Bristol, Tenn. utility selects Alcatel-Lucent for its GPON network

Bristol Tennessee Essential Services (BTES), a municipally-owned electric utility, on Monday became the latest utility to jump on the Gbps-based Fiber to the Home (FTTH) bandwagon, offering 1 Gbps services to all of its residential and business electric customers.

The 1 Gbps option rounds out its suite of speeds that range from 512 Kbps to 50 Mbps at prices that range from $16.95 to $69.95 a month. However, BTES did not indicate the price of the new 1 Gbps speed tier.

Following the path of other municipal service providers, including the much-publicized Chattanooga-based EPB, Bristol's network is being built with Alcatel-Lucent's (NYSE: ALU) GPON and related edge routing equipment.

To support the 1 Gbps data services, Bristol deployed Alcatel-Lucent's GPON-enabled 7342 ISAM FTTU optical line terminals (OLTs) and optical network terminals (ONTs). All of the OLTs are then connected to a 10G backbone supported by Alcatel-Lucent's 7450 ESS switches and then are aggregated through two 7750 BSR routers to 10G of Internet capacity.

These network elements support BTES' suite of IPTV, broadband and voice services for consumers.

Outside of the home, the GPON network is finding utility in local schools. A class of 20 Bristol eight-year-olds, for example, took a virtual field trip to Egypt to learn about the pyramids with an on-site tour guide using SMART Board Technology and the provider's gigabit service.

But the fiber network isn't just about telecom services alone. The GPON and fiber networks have, not surprisingly, are being leveraged for the electric services Bristol delivers.

Like other utilities that decided to get into the broadband game, BTES' fiber network journey was initially driven to enhance the reliability of its power network. Following a major snowstorm in 1998 that left every one of its customers without power, BTES decided to link all of its substations to its office via fiber.

Today, any customer that takes the fiber services also has automatic power outage detection. This means that they do not need to make a telephone call if their power goes out. In addition, the system provides automatic meter reading and theft detection.

For more:
- see the release

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