In addition to being a supplier to multiple Tier 2 and Tier 3 telcos that serve rural areas, Adtran had plenty of experience in serving telcos meeting government mandates via the Broadband Stimulus program.
“When CAF came along, we had just exited out of the stimulus program, meaning we had finished providing stimulus rollout services for our clients,” said Billy Hall director of professional services for Adtran, in an interview with FierceInstaller. “It was easy for us to continue to the momentum into CAF I and CAF II.”
Hall added that “we met the deadline for roughly 2,500 Tier 2 telco sites and just continued that momentum in ramping into CAF II for a large Tier 1 and Tier 2 telco.”
Already a supplier to major Tier 1 and Tier 2 telcos like CenturyLink and Frontier, two of the CAF I and CAF II recipients, Adtran can apply its Network Design Services to CAF receipients that are looking to design, configure and build out last mile networks to address rural market customers.
Through the Network Design Services program, Adtran enables service providers to outsource their broadband builds to a group of network design engineers.
As part of this program, ADTRAN’s team conducts an inventory of network assets and infrastructure topology, develops a comprehensive site plan, tests interoperability and systems and will design a network upgrade path that maximizes broadband services capabilities. That helps the team meet funding requirements and make the best use of existing network assets.
“Bringing that complete methodology allows us to compress and find efficiencies and the carriers today desire that,” said Hall. “There are a lot of risks associated with these aggressive timelines, and you have to be very efficient in your deployment.”
Starting with planning for CAF II recipients, Adtran can help CAF II recipients address a mix of outside plant (OSP) and inside plant (ISP) issues.
As part of its outside plant planning process, Adtran can help service providers navigate the local town permitting process and install equipment in remote locations.
The vendor can also address inside plant issues related to wiring a remote terminal cabinet that will house DSLAM or PON equipment.
“In the OSP and ISP swim lanes, we can carry them across civil construction, which would encompass site prep, working with permitting and your OSP construction,” Hall said. “As we come across, we’re engaged in performing the cabinet set, the installation of electronics, turnup and even with some clients we’re performing a cutover service following the test and turn up.”
While the CAF program may be the near-term opportunity for Adtran’s professional services division, the vendor sees potential to address other carrier customer projects.
“We know we found a sweet spot for our services and our clients have taken advantage of it,” Hall said. “We’ve hooked up to a lot of big opportunities and we can carry this synergy over to other customers of Adtran as well.”
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