Mediacom’s Project Gigabit scales business reach with dual coax, fiber facilities

Mediacom

Mediacom is establishing its presence in more business buildings in its footprint, but being a cable MSO serving Tier 2 and Tier 3 markets, the service provider is taking a dual approach that incorporates fiber and coax.

Dan Templin, VP of business services for Mediacom, told FierceInstaller in an interview that since the business density in its markets is relatively small, the service provider wanted to make sure the buildings it is connecting into will be future proofed to accommodate existing and new customers.

“We’re actually doing dual cables where we are running both fiber and coax,” Templin said. “Where we have customers in place, we’re putting a box in so there’s no time or cost for anyone in these areas to subscribe and down the road we can go and connect at the drop.”

The dual fiber and coax drop includes a four-pair fiber and coax in single sheath to address various service configurations.

“We’re able to provide a combination of services to multi-tenant buildings or if somebody progresses with coax today, but at some point there is going to be a demand for fiber and that’s where you’re going to continue to see capacity grow,” Templin said. “We’re building out both networks and making them both available to those customers.”

This is all part of Mediacom’s broader three year, $1 billion initiative to upgrade and expand its national broadband network that will bring gigabit speed services to more businesses and homes via DOCSIS 3.1 and fiber-based technologies.

In March, Mediacom launched Project Gigabit, a $1 billion plan to bring 1 Gbps broadband service to 3 million homes and businesses it serves.

For businesses in its 22-state serving territory, that means the service provider is extending its network inside downtown areas and commercial districts in order to increase its “lit buildings” density. That will bring tens of thousands of new businesses access to fiber-based communications services.

Having identified the target buildings that are within close proximity of its fiber and coax facilities, the next move for Mediacom is to drive more new customers to MPLS-based WAN services.

This could include a mix of large and small businesses, but also smaller offices of regional businesses like health care clinics that may need to communicate in other towns and cities.

“It is also giving us an opportunity to provide an MPLS product since we have that fiber connectivity, we can provide WAN and MPLS connectivity where we have not historically,” Templin said. “We did not have a good MPLS service over WAN, and because we’re doing this combination of services that are technology agnostic, we can provide a broader range of services to those customers as well.”

As it wires more buildings with coax and fiber, Mediacom does have to overcome the initial challenge that the markets it serves lack the density of major NFL cities. However, the service provider noted that the demand for higher speed IP-based services is high.

This has driven Mediacom to take a proactive approach by building out network facilities in the markets it serves to get ahead of the ILECs, which it said have not updated their facilities.

“It’s not that unique if you’re a startup CLEC or ISP, but for a traditional MSO to take a risk with this build-it-and-they-will-come mentality, but we know from our experience that the demand is there,” Templin said. “Even though there are not as many of them in the markets we serve, they have the same technology needs and we are first market movers because the ILECs haven’t upgraded their plant and offered these IP-based products.”

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